Coffee Conservation

 A sophisticated consumer knows that a coffee beverage should be consumed immediately after preparation. The freshly prepared beverage retains many volatiles and aromas that tend to get lost over time. It is due to this reason that the coffee tastes better when it is freshly prepared. Drink it as soon as possible, as coffee will deteriorate when it is kept for more than one hour. It should never be reheated or boiled.

Maintaining the freshness of a coffee beverage is also a function of the temperature as well as of the conditions at which the coffee is kept after its infusion. The temperature should be maintained uniform between 80°C to 85°C (175°F to 185°F), in a hermetically sealed container, not applying direct heat, to allow the best possible conditions to maintaining the beverage with a pleasant flavor.

Even though the serving temperature is a question of personal taste, it is advisable to serve the beverage in the range of average temperature for hot beverages of 70°C to 80°C (160°F to 175°F), for it to be really pleasant.

It is also important to take into account the conservation of the roasted coffee with which the beverage is prepared. Roasted coffee deteriorates easily when it is in contact with air, humidity and heat. It oxidizes over time and it also absorbs foreign aromas. Thus, it is a delicate product. To be able to preserve its quality it is important to remember the following:

  • Buy your coffee at an establishment that manages an adequate rotation of the product.
  • Maintain your roasted coffee hermetically sealed, avoiding its contact with air. Once the package has been opened, it is important to consume it in the following days. That way one will be able to perceive its original flavor.
  • It is preferable to conserve the roasted coffee as whole bean, without grinding it.
  • Buy quantities that you will consume quickly. Do not store for long periods of time roasted and ground coffee.

It is important to remember that the ideal conditions for packaged roasted coffee, stored under normal conditions, last less than what you would think.  You could consider your coffee fresh when it is ground for up to one month and in whole bean grain for up to two months. In places with a high humidity and high temperatures coffee would deteriorate sooner.

The quality of the packaging is also very important. Packaging material using high barriers with relief valves using modified atmosphere, the aroma and the freshness of the product can be protected during longer periods of time. Also, the industrial process can also affect the freshness. Generally, when a coffee is vacuum packed it could last 18 months.  A freeze dried coffee with similar packaging conditions could also have a shelf life of more than 18 months.

In short, you have always to take into account that once you have opened the coffee package, it is important to store the coffee in hermetic containers in a fresh and dry place. If you use roasted whole bean coffee, only grind the amount you are going to drink.

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