Freezing coffee beans, what is up with that?


(j l) #1

Anyone freeze coffee beans? Why do it? Affect on flavor? Good for all roast profiles? Grind consistency frozen? Allow to come to room temperature before grinding?

If this is a good thing, is there a technical hurdle that is insurmountable in a cafe setting?

Anyone try nitrogen?


(todd delvecchio) #2

Why no responses to this post? I’m interested as I do overbuy at times and know I’m not going to get through all the beans before they age too much. I am wondering if the freezer will buy me a week or two (or 3) of shelf life. Does anyone have any experience with this?


(j l) #3

Half the questions are actually answered in the blog post from Matt on the research paper for grind particle morphology and affect on extraction(paraphrasing).

The other half is not though, so hopefully will get some more input. It seems likely that “life” of the bean could easily be extended several weeks depending on moisture control in freezer.


(Reynold Bergen) #4

I generally get one or two weeks worth of beans so do not freeze although I have before. If you have more than a months supply seal some and freeze them, will prolong the freshness. If you divide your beans into single brew amounts you can throw them directly through the grinder but if you freeze larger amounts take them out and allow the temp to stabilize before opening to prevent condensation buildup and do not re freeze. Ideally you wouldn’t freeze, rather buy less beans at a time, but does help if you end up with too much.


(j l) #5

So, I have frozen Klatch coffee beans will give an update over time as I work my way through them. Frozen at 5 days past roast date. This is Ka’u, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

Today first time trying frozen beans (Ethiopia), seemed to give a very smooth and even extraction from the Ethiopian. I think I have room for more extraction so will adjust the grind finer. Definitely one of my better cups.

I have frozen them in a Vacucraft 26oz container with a silica gel pack and humidity indicator. Pumping the Vacucraft 10 times removes a decent amount of air and seems to maintain the seal. This is at -10 Farenheit.


(Amit Ahuja) #6

Freezing is not recommended in beans as other fragrances tend to disturb the actual taste of coffee in the freezer. Instead store the beans in some airtight container. After roasting, the shelf life of a coffee is max 12-15 days where ever you put it too.


(Mike Chapman) #7

Just recently started vacuuming and freezing. Should make for some fun hoarding. :slight_smile:


(j l) #8

For freezing, I have also bought silica gel packs and placed inside as well to grab out any leftover moisture.


(Alfonso) #9

Hi.

I am thinking to freeze coffee beans roasted because I don’t have the possibility to consume coffee before past the optimal time. Moreover, I am doubting about to buy two coffees from Kenia and the minimal quantity is 250 gr. and I won’t be able to use it in less five or six months.

My intention is to buy a sealing machine like this:

Vacuum Sealing System

and freeze in the fridge among 0º C - 5º C.

How were your experience freezing coffee beans? Do you think (in my case) it is going to work?

Thanks in advance for your help.


(Michael Cameron) #10

Hey Alfonso, you’ll need to place your vaccum sealed beans in the freezer, getting below 0°C to experience most benefits of freezing. That vacuum sealer is exactly the same as I use, and it’s very good! Throw out some peas in the freezer, seal your beans, and get them in there ; )


(j l) #11

Adding to what Michael posted with my own experience.

Add silica dessicant packs to extract moisture when freezing, this has actually worked surprisingly well without vaccum sealing, though only tested over 6 weeks maximum time.

Freezing for 5-6 months should be fine, though I would use silica packs as well. They are cheap in bulk.

Matt and Michael have saved me from throwing out half my coffee, freezing works great.

So I now can buy more variety of coffee and spend less at the roasters… Not such a good deal for roasters… or maybe it is?


(Alfonso) #12

Many thanks for the info and the help.

I am going to make it. :smiley: Cross fingers.


(Michelle Johnson) #13

More roasters should freeze their green coffee! Save those super tasty lots and offer them years later. G. Howell did it!


(Jason Chuah) #14

So you put the silica gel pack inside the bag (without vac seal) together with the beans and then into the freezer?
How do you determine if it works? No taste degradation etc?


(j l) #15

Yes.

And

Yes.

Without silica packets, when opening bags the moisture freezes and beans stick together. Packs are good for absorbing moisture until air temp in bag is freezing.


(Chuck Nigash) #16

If you search a bit, you’ll read new studies on frozen roast — both personal testimony and academic. And a few months back, I blind-tasted 3-year-old roasted beans against fresh roast that was allowed to rest 36 hours. The group of roasters thought they were nearly identical. Scott Rao led the group.

When you roast, put them in a valved bag and squeeze the air out (there is new argument on this too, as oxygen dies past a certain temperature). Take what you want and put the bag back in the freezer, never letting the bean temp dip much. Your roast will lock in at a high level of freshness. I have tried same-day roasts — one kept in a valved tin can and one in a valved bag in the freezer. Brewing them one hour apart, both are equal in flavor.

It comes down to this: How long are you keeping your beans? Most of us will drink 10-12 oz of roasted beans in 7 days. Seven days at room temp will taste virtually the same as frozen. Frozen beans will hold a decided advantage by the 10- or 12-day mark.


(j l) #17

One type of roast where immediate freezing has strong benefits, is dark roast, protecting the exposed oils from oxidation.

After a year of freezing and using silica packs with no vacuum sealing, can’t tell any difference in cup quality.

To your point, taking what you want and putting back in freezer promptly. Works great!