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Discussions > Coffee > Q and A > Warm, humid...  
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GChorn
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Joined: 5 Aug 2013
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Location: Singapore
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Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 5:28pm
Subject: Warm, humid environment vs. Refrigeration
 

Hi All!  So I know that the generally recommended practice is to seal your whole coffee beans in an airtight container and then store them in a cool, dry, dark place.  However, here in Singapore we have dark places, but cool and dry are a bit harder to come by.  It regularly gets into the mid-to-high 80s inside my kitchen (and, I'm assuming, my kitchen cabinets), and sometimes even hotter.  And I know that refrigeration can end up drying out your beans, but is there a point at which it becomes the lesser of two evils?  In other words, what's worse for my coffee beans: a warm, (possibly humid) dark kitchen cabinet or the refrigerator?
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 6:10pm
Subject: Re: Warm, humid environment vs. Refrigeration
 

many of us freeze our beans in small batches.  that'll probably help you a lot in you situation.  you want airtight containers, something like ball canning jars. some people use ziploc freezer bags.  some use the ziplocs then stuff them into the canning jars.  take the jars out of your freezer several hours before you need them, once they're at room temperature, you can open them up to use the beans.

 
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Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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CMIN
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Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 7:11pm
Subject: Re: Warm, humid environment vs. Refrigeration
 

]Yeh freezing works if done correctly, if you don't have a freezer or a good freezer at that. Your best bet is to get a small deep freeze chest use that. I use Ball pint sized canning jars with a zip bag in each with air squeezed out. Just take out overnight to defrost and each time I use the beans, I keep squeezing out the air and sealing the zip lock and placing back in the caning jar. I've tried a few different ways of freezing and this is what works for me, and I've gone two months out and had no problem pulling shots at same/similar grind settings, taste as good, smell as good, look as good etc. The ball caning jars when defrost would pry help with your humidity issue as well as their solid and air tight, if your using plastic or glass type containers with like the plastic/rubber lids, they don't work as good.

Fridge is pry about the worst place to store coffee.

Here's an old pic I took:
Click Here (i146.photobucket.com)
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jpender
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Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 7:23pm
Subject: Re: Warm, humid environment vs. Refrigeration
 

CMIN Said:

Fridge is pry about the worst place to store coffee.

Posted August 5, 2013 link

Why?
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CMIN
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Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 7:34pm
Subject: Re: Warm, humid environment vs. Refrigeration
 

jpender Said:

Why?

Posted August 5, 2013 link

Moisture and temps (I'm talking about the refrigerator part, not the freezer or a fridge as a whole). I used to store coffee in just the fridge and it would go bad faster then keeping in a cabinet, then I really got into coffee and learned freezing. Somebody was just talking about this recently, fridges only work temp as those temps are prime for bacteria etc, reason why meats and other things can go bad quickly. Keep opening and closing a container or bag filled with coffee and placing in and out of the fridge, keep introducing moisture especially in a humid area then staying moist and moist buildup in the fridge, fridge is always used waaaaay more than a feezer constantly opening (light, moisture, temps changing etc).... no thanks.
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sgnoobie
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Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 8:55pm
Subject: Re: Warm, humid environment vs. Refrigeration
 

In Singapore the freezer/fridge is worse. If your kitchen is like mine with no aircon, then when you take out the beans, it will immediately start to condense and you can't stop it. I can't think of anything worse than grinding beans with condensation around them. Really, don't do it.

There's nothing you can do about it in Singapore. What has worked best for me, is to get a really good airtight container or an airscape coffee bean container and just keep them in the cupboards. I buy beans every 1-2 weeks fresh from local roasters. Hope this helps.
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GChorn
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Joined: 5 Aug 2013
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Location: Singapore
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 9:04pm
Subject: Re: Warm, humid environment vs. Refrigeration
 

Great to hear from someone else living in Singapore!  That's actually a really good point about the warm kitchen causing condensation when you take the beans out of the fridge.

I'm trying to avoid buying a special freezer just to store beans, so I think the method of buying small, fresh batches is probably my best bet.  Of course, this is also usually the most expensive way to go (in terms of $/bean).  Which local roasters do you buy from?
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sgnoobie
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Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 9:49pm
Subject: Re: Warm, humid environment vs. Refrigeration
 

Try Highlander, Nylon or Graffeo....All of them are good. Toby's Estate is very good as well.

Everything spoils quickly in Singapore so just buy a bag once every two weeks or however often you need.
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
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Location: South FL
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Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 9:49pm
Subject: Re: Warm, humid environment vs. Refrigeration
 

Yeh sounds like small batches are your best option, no a/c and high humidity would he bad for defrosting. Canning jars like from Ball have two piece lids with a seal plate, they are literally air tight. Or one of the dark colored airscape type containers.
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GChorn
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Joined: 5 Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Singapore
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 10:16pm
Subject: Re: Warm, humid environment vs. Refrigeration
 

Thanks for the tips guys.  I tried visiting Nylon a while back only to find out they were closed that day of the week every week (I think it was Tuesday).  I've been meaning to go back but haven't gotten around to it yet...

I'll also make sure to check out Highlander and Graffeo.  Any thoughts on Oriole?  I frequently pass by their large cafe on Orchard...
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