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Question on Refrigerating Opened Whole Beans - Help!!
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inopethflames
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Joined: 8 Mar 2013
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Location: illinois
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Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 4:14pm
Subject: Question on Refrigerating Opened Whole Beans - Help!!
 

im about to open a 2.2 lb bag of lavazza & i noticed on the bag it says once opened to store in a coffee container & refrigerate.  i just finished a bag of filicori zecchini and i didnt notice anything on there about refrigerating after opening.  maybe it was there & i just didnt notice.  but so is it a good idea to refrigerate whole beans once the bag is opened?  or is storing it in the special coffee airtight containers ok?  i didnt notice any problem with the last bag that i didnt refrigerate.

thanks!
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jliedeka
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Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 7:12pm
Subject: Re: Question on Refrigerating Opened Whole Beans - Help!!
 

We don't recommend refrigerating or freezing beans.  (You will get other opinions on that.)  Generally either will degrade the coffee through excess drying or condensation.

The best practice is to keep the beans in an air-tight container, preferably away from light.  I would also recommend only getting quantities you can use in a week or, at most, two.  There have been experiments with freezing roasted beans that are promising but they involve temperatures lower than a household freezer can achieve.  A fridge won't do much of anything for preserving freshness.

    Jim

 
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CMIN
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Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 7:32pm
Subject: Re: Question on Refrigerating Opened Whole Beans - Help!!
 

Fridge no, I'd look into other beans as well (fresh roasted) as Lavazza charges $$ for what is essentially stale beans day after opening. I use the fridge freezer with pint size ball canning jars and zip bag in each. Second I get fresh beans in I break down into batches and freeze, works perfect that way for 1-2 months. Just made shots today with a batch frozen last month, extracted and tasted same with only a smidge tighter on the grind. If you just stick the bag beans come in you'll get poor results.

Long term freezing though I'd get a deep freeze chest
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inopethflames
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Location: illinois
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Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 1:25am
Subject: Re: Question on Refrigerating Opened Whole Beans - Help!!
 

ok thanks for the advice.  ill never have a large enough quantity onhand that ill need to freeze beans, i wouldnt even normally get a 2.2lb bag, but it was on sale for really cheap.  & i have a good airtight coffee-specific container that i use, its pretty cool to see.

so unless you always get beans at a local coffee company that tells you what day they were roasted, how would you ever know how old the beans are if you buy them from an online place.  unless the roast date is stamped on the package?  i havent looked closely enough at the packaging so far i guess.  but i think in some post someone said that companies say beans still sealed in the bag are good for up to 2 years, maybe someplace online would have year old beans, i dunno.

the good news is that there are a couple very high quality roasting companies in my area that i will get when theres not some really good online coupon.

does anyone know for starbucks whole beans if the bags they sell in the store are dated or anything like that?  ive never gotten any from there.
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CMIN
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Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 5:07am
Subject: Re: Question on Refrigerating Opened Whole Beans - Help!!
 

inopethflames Said:

ok thanks for the advice.  ill never have a large enough quantity onhand that ill need to freeze beans, i wouldnt even normally get a 2.2lb bag, but it was on sale for really cheap.  & i have a good airtight coffee-specific container that i use, its pretty cool to see.

so unless you always get beans at a local coffee company that tells you what day they were roasted, how would you ever know how old the beans are if you buy them from an online place.  unless the roast date is stamped on the package?  i havent looked closely enough at the packaging so far i guess.  but i think in some post someone said that companies say beans still sealed in the bag are good for up to 2 years, maybe someplace online would have year old beans, i dunno.

the good news is that there are a couple very high quality roasting companies in my area that i will get when theres not some really good online coupon.

does anyone know for starbucks whole beans if the bags they sell in the store are dated or anything like that?  ive never gotten any from there.

Posted May 14, 2013 link

B/c any of the good micro/artisan etc roasters online who roast and basically ship same/next day mark on the bag the day it was roasted. Other big companies usually just put a use by date. Starbucks can be anywhere from a 2 to 12 months old, even in the stores I've seen bags that were months old as you can subtract about 4-8 months from the use by date. They over roast anyway, you don't taste the bean but the roast with Starbucks, reason why their coffees taste like drinking a burnt log lol. Lavazza nitro packs which is why it can stay in the container longer, however the second you open it that goes out the window, can pull a ok drink maybe that day but after that the beans stale very fast.

Generally all the roasters I've ordered from roast, ship and get's to my house in about 3 days.
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emradguy
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Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 6:29am
Subject: Re: Question on Refrigerating Opened Whole Beans - Help!!
 

CMIN Said:

B/c any of the good micro/artisan etc roasters online who roast and basically ship same/next day mark on the bag the day it was roasted. Other big companies usually just put a use by date. Starbucks can be anywhere from a 2 to 12 months old, even in the stores I've seen bags that were months old as you can subtract about 4-8 months from the use by date. They over roast anyway, you don't taste the bean but the roast with Starbucks, reason why their coffees taste like drinking a burnt log lol. Lavazza nitro packs which is why it can stay in the container longer, however the second you open it that goes out the window, can pull a ok drink maybe that day but after that the beans stale very fast.

Generally all the roasters I've ordered from roast, ship and get's to my house in about 3 days.

Posted May 14, 2013 link

+1  Anything sitting in a bag for a year is garbage. Also, some of the online roasters even send you an email when they receive your order telling you, "it will roast and ship tomorrow"  If you want to try some good stuff from online places, check out the "List of Our Favorite Roasters" on Home Barista

 
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calblacksmith
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Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 6:44am
Subject: Re: Question on Refrigerating Opened Whole Beans - Help!!
 

Fresh is the key.
As above, opinions on refer or freezer vary. For me, I buy in 5 pound lots of fresh roasted, break into about 3/4 pound lots, pack in heavy zip top bags and remove as much air as possible then deep freeze. Thaw only enough to use in a few days and always thaw in the sealed container before opening. When doing this, I have found that I loose little at the end of the month vs fresh at the start of the month.

If you can taste a difference and do not like what you are tasting, then do not do it. For MYSELF, while there is a slight drop in quality over a month, my personal take is that I loose no more than about 4 days of "quality" in the beans at the end of the month vs at the start.

Again, if this works for you, great but if not, then don't do it.

Buying bags from large roasters who do not date their product or give you a BEST BY date, don't do it, they are much more than likely, hopelessly stale before you put it in your shopping cart.

YMMV!

 
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Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 2:02pm
Subject: Re: Question on Refrigerating Opened Whole Beans - Help!!
 

The reason there are many opinions about refrigeration and freezing not helping or making a difference is that a majority of coffee drinkers are using beans that are already stale so there is little to lose and little to preserve. The enemies of roasted coffee are:
TIME -  Once roasted the clock ticks. There is only one proven method to slow or stop that process and that is freezing in a deep freeze environment which is colder than the freezer section of the household fridge.
OXYGEN - There is very little you can do about this except as stated above. The reason is that chemical process are going on from about the second day after roasting. Even if the coffee is vacuumed packed or packed in inert gas, the compounds that form from this aging are hungry for oxygen and as soon as the bag or can is opened, that's it. Ily canned whole bean is an excellent example. They taste quite good on day one, but after that they taste like they are MANY days old. It's one reason why folks who use the deep freeze method do so in one to three day parcels so only small amounts are allowed to thaw at a time.
HEAT AND LIGHT - Both have been shown to degrade coffee freshness.
MOISTURE - this is the main reason why air tight containers are important. Again, once opened the oxygen gets in. But if left open the beans can absorb humidity from the atmosphere. It is also why it is important to allow frozen beans to come to room temperature before opening, so that condensation does not form on the beans.

You might read my review of the Friis Coffee Vault which is a study in hyperbole, puffery, and an apparent attempt to cash in on consumers' gullibility.

SOLUTIONS:
- Only buy enough coffee to last no more than about two weeks from the date it was ROASTED. Not when it was mailed, not when it was shipped, but the roasted on date.
- If you have a cool, dark cabinet in the house, repackage the beans in small mason jars (pint jars work) and store the jars there.
- Avoid any coffee that says "best if used by" or words to that effect. The only date that counts is when it was roasted.
- Find a local roaster if possible. More shops are roasting their own coffee now, so look around. Talk to the roaster - you might learn something or even make a good contact.

 
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CheapBastid
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Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 2:00pm
Subject: Re: Question on Refrigerating Opened Whole Beans - Help!!
 

I don't know that it's a 'perfect' method but I've found a fairly simple way to split up my fresh bean purchases and stretch them out to a month+.

I use ˝ pint freezer safe mason jars, a FoodSaver Wide Mouth attachment, and a FreshSaver handheld vacuum to seal up several weeks’ worth of beans and put them in the freezer.  I thaw a jar a week and the coffee has remained much more drinkable than when I just stored in an airtight container in the cupboard.
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