giovedì 29 febbraio 2024

Can You Put Coffee in the Fridge? Here’s the Truth

coffee in the fridge


author: Editorial Staff

In the following in-depth discussion, we will explore the reasons why coffee should not be refrigerated. We will uncover the complex dynamics of temperature, humidity and condensation that can compromise the aromas of the precious beverage. In addition, we will closely examine the impact of extraneous odours and temperature changes on coffee storage. In the light of these considerations, effective alternatives for preserving the freshness and aroma of coffee will be proposed, offering careful advice on storage practices.

How and where to store coffee

Opening a new packet releases an intense and unique aroma. This aroma is desired by all coffee lovers, who hope to preserve it, intact in all its nuances, while enjoying their coffee in a cup.

Indeed, preventing the dispersion and deterioration of this fragrance presents itself as a far from trivial challenge. Theories on coffee preservation, sometimes groundless or even counterproductive, are numerous.

To address the problem in its entirety, it is essential to start with the basics, i.e. the moment of purchase. The way the product is packaged plays a decisive role in the optimal preservation of coffee and its aromas.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to store coffee, but above all, we will answer the central question of this article: "can coffee be refrigerated?"

How should coffee be stored after opening

How do I store coffee? The method of storing coffee is of crucial importance as previously mentioned. Once roasted, coffee becomes porous and contains a lipid component, factors that make it sensitive to strong odours due to its absorbent capacity, but delicate when it comes into contact with air and light due to its fatty component.

So where should coffee be stored? Here is the answer on how to store coffee once it has been opened: It is advisable to store it in a dry and cool environment, away from sources of heat and light. It is advisable to use an airtight container to prevent the coffee from coming into contact with odours and liquids, considering its high absorptive capacity. Furthermore, it is essential that the container is not transparent, this is to protect the precious foodstuff from light, preventing it from deteriorating over time.

Due to its porosity and consistency, it is advisable to avoid exposing the coffee to excessive heat or extreme temperature changes. The lipid component it contains does not react positively to high temperatures, condensation or too low temperatures.

So, can I or cannot I put coffee in the fridge? Let’s continue our analysis... with important tips and then get to the answer to this emblematic question on how to store coffee.

Read our article on how much caffeine is in a coffee.

How to store coffee at home

The first crucial step in coffee storage occurs at the time of purchase. It is essential to select packages in line with your consumption. In this sense, it is preferable to choose fairly small packages or alternatively large packages (500g - 1Kg) and then once opened, divide them into airtight containers so as not to lose the aroma of the coffee.

Following this principle, it is essential to buy a product that is not too old: check the expiry date. It is advisable to buy coffee a few weeks after production, a year before the expiry date. So always check the labels to know when and how to store coffee.

Which pack to choose

Regardless of the type of processing, coffee can be purchased in vacuum packs, which are generally more common, or in tins. In the latter option, the product is not exposed to air, as inert gases are inserted inside the containers to ensure optimal coffee preservation.

Both types of packaging are safe, although vacuum packs are more practical, lighter and less bulky when disposed of in waste.

If you want to read one of our most popular in-depth articles, click here to discover the article on proper coffee.

Why doesn’t coffee go in the fridge

We’ve come to the point. Do I or do I not put coffee in the fridge? Here is the answer.

It is essential to dispel two beliefs that can be detrimental to the preservation of the drink’s aromas.

1. Avoid putting coffee in the fridge!
Although not all currents of thought among experts agree on this point. We are experts in this field and so we would like to tell you not to do so. No coffee in the fridge! The widespread practice of storing coffee in the fridge or, even worse, in the freezer is strongly discouraged. Both ground coffee and beans are sensitive to both heat and cold, as well as temperature changes. In addition, the sudden change in temperature when taken out of the refrigerator can cause condensation to form inside the container, compromising quality due to moisture. Storage in the freezer can also compromise flavours and damage natural fats, regardless of temperature changes.

2. Avoid adding foreign elements.
There are those who believe that inserting items such as corks or apple peels are beneficial in maintaining the natural moisture of coffee. However, this practice is erroneous and can promote rancidity and contaminate the original aroma.

How to store coffee in the fridge

After what has just been discussed, it is evident that storing coffee in the refrigerator is a wrong and flavour-damaging habit. The refrigerator contains various foods with odours that can penetrate coffee.

Even if one chooses for an airtight container, the coffee is still susceptible to temperature changes and therefore presents the risk of condensation that can compromise the aroma. In summary, storing coffee in the fridge is not a recommended practice.

It is advisable to store it in a dark, airtight container, in a cool place protected from light, such as a kitchen cabinet or pantry, to preserve its flavours for longer, so that you can enjoy a coffee with its aromatic characteristics intact.

If you are still uncertain about the best way to store coffee, do not hesitate to contact us through our dedicated section: we will be happy to answer your questions!

What are the main enemies for coffee storage

Mainly atmospheric agents, listed below in order of importance, jeopardise optimal coffee storage:

1. Air
2. Humidity
3. Heat
4. Light

This justifies why true and certified coffee experts constantly recommend storing coffee in a cool, dry environment. Despite the evidence of the negative effects of these factors, those who care about the proper storage of coffee on a daily basis must carefully consider them.

It has to be said, however, that even with impeccable handling, the product is inevitably exposed to the elements, as especially air and moisture penetrate the containers every time they are opened. Heating can be an additional concern, especially during the summer season, but cold weather and temperature variations can also be equally detrimental to keeping the coffee in optimal condition.

In addition to the damage caused by weather, as mentioned above, there is also the risk of contamination by other odours, especially in the case of already ground coffee, which can easily absorb the surrounding aromas. Not coincidentally, placing an open container with a small amount of ground coffee in the refrigerator can help to limit unwanted odours.

Furthermore, the powder, if rubbed on the hands after food preparation, can perform the same anti-odour function. This is therefore the only reason to put coffee in the fridge! Use it to limit unwanted odours from other foods! But be careful because then you will lose the aromas of your beloved jar of coffee!

It goes without saying, but we prefer to enjoy our delicious coffee!

How do you store coffee beans

How to store coffee beans? The choice of the form in which coffee is purchased and used plays a crucial role: it is well known that coffee beans retain their unique aroma for a longer period after roasting than ground coffee. This explains the preference in coffee bars to buy coffee beans and to grind it either on the spot or during the day using special integrated machines.

In general, this rule applies: for coffee beans, 50% of its aroma lasts for several days. Ground coffee, on the other hand, can only be enjoyed for two hours after grinding, while in the cup, half of the freshness dissipates after only two minutes. Of course these differences are difficult to grasp unless you are a professional coffee taster, so don’t worry about your coffee because it will remain fragrant and aromatic just the same!

If you are looking for excellent quality coffee beans, read our article on the gold medal quality Caffe Roen Extra Bar and visit our SHOP. The processing of coffee greatly influences its ability to retain its organoleptic characteristics. Ground coffee is fifty times more susceptible to oxidation than coffee beans, due to the greater surface area in contact with air. This distinction certainly plays in favour of beans over ground coffee, although it is not the only reason why coffee lovers should prefer this rougher form of processing.

Beans not only resist spoilage better, but also guarantee maximum flavour fragrance, released by freshly ground coffee, as is the case in coffee bars. Although pre-ground coffee is more common in domestic use, espresso enthusiasts should at least consider the option of purchasing a quality coffee grinder.

Those who opt for coffee beans should make sure to keep the grinder clean in all its parts, which is equally important to preserve the coffee properly without altering its original aroma.

So can you put coffee beans in the fridge? No! The reasons are those we have discussed above in the dedicated section.

How do you store moka

The moka, or coffee machine, is a device that requires special care for proper storage. After use, it is important to disassemble its parts, such as the filter and gasket, wash them thoroughly with hot water and allow them to dry completely.

For the body of the moka pot, we recommend cleaning it with warm water without the use of aggressive detergents. Once dry, it is best to store the moka pot in a cool, dry place, avoiding direct exposure to sunlight.

In addition, leaving the lid slightly open can help prevent the formation of unpleasant odours. Storage in the refrigerator should be avoided, as mentioned many times before.

How do I store already brewed coffee

Already brewed coffee must be handled carefully to best preserve its aroma and flavour. Before storing it, make sure that it has cooled completely.

Then transfer it to an airtight container to reduce exposure to air, the main enemy of coffee freshness.

Avoid transparent containers, as light can alter the flavour. Storing coffee in the refrigerator is a common but incorrect practice; in fact, it is better to use an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing unwanted odours.

How to tell if coffee has gone bad

Bad coffee can show several signs. A strange or unpleasant aroma, different from the characteristic smell of fresh coffee, could indicate that the coffee has deteriorated. The presence of mould on the surface could be a clear sign of deterioration.

Also, if the coffee tastes bitter, stale or unpleasant than usual, it could be indicative of a problem.

It is crucial to pay attention to these signs and, if they are present, avoid consuming the coffee, as it could compromise the taste experience.

How many days can coffee be stored

Let’s find out together how long coffee lasts. The shelf life of coffee depends on several factors, including its form (bean or ground), the method of storage and environmental conditions. In general, coffee beans retain their aroma for a longer period than ground coffee.

If stored properly in an airtight container, away from light and odours, ground coffee can retain its freshness for about 1-2 weeks. For coffee beans, this period can extend to several weeks, especially if stored properly.

However, it is always advisable to consume coffee as fresh as possible to fully appreciate its organoleptic characteristics.

How to store ground coffee

Here is the answer to how to store ground coffee. Correct storage of ground coffee is essential to maintain its aroma and flavour for as long as possible. Here are some tips on how to store ground coffee:

1. Airtight container: Transfer ground coffee into an airtight container to minimise exposure to air. Oxygen is one of the main enemies of coffee freshness, contributing to the deterioration of the essential oils that impart flavour and aroma.
2. Cool, dark place: Store the container in a cool, dark place. Avoid exposing the coffee to direct sunlight, as light can contribute to the loss of aroma and freshness.
3. Avoid extreme temperatures: Ground coffee is sensitive to temperature variations. Avoid storing it near heat sources, such as cookers or electrical appliances, and avoid excessively cold places, such as the freezer.
4. Use an opaque container: If possible, use an opaque container to prevent light from damaging the coffee. Transparent containers allow light to penetrate, while opaque ones offer more protection.
5. Consume quickly: Even if stored correctly, ground coffee will gradually lose its freshness over time. Try to consume it within a period of 1-2 weeks to fully appreciate its optimal flavour.
6. Clean grinder: If you are grinding coffee yourself, make sure your grinder is clean to avoid contamination and preserve the original aroma.

By following these tips, you can maximise the freshness of your ground coffee and enjoy a deliciously aromatic cup of coffee every time you brew it.

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