Long Term Bean Storage in Asia
Hi, and thanks in advance for your help.
While I am an Aussie, I live in New Delhi India where it is very hot for part of the year and very humid for other parts of the year. For health reasons I am on decaf only but sadly while there are a growing number of good roasters, there are no decaf beans to be found in India at all.
Between my own and friends travel I can get hand carried deliveries of beans from other parts of the world every 3-4 months, but the dilemma is how to keep them stored in between times (my work schedule means that roasting the beans myself is not an option). In summer my apartment can get to 45 degrees Celsius, and in monsoon having humidity hovering around 90% is not unusual.
So what do you suggest that would enable me to keep my precious decaf beans fresh enough to give me great coffee.
I'm in Sri Lanka at the moment so much in the same boat as you. Luckily for you though, you have CS site sponsors Di Bella in India. I would contact them as a first port of call to see if they can ship in decaf for you.
I get my beans brought with guests in 3kg lots (whole beans of course!) and store them in their bags, in the fridge until I use them. While it's not ideal, it does prolong the freshness of the beans. They're not quite as full flavoured as when I first get them, but it's still better than what I can source locally.
The best solution would be to organise a subscription or regular delivery of beans from a roaster/s in Asia - from my understanding the coffee business is booming in China and Indonesia if you didn't want to order from Australia (although you could easily do that).
To provide another option you could have a larger "hand carried delivery" and freeze the beans. I actually haven't checked out the CS forum to see if this is acceptable, but on the flip side it is mentioned by Scott Rao in the Professional Barista's Handbook, which is good enough for me. I don't freeze them myself but it's an option.
It's mentioned that freezing reduces oxidisation rates by fifteen-fold. Freeze the beans in a sealed container, and only remove the amount of beans for your next brew. Happy brewing!