Why is it important to store coffee properly?

Although coffee is a long-life food, its taste can change after a certain period of time, especially if it is not stored properly. Storage is affected by a number of factors, such as packaging, room temperature and humidity.

In the following, we want to focus on what storage errors can lead to negative processes in the taste of coffee and how to prevent them.

What happens to the coffee after roasting?

After coffee has been roasted, a number of processes start, which, if not stored properly, can have a significant impact on the taste of the coffee.

One of these is rancidity, which can occur with coffee that has not been stored properly and for a long time. Fatty acids are present in varying proportions in the dry matter content of the molecules of each type of coffee. It is the degradation of these molecules that starts to cause rancidity. Oxygen is essential for this process, so for coffees that are not stored in low oxygen conditions, this process starts much sooner and much faster. This phenomenon can also start in properly stored coffee, as reactive radicals are produced during roasting, but in coffee in a low-oxygen or oxygen-free environment it happens orders of magnitude more slowly.

There is also the loss of aroma, which can be caused by several factors. The reason behind this process is that, after roasting, certain volatile components are produced in the coffee and are released with the gases produced in the coffee bean, but other compounds are also converted by the oxygen.

How can we slow down these changes in coffee?

There are several ways to reduce and slow down the loss of flavour and the rancidity of coffee, and it is worth following some of them to keep your coffee fresh and original for a long time.

One of the most important criteria is that the product you buy is stored under normal conditions at room temperature. This is important because the warmer the temperature, the easier it is for the gases in the coffee to escape, and thus the volatile components. Therefore, avoid storage areas where the coffee is exposed to light and higher temperatures. The question of whether the coldest possible environment, or freezing, is the best option may also arise, but it has been shown that freezing has more negative than positive effects, and that room temperature storage is therefore recommended.

The other important thing to do is to store them away from oxygen, as exposure to oxygen can cause a significant reduction in flavour and can lead to rancidity. Airtight resealable packaging, for example, already meets these requirements

Sealing the coffee from oxygen also helps to keep it dry. This is important because contact with humid air would also trigger flavour loss processes due to the oxygen in the humidity.

If you try to follow these few tips as much as possible, you can be sure that your coffee will retain its original aroma for a long time.

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