In the ideal world, you should grind your coffee immediately with a burr grinder before preparing it for a beautiful, fresh cup of coffee. You should also use your freshly roasted coffee within 4-6 weeks to avoid stale flavors. However, this is the real world and this is not always possible. What are the best ways to mitigate a loss of flavor if you don’t have a grinder at home or while you travel?
For those without a grinder at home, most grocery stores have a commercial grinder you can use or your local coffee shop will be happy to grind for you. If you purchase coffee through us and need it ground, just let us know and we are happy to deliver it ground for you based on how you prepare your coffee. If you purchase from a grocery store, you’ll be better off purchasing whole bean and grinding yourself there. Bagged whole bean is likely to be better than bulk because it has avoided the light, but check the roast date because that also goes into play with freshness! A good rule of thumb is to try to finish that freshly ground coffee in 1-2 weeks to avoid flavor loss.
If you travel a lot like Whitney, our resident pro cyclist does, consider a travel coffee hand grinder. She travels with one of those, a Bonavita travel water kettle, and an Aeropress. Honestly, sometimes the idea of hand-grinding coffee every morning is just overwhelming, so she will grind it appropriately and put the bag of coffee in a ziploc.
Some people choose to freeze their coffee, it’s not ideal. The biggest concern there is that coffee can easily absorb flavors and moisture around it, so be sure if you choose this method that you have a very airtight container and that you only remove coffee you’ll use for the week.
When you are storing ground coffee, be sure it is airtight and avoids any of the elements- moisture, light, or heat. Room temperature is best and a good rule of thumb is to enjoy the ground coffee within 1-2 weeks of grinding. A cabinet away from the oven or sunlight works well!
We hope these tips help and when you are ready, consider a burr grinder for at home!
Photo by James Neuhalfen.