Coffee Kryptonite – what is it and how can you stop it?
It’s understandable that most of us view coffee as indestructible. When we describe it, we use words like robust, strong, and full bodied, all of which depict a substance that is basically unstoppable. And let’s not forget, a good cup of coffee can be the source of our own invincibility, right?
Well, the truth is, just like Superman, coffee has its kryptonite – natural elements that weaken the beans’ flavour and aroma. They need to be protected!
The bad news is, there is more than one element to watch out for when protecting your beans. The great news is, there is a solution… but let’s cover the bad news first.
Kryptonite 1: Oxygen
Yep – fresh air! When air meets coffee beans, it starts to damage sensitive aroma components. Essentially the smell from the beans starts to escape. Over time, your coffee won’t have that great, rich smell anymore.
More significant, however, is the effect oxygen will have on taste. Coffee oil is naturally present in roasted coffee beans and is the major source of the coffee’s flavour. Oxidisation of the coffee oil produces unpleasant, rancid tasting components and worst of all, this can occur fairly quickly.
You also need to consider that if smells can leak out of a coffee bean, they can also leak in. You may have noticed that your coffee ends up absorbing the smell of whatever it is stored next to, therefore affecting the taste. This is especially true if you have stored your coffee in the fridge with your dairy, veggies, or worse, fish!
Kryptonite 2: Moisture
Coffee is hygroscopic. This means that it absorbs moisture from the surrounding environment very easily. Moisture on the surface of your coffee will leach out much of the aroma and flavour from the beans, so you want to keep it as dry as possible.
Many people believe that storing coffee in the fridge or freezer will help keep it fresh. Unfortunately, both the common household fridge and freezer are quite moist and will damage the coffee easily.
Kryptonite 3: Heat
Warmer days are on their way, and this is not good news for the coffee beans. When beans are heated up too much, the oils quickly start to sweat out onto the surface of the bean. These oils are highly volatile and will quickly evaporate, again dispersing much of the flavour and aroma you should be capturing in the cup.
Kryptonite 4: Light
Light, whether it’s sunlight or artificial light, is a form of energy. When coffee beans are exposed to light, it accelerates the breakdown of the chemical compounds that are responsible for the flavour and aroma of the beans. In other words, your coffee will go stale.
The solution: Correct storage
If you’ve read all the above information, you will have cleverly determined that beans need a cool, dark, and dry environment for storage to ensure they stay fresh.
Step 1: an airtight container that you CANNOT see into. Remember, the darker inside, the better.
We love Airscape cannisters – its clever design removes and locks out the air from the container, making sure that your beans are protected. Using an air valve, the Airscape lid forces out the air as you push down on the inner lid, releasing the air from the container. You can then close the valve to lock out the air and lock in the freshness.
It’s durable, stainless-steel body makes it strong and sturdy, while resisting stains and minimising odour retention. The BPA-free, clear top lid allows you to see how much you have left in the container and allows for easy storage and stacking.
Step 2: Location. Keep your cannister somewhere low (because remember, heat rises), and away from stoves, ovens, and microwaves.
If you’d like more advice on storing, brewing or choosing the right coffee bean for you, drop us a line. We love to talk all things coffee.
Airscape cannisters are available from our website and can be delivered to you with your next coffee order.