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Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Keeping Coffee...  
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brianl
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Posted Sun Jun 16, 2013, 10:47am
Subject: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

Hello Again,

I have been having problems with the weather this summer when making espresso. It seems that I am having a hard time keeping my beans cool. I don't have central air and only have the window unit on when i'm in the apartment or about to be in (time). Therefore, when i'm at work or away the beans are in a pretty hot apartment. I keep them in an airscape container, which is completely opaque. It appears that the ceiling fan blows the air around but it doesn't make it cool. It's still 85 degrees with the breeze or not.

My question is, does anybody know a low cost way to keep the beans at an appropriate temperature?
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steven_meyer
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Posted Sun Jun 16, 2013, 11:07am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

How about a small 'igloo cooler'?
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brianl
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Posted Sun Jun 16, 2013, 7:15pm
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

I have those insulated freezer bag things. I was worried about the cooler being too cold. Maybe put in freezer blocks with the gel in them?

I just wanted to see how other people dealt with this issue in my situation. Or whether it's just ignored
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steven_meyer
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Posted Sun Jun 16, 2013, 7:19pm
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

You don't have to put ice in them.
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brianl
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Posted Sun Jun 16, 2013, 9:22pm
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

Do you mind posting more details on what you mean? We might be thinking of different things here. Thanks!
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steven_meyer
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Posted Mon Jun 17, 2013, 3:16am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

I'm talking about a small igloo ice chest. Something like this.

http://www.igloo-store.com/detail/IGL+PLAYMATE+MINI
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brianl
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Posted Mon Jun 17, 2013, 6:41am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

Okay thanks.

So you say that I don't need to put ice in it and it will keep a good temperature? Im not familiar with these but I find the idea interesting.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Posted Mon Jun 17, 2013, 7:27am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

If you go through them quickly, just keep them in a sealed bag, in the back of a cupboard. If they are to be around longer than 2 weeks, divide them into lots that last 3 to 4 days, place in zip top bags, remove as much air as possible then place in the coldest part of your freezer. Only remove enough to be used in a few days (one bags worth) then let come to room temp before opening the bag, this prevents moisture from forming on the beans when thawing.

Refer temps are the WORST temp to store beans, like baked goods, that temp zone SPEEDS UP the staling process.

 
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brianl
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Location: Chicago IL
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Posted Mon Jun 17, 2013, 8:27am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

I got through them before 2 weeks but still seem to have issues. Therefore, I'm looking for an inbetween solution.

So when you say Refer temps are the worst, do you just mean humid/hot? The ones i had issues with before were on the border of two weeks and if it speeds up the staling it might explain when i was having issues.

I might have to keep them at work during the day haha. they keep it a freezer box. I checked my cabinets when a thermometer and its well over 80 haha. Maybe the top of the fridge (not inside) could be good.
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Buckley
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Posted Mon Jun 17, 2013, 9:59am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

Dear brianl,

There is too much humidity in refrigerators but I think that calblacksmith was referring to the temperature of the refrigerator compartment.  This temperature zone is famous for staling bread and for destroying the flavors of tomatoes and stone fruit.  I always assumed the temperature was also bad for coffee but I have seen no articles that support my opinion.  I avoid putting coffee, bread, tomatoes, peaches in the refrigerator compartment.
Getting back to your question, you know, if I lived in Chicago, I would not have your problem.  I would buy freshly roasted coffee once per week, maybe when I did the food shopping.  One week in a warm kitchen will not kill the beans (I have lived in the tropics).  Is it so inconvenient to get to Intelligentsia that you cannot buy from them?  I think many of us would like to have your problem (I live in Indianoplace, IN, right now).  Perhaps you live in an outlying area, or perhaps you are one of the people who just do not care for Intelligentsia.  But in such a large metropolis, there must be enough boutique grocery stores relatively near you that some carry artisan-roasted coffee of one source or another near the roast date- there seems to be a dozen local roasters in Chicago.  It is, of course, your choice to choose stashing over episodic gathering, but that would not be my choice, given the limits that you describe.

Buckley
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