Coffee, freezer. Freezer, coffee. The question of whether or not these two should meet has been a topic of contention for many coffee consumers. Say you stocked up of your favorite coffee, what's the best way to safeguard your stash?
Everybody agrees that storing beans and pre-ground coffee alike in airtight containers, such as the Bodum Presso Storage Jar or the Vacu Vin Vacuum Coffee and Tea Saver, is critical to preserving flavor and aroma. The National Coffee Association of the United States also recommends storing coffee in a dark, cool location. They advocate steering clear of over-oven cabinets or shelves that are exposed to a lot of sunlight. But there are two distinct camps when it comes to the idea of giving your beans the deep freeze.
Freezer detractors, including most of Whole Latte Love's Facebook fans, advocate steering clear of the icebox. The environment is just too harsh for the delicate beans, resulting in flavor and aroma breakdown, according to coffee purists. That's not even the worst-case scenario. Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of tasting an ice cube that has been sitting in the freezer for a while? Disgusting, isn't it. Items left in the freezer tend absorb surrounding smells like a sponge. One mistake and fish flavored coffee could be in your future!
In theory, coffee can be frozen. Almost anything can go into the freezer; but like fresh fruit vs. frozen strawberries, in a perfect world, most of us would go with the former. If push comes to shove and you must venture into the frozen abyss, you can minimize the damage by keeping your coffee in an airtight container and away from the door, where temperature variations are the greatest. Whatever you do, only freeze once! Don't freeze, thaw, and then refreeze; that's just coffee flavor and aroma suicide. And, for Pete's sake, stay away from the fridge! Refrigerator temps are not cold enough for water to freeze; the damp atmosphere is about as bad as it gets for coffee beans.
Have you had a freezer experience gone wrong; or have you been successfully freezing your beans? Post your thoughts; we'd love to hear them!