From using the perfect French press to only buying certain kinds of beans, everyone has their own special way of brewing the perfect cup o’ Joe. A hack that’s become increasingly popular in recent years is one where people freeze their coffee beans before grinding them to help their ingredients last longer. However, while this may seem like an efficient trick, coffee drinkers could inadvertently end up damaging the bean in the process — and potentially also risking their health a little bit.
Why is it best to leave those coffee beans as they are? Coffee is what’s called hygroscopic, which means that it quickly absorbs water, moisture, and odors that surround it. When you leave it in your refrigerator or freezer for an extended period of time, the beans begin to take in the condensation and dampness around them, which could lead to a less intense flavor (some have described it as tasting muddier) or less caffeine potency. In worst case scenarios, it could lead to moldy beans, which you definitely don’t want to ingest!
If you still want to freeze your coffee beans despite the risks, at the very least make sure you store them in an airtight container and then let them completely thaw in that container before you open them and use them. While this method won’t guarantee that your beans will taste the same as they would fresh or have the same caffeine content or health benefits, it’ll at least cut down on the amount of moisture seeping into them.
Instead, the best thing you can do is use your coffee beans or grounds as quickly as possible after buying them and purchase new ingredients every week or two. Additionally, be sure to store them in a cool, dry, and preferably airtight place that’s not near any excess heat or light. It might sound like a pain to have to buy beans more often, but you’ll feel so much better when you take that first delicious sip of freshly brewed coffee!