If you drink coffee every day, you owe it to yourself to take care of your grounds or beans. If you store your food properly, there's no excuse for keeping your coffee in the wrong place. Here's what you need to know:
Daily coffee drinkers should keep their coffee in the pantry, not the freezer or refrigerator.
While it's important to keep your grounds or beans somewhere cool, the fridge or freezer will create too much moisture in the package. Moisture is one of coffee's "biggest enemies." It can turn your beans bad really quickly and dull the taste. Your fridge or freezer are key players here not only because they're humid environments, but also because they create temperature fluctuations, which cause even more moisture by creating condensation. By taking your coffee in and out of the fridge or freezer every day, you're exacerbating the situation. These changes in temperature can leave your coffee flavorless, Scott McMartin, a member of the Starbucks Green Coffee Quality group, told Real Simple. "The cell structure changes, which causes a loss of the oils that give coffee its aroma and flavor," McMartin said.
The only time it's appropriate to store coffee in the freezer is if you've bought it in bulk and aren't using it right away. The National Coffee Association says you can store coffee up to one month this way. Once you're ready to start using the coffee on a regular basis, remove it from the freezer and keep it in a cool, dry place.
Not only is it important to store your coffee in the right place, it's also important to store it in a tightly sealed container. Whether it's in the pantry for daily use or in the freezer for long-term storage, keep your beans or grounds in an air-tight container with a one-way valve, Blue Bottle Coffee recommends. The one-way valve makes sure oxygen doesn't get in, but allows for CO2 to escape. (Coffee beans emit CO2 after they've been roasted, which ultimately amounts in a "coffee bloom." The valve ensures the gas is able to escape.) Like moisture, oxygen is bad for coffee, so keeping it sealed tight is really important.
Keep the moisture and air away, and you won't only have better coffee -- you'll have better mornings, too.