Can I Freeze My Coffee Beans?

Some of the most common questions that I here from coffee drinkers are “Can I freeze my coffee beans? or Can I freeze whole beans? or Can I freeze ground coffee?" In this article, let’s take a quick look at answers to these questions. For a more in-depth examination of freezing coffee beans, check out my article, “How to keep roasted coffee fresh”.

Coffee Bean Outgassing

How Long Does Coffee Remain Fresh?

Here’s a little-known fact that most coffee lovers don’t know. All coffee begins going stale, i.e. bitter, immediately after roasting. The taste of the coffee changes pretty quickly. A few days after roasting the change in taste, is noticeable. A week out, even non-loving coffee drinkers can tell the difference.

The coffee industry tries to mitigate the beans going stale by packaging the beans in bags with one-way valves. Unfortunately, these one-way valves aren’t so “one-way”. In fact, the one-way valves don’t work. They continually allow air, thus oxygen, into the bag. Thus, nearly every coffee bag in America contains stale beans.

Why Does Coffee Go Bad?

Food spoils due to the presence of oxygen. Eliminate the oxygen and most dry foods will last, almost 100% unchanged for months if not years. Here at Lake City Coffee, we package our beans in double sealed, air-tight bags. We also include an oxygen absorber in the bottom of each bag.

These oxygen absorbers not only eliminate all oxygen in the bag, but they also eliminate all the oxygen inside the beans. Once the oxygen is gone, the beans will outgas CO2. This is a very good thing because CO2 is an inert gas, thus stabilizing and preserving the bean’s freshness.

why roasted coffee doesn't last
Can I Freeze My Coffee Beans?

Can I Keep My Beans in The Cupboard?

If you have any coffee company’s beans other than ours, then it doesn’t matter where you store your beans. They’re already toast. I’m not kidding. It doesn’t matter.

On the other hand, if you have Lake City Coffee beans, packaged in our air-tight bag with oxygen absorber, you can keep your beans in the cupboard for at least a month. Even after a month, most people will not notice any difference in taste. Here's the bottom line. If you’re going to consume our coffee over the next month, then leaving it in a cupboard works perfectly fine, beyond that, you'll want to freeze it.

Can I Freeze My Coffee Beans?

Absolutely! In fact, I always have an emergency bag of coffee stuffed in my freezer. Will freezing affect the taste of your beans. Yes.

That being said, I seriously doubt that most people would notice the minute change of taste. As a professional taste tester, I would have to do a side-by-side taste test to tell which one was from the freezer and which one was roasted yesterday.

Can I freeze my coffee beans?
Elsa drinking frozen coffee

How Long Will Frozen Coffee Beans Last?

How long will Lake City Coffee’s whole bean coffee last in a freezer? As a rule of thumb, our packaging with O2 absorbers will keep your fresh roasted coffee tasting the following percentages as good as the day it was roasted:

  • Cupboard 3 weeks = 98%
  • Cupboard 6 weeks = 95%
  • Freezer 2 months = 95%
  • Freezer 4 months = 95%
  • Freezer 6 months = 90%
  • Freezer 12 months = 90%

Freeze Whole Bean or Ground?

Generally speaking, you don’t want to grind your beans until the minute or two before brewing.

That being said, I’ve found that grinding your fresh roasted whole bean coffee, sealing the ground coffee in an air-tight bag, with an oxygen absorber, and then freezing the ground coffee, will taste minutely better than freezing whole bean coffee.

Black Rifle Coffee Company Alternative
What roast freezes best

What Roast Freezes Best?

Unquestionably, nearly every coffee company in the country over roasts their beans. Italian roast, French roast, Continental roast, etc. are all just marketing terms for different shades of burnt. Therefore, if you’re freezing any coffee except Lake City Coffee beans, then what roast you buy and freeze isn’t going to matter.

The secrete sauce, if you will, in coffee are the bean’s oils. Those oils contain all the bioflavonoids, antioxidants, caffeine, flavor, and aroma. Because these oils are critical to the quality of your coffee, we roast low-n-slow to preserves those precious oils. With the oils preserved, it doesn't matter what roast you buy, they'll all freeze well.

Can I Grind Frozen Beans?

I’ve done side-by-side testing of grinding and then immediately brewing frozen beans alongside room-temperature beans. I really can’t tell the difference.

But here’s an important tip. Do not use a blade grinder. Blade grinders (the cheap grinders) produce grounds that are a mixture of different sizes. Some of the grounds are fine, some are medium, and some are course. For the perfect grind, use a burr grinder. This is the exact same technology as a pepper grinder. I use a hand burr grinder and I don’t have any difficulty grinding frozen beans.

Coffee Pour Over Made In USA
Russell and Alisha Volz
Good Coffee Blends vs. Bad Coffee Blends
Russell Roasting Decaf Coffee

Lake City Coffee

Almost a decade ago, Alisha and I (Russell) were on a mission from God (for you Blues Brothers fans) to find the very best coffee beans. Coffee shop beans didn’t cut it. Five star resorts and restaurants didn't cut it. Online coffee didn’t cut it.

Then in 2015, we were on our honeymoon in Costa Rica. We told our tourist guide, Carlos, of our quest. He said, "I have a cousin that owns a coffee plantation in the Tarrazu region". (Everyone in Central America has a cousin). So, the three of us drove to the other end of the country to visit his cousin. OMG! The his coffee was off-the-charts spectacular.

Here we are 10 years later and we still bring in about two dozen samples of beans from different plantations in the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. We taste test them all. Then we pick just one bean and contract for enough coffee to last us for a year. So, we source 100% of our coffee from the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica.

All that to say, if you're looking for whole bean coffee that's super smooth, non-bitter, with well balanced flavors, then you're going to love our coffee.

Can I freeze my coffee beans?


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