Yesterday we attended the Coffee & Tea Festival in New York City (sign up for the newsletter and get advance notice of future shows).
We had some terrific coffees and teas and will report on our discoveries in future blog posts and product reviews.
But for today, some notes about how you can make the best coffee at home.
Coffee flavors start to deteriorate the minute the bean is roasted and/or ground. People with a good palate can taste the difference in as few as 6 hours, and definitely after 24 hours.
So keep it fresh: Don’t buy more coffee than you’ll use in a week. And preferably, buy whole beans and grind them right before brewing.
Keep your beans or ground coffee in an airtight container away from heat and sunlight. Heat and sunlight “cook” the oils in the beans, negatively affecting the flavor and aroma. We use the Friis Coffee Vault for both ground coffee and whole beans.
The way you handle your beans is crucial to
the quality of your coffee. Photo courtesy
Do not refrigerate the coffee; it will acquire moisture unless it’s stored in a moisture-proof container (like the Friis). Airtight is not the same as moisture-proof.
While some “tips” say that you can freeze beans in airtight containers, the containers must be moisture-proof as well. And the results won’t be glorious when you defrost them. Freezing coagulates the natural oils in the beans and crystallizes the moisture inside them, which adversely affects the flavor and aroma. In espresso, those oils need to emulsify to produce the body and mouthfeel of the coffee. So don’t be tempted buy Costco bargains in coffee, unless you’re going to use it up quickly.