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  • Juan Lattez
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14 years 2 weeks ago #1267 by Juan Lattez
Storage was created by Juan Lattez
Once the right beans are found and you've opened up the bag, where do you store them? I have one of those sealable containers but they're not a vaccum seal. Anything better out there?
  • dave
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14 years 2 weeks ago #1272 by dave
Replied by dave on topic Re:Storage

For regular use (over the next week or so), I'd recommend storing your beans in an airtight canister, at room temperature, away from direct sunlight such as in a cool cupboard (but not over a heat-generating applicance!). Try to match the container size to how many beans you will store in them, and don't routinely store a tiny amount of beans in a big container.

Use glass, ceramic, or stainless steel canisters with a tight fitting seal. I don't recommend plastic. I use the ubiquitous glass jars with the metal clamps, but find that they start to fracture after a while from strain. Opaque containers such as ceramic might be better since they will block sunlight, but glass are cheaper and help in figuring out which beans are which (DO label them, along with roast dates). Make sure that it seals well. I haven't used them, but I've had mixed opinions of the "slide in" lid containers with the thin plastic gaskets. Some seem to seal well and others don't.
I actually use mason jars for when I have extra batches of beans.
You might consider splitting your beans among multiple small containers, in order to keep the bulk of them fresh as you open and close the jar in use.

If you want to store your beans for a longer time (say > 2 weeks), freezing them should be ok so long as you observe the following precautions:
i) Store them in AIR TIGHT containers
ii) Keep them as cold as possible (chest freezer at < -18'C would be better), and at a stable temperature.
iii) Store them in small batches, so that when you take it from the freezer you thaw all of the beans in the batch and don't keep opening and closing the same container of frozen beans (see below)
iv) Allow the beans to thaw to room temperature BEFORE OPENING THE CONTAINER. Opening a jar of frozen beans will result in condensation forming on the beans and moisture absorption / bean spoilage.

Don't store beans in the fridge. Fridges are full of moisture and odours, both of which will be absorbed by your beans and which will deteriorate them.

Always use airtight containers, and when storing beans plan for only opening each container once immediately before use.

As for vacuum sealers, you could try these (e.g. vacuum packed beans if freezing). Some have used containers with something like the vacu-vin wine pumps to remove air from them between uses, but there could be some cases where you wouldn't want to do this and you won't get all of the oxygen out.

Fresh beans will offgas carbon dioxide (a lot of it) and create their own pressurized cocoon of gas that may eventually stall further offgassing to a degree (I'm guessing, I don't know this). You will note that coffee is often packed in nitrogen when in solid containers, instead of vacuum sealing them. Typically, you also notice that these efforts are temporary at best. Illy beans, for example, are generally pretty old by the time you get your hands on them. They seem to stale at an accelerated rate once opened (and are rather stale to begin with, anyway).

If roasting your own, do keep in mind that your beans will expel a lot of CO2. Your glass jars should be up to the challenge if you don't store huge amounts of beans per container, but you might want to let some of that gas escape after a time. Some people have had beans explode all over their kitchen when opening large jars of freshly roasted beans. Without one-way valves, bags of freshly roasted beans will rupture due to offgassing.

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