Dear Joe,

I’ve got a ton a customers coming in looking for coffee as a gift this season. Problem is, they ask me the best place to store the coffee before giving the beans away to their friends and family and I’m not sure what answer to give them. I’ve heard the freezer is OK, but I’m not sure. So, where is the best place to store coffee?

-Pat

Thanks for your question, Pat. This is a query that comes up rather frequently and it is an important one.

It is a common misconception that coffee retains its freshness best when stored in the freezer. While this sounds like a good idea in theory, the freezer is one of the worst places you can store whole bean or ground coffee. Freezing in and of itself is not the problem. The condensation that forms after the cold coffee from the icebox meets the warm air of the room is the real culprit. Any water that comes in contact with the coffee  begins the extraction process well before it is ready to brew.

So, that brings us back to your original question. The best place to store coffee is in an airtight, opaque container away from direct sources of light. This can be in your customer’s pantry, closet, etc.

Whatever you do, don’t let them throw it in the freezer!

Yours in coffee,

Josiephius A. Graham