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Thread: Keep Coffee in Freezer

  1. #1
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    Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Just picked up some nice roasted coffee from Veneziano today, 2 Kg to be precise.
    I put some of this in the fridge, what is your opinion about this practise?
    Also, when I take some out of the fridge, how do I treat this frozen package, has it aged while frozen?
    Or should I treat it like picked up today from Veneziano??

    As always, it was a pleasure to deal with these professional people at Veneziano,
    they even shouted me and my wife a double shot Flat White, Superb.
    Thanks Cassie and Jane!!

    Regards,

    Connie and Dick


  2. #2
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    This has frequently been posted on. In short. No fridge. No freezer. Store in an airtight/oneway valve container in a cool dark place. Grind immediately before brewing and use with-in 3 weeks of roasting.


    Java "In brief" phile

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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Hi Dick,

    I think that Java is on the money. The one possible exception that I have heard about is deep freezing immediately after roasting, but, even then, the guy who I heard that from thought that opening the refridgerator door frequently might be a problem. Ill have to try an experiment to test this out at some stage. One thing that Im a little iffy on is whether or not condensation will be a problem ... I presume that the go would be to let the beans all come up to temperature over half a day or so ...

    Cheers,

    Luca "mad scientist?" C

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    If you dont go through 2kg in 3 weeks then just make more frequent trips to Veneziano.

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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    With a low moisture content it may be possible that they would be a candidate for ultra low temperature storage but why would be my question!

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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Thanks everybody for your input.
    The reason I asked was mainly curiousity. I will stick to what TG said and make more frequent trips.
    Thanks, Dick

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    freezing roasted beans: a defintive study

    Roasting large batches (approx 1kg) and freezing portions of them has long been my practice. Id prefer to roast once a month than once a week! Ive always had good results to MY palate but as Im no supertaster I was prepared to accept prevailing wisdom that there was some quality loss even though I couldnt detect it. My experince has been as long as the beans are frozen soon after roasting they taste identical to beans a couple of days old. Once out of the freezer they seem to age slightly faster than a non frozen sample so I freeze small 100g portions.

    So it was with some interest that I came across a very detailed study by Ken Fox and Jim Schulman which concludes there is no discernable tatste difference between frozen and non frozen beans.

    The experiment was extremely rigorous as youd expect from a *couple of scientits, (Ken *is an MD specialist radiologist and Jim Schulman is as far as I know a phd in statistical analysis or some related field).


    Anyway here is the link
    http://www.home-barista.com/store-coffee-in-freezer.html

    be warned its very detailed :o *its also on alt.coffee

  8. #8
    Senior Member julsajet's Avatar
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    Re: freezing roasted beans: a defintive study

    Just curious - How do you defrost them ? and Do you have any problems with moisture/condensation?

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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    mauricem....

    Scientists make instant coffee.... and reckon it tastes like coffee too...

    Seriously most people wouldnt / couldnt taste the difference I dare say- and for them they can freeze, vacuum pack or whatever.

    IMHO it doesnt take scientific qualifications to determine what tastes good or bad but a very highly developed palate (which I dont have).... however those who do (like people who judge Barista competitions and cup blends for competitions...) say it makes a considerable difference...... and Im not going to argue with them... so if they say dont freeze or vacuum pack (and they do) then I wont do it......

    Maybe I wont taste the difference, but the alternative to these techniques is easy- so I just do that- to have (and serve others with) the best quality and freshest coffee I can. Maybe, just maybe some of my visitors can taste the difference.

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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    To each his own I say.

    For me, I would rather roast every 5 days and know I am drinking fresh roasted coffee.

    Seems like it would be easier to roast every two weeks than go to the trouble of freezing 100g bags every month.

    I am currently experimenting with storing for longer and it is working fine so far.

    Also, a roast only takes me a max of 30 minutes from go to woe so no big deal.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: freezing roasted beans: a defintive study

    Quote Originally Posted by mauricem link=1171354650/0#6 date=1173598840
    Once out of the freezer they seem to age slightly faster than a non frozen sample so I freeze small 100g portions.
    The oils, etc. contained in a coffee bean expand during freezing, therefore altering the molecular and physical structure of the bean. Under a microsocope, a bean that has been frozen has a heavily crazed surface - osmosis allows oils to seep out, while moisture seeps in.

    If you think Im starting to sound like an authority on the subject, Im not, though the accelerated ageing would suggest that something has certainly happened to the molecular structure (Robusto, where are you when I need you?).

    As you refer to frozen/non-frozen tasting the same, I guess you have or can obtain a sample of both, so suggest you try this test for yourself. The sense of smell is the most acute sense most of us have.

    - grind some of the frozen beans and grind some that havent been frozen
    - smell one and then the other
    - get someone else to smell them too
    - if you both agree they dont smell the same, then they are definitely not going to taste the same, its just that you cant taste the difference! ;)

  12. #12
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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Hi All,

    Well I reckon you can smell/taste the difference in as much as the frozen beans lack the intensity and liveliness (flavours dancing around on your palate) that fresh non-frozen beans have. The general flavour profile seems to remain the same though, but at a much reduced level than "fresh" (just dont think of frozen beans as fresh :-?) beans. I carried out this experiment not long after I started home-roasting just to see what method of storage was going to work best for me.

    Mal.

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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1171354650/0#8 date=1173601044
    mauricem....

    Scientists make instant coffee.... and reckon it tastes like coffee too...

    Seriously most people wouldnt / couldnt taste the difference I dare say- and for them they can freeze, vacuum pack or whatever.

    IMHO it doesnt take scientific qualifications to determine what tastes good or bad but a very highly developed palate (which I dont have).... however those who do (like people who judge Barista competitions and cup blends for competitions...) say it makes a considerable difference...... and Im not going to argue with them... *so if they say dont freeze or vacuum pack (and they do) then I wont do it...... *

    Maybe I wont taste the difference, but the alternative to these techniques is easy- so I just do that- *to have (and serve others with) the best quality and freshest coffee I can. Maybe, just maybe some of my visitors can taste the difference.
    JavaB, you obviously dont know these people. JimSchulman is an obsessive coffee cupper. He runs a forum for coffee cuppers. For him taste is everything. If he reckons he cant taste the difference, then his word usually sits pretty well with most people. Ken Fox is also a well known tinkerer and together these guys have used blind tasting techniques to test the difference between vibe vs rotary pumps (Ken has two Cimbali Juniors, one with a vibe and one with a rotary), pre-infusion vs no pre-infusion and now it seems freezing vs non freezing.

    On the freezing front, I had to store some of my fresh beans in the freezer for a few weeks, while working on the Pav. Once I got them out and thawed them sufficiantly, they produced a very nice shot or two.

    From my experience, freezing delays ageing, so you cant freeze indefinitely. Most volatiles wont freeze, but their release seems to be slowed. Still Ive frozen fresh beans and come back 6 months or more later to definitely stale beans.

    The process for freezing is to use zip locked bags with one-way valves. Suck the air out of the bag. Let the beans degas a bit in the bags until they puff up again, then suck that air out and freeze. That way you have most of the moisture out of the inside of the bag. When you take the beans out again, make sure you let them reach room temperature BEFORE you open the bag. That way moisture wont get in an settle on the beans.

    Cheers,

    Mark.


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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Mark,

    Yep, didnt know their background.... which now does add a lot of credence to their results...

    I just have this thing about most members of the scientific community (and I was in such an area for many years).... who decide to prove something - writing the results first and then find the proof which justifies their results..... call it healthy scepticism.

    I even knew of a PhD student who did exactly that.... with pages and pages of mathematical proof of his assertion..... but unfortunately for him one of the people at Adelaide Uni evaluating the paper (and the only one worldwide) happened to like maths... only to find the first few lines of formulae were correct... as were the last few.... the rest in the middle were absolute cr@p!!!

    But in this case it does sound like freezing may have some short term merits..... but its not that hard to roast once a week either!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    I just cant help myself....

    Sparky, the process you describe is definitely a "goer" and has been around for a while......its called Moccona! :P ;D ;D

    Maybe I should change my name to Dobbie....bad Dobbie!

  16. #16
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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1171354650/0#13 date=1173673483
    Mark,

    Yep, didnt know their background.... which now does add a lot of credence to their results...

    I just have this thing about most members of the scientific community (and I was in such an area for many years).... who decide to prove something - writing the results first and then find the proof which justifies their results..... call it healthy scepticism.

    I even knew of a PhD student who did exactly that.... with pages and pages of mathematical proof of his assertion..... but unfortunately for him one of the people at Adelaide Uni evaluating the paper (and the only one worldwide) happened to like maths... only to find the first few lines of formulae were correct... as were the last few.... the rest in the middle were absolute cr@p!!!

    But in this case it does sound like freezing may have some short term merits..... but its not that hard to roast once a week either!
    Scepticism can be both good and bad. Sceptics can be as bad as "true believers". What is healthy is to ask questions and then seek answers. The scientific method is the best way to do this in an unbiased way. Jim and Ken are shaking the accepted paradigm and I applaud them for that.

    Scientific fraud is not new. The recent cae of Jan Hendrik Scon is a case in point. However, all of my colleagues do science because they love discovery. The joy of discovery is a euphoric high that is hard to describe. Its like the God Shot that keeps us coming back for more. I think most scientists are driven by this. Nevertheless, the pressure of publishing can give rise to fraud and sloppy science. Were only human afterall.

    Cheers,

    Mark.


  17. #17
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1171354650/0#14 date=1173673625
    I just cant help myself....

    Sparky, the process you describe is definitely a "goer" and has been around for a while......its called Moccona! :P ;D ;D

    Maybe I should change my name to Dobbie....bad Dobbie!
    Apparently Moccona is not coffee.
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1173353195

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1171354650/15#16 date=1173690702
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1171354650/0#14 date=1173673625
    I just cant help myself....

    Sparky, the process you describe is definitely a "goer" and has been around for a while......its called Moccona! :P ;D ;D

    Maybe I should change my name to Dobbie....bad Dobbie!
    Apparently Moccona is not coffee.
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1173353195
    In my book, neither are frrozen beans! I had a laugh

  19. #19
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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    just got this sent through to me regarding some studies on the topic. *

    Storing & Preparing Your Coffee
    Let us start by addressing one of the biggest points of confusion in the world of coffee. Many individuals within the specialty coffee industry labor under the misconception that the freezing of roasted coffee beans will adversely affect the fats that are present, in a manner that is similar to the freezing of cream. This is completely false. The fats in cream have formed mycelium (microscopic globules) and are in colloidal suspension. If this colloidal suspension is challenged by freezing, the mycelium break apart and the suspension collapses. In contrast, coffee beans are solid and the fat is supported by solid cell structures, and no such collapse is possible. Freeze your coffee beans, but pay close attention to the following discussion.

    The storage of your precious coffee is extremely important, and there is considerable confusion, at all levels, as to what the proper methods are. Not only did we spend three years researching this aspect of coffee at all levels in the specialty coffee industry, but we retained the services of a chemist, who specializes in the chemistry of coffee, to provide unequivocal direction in this area. The following rules will provide you with the guidance you need to protect the quality level of your coffee beans.

    • Dont let coffee beans come into contact with oxygen. Oxidation in coffee beans is the number one factor in causing coffee to go stale.

    • Dont let coffee beans come into contact with moisture, either in the liquid or vapor forms. Water vapor will condense when cooled down to form liquid water. Just remember that the water vapor contained in air at room temperature will condense into the liquid form when the air is cooled down to a certain temperature, referred to as the "dew point". The exact dew point depends on the amount of water vapor (relative humidity) contained in a given quantity of air at room temperature. Rest assured that your refrigerator, and certainly your freezer, will produce the condensation of water from room temperature air. Water greatly increases the oxidation within coffee beans, and the presence of water in coffee beans leaves them in a very unstable condition.

    • Dont let coffee beans come into contact with light. Aside from raising the temperature of the beans, light will dramatically increase the chemical activity on the surface of the beans.

    • Keep the temperature of the beans as low as possible. Lowering the temperature reduces the rate of all chemical activity in the beans. A popular misconception weve found is that people, both at the consumer level and the industrial level, believe that if all the oxygen and moisture are removed from the atmosphere surrounding coffee beans, the coffee will not go stale. Not true! There are chemical reactions going on inside coffee beans that do not require oxygen, and are referred to as "anaerobic". These anaerobic reactions can never be stopped, and will eventually destroy the quality of the coffee. They can, however be considerably slowed down by lowering the temperature. The lower the temperature the better. If you have opened a bag of coffee that was packed in nitrogen, the atmosphere will eliminate the protective benefits of the nitrogen. If you dont plan to use all of this coffee within a few days, you should repack the coffee in Zip Lock plastic bags. Each bag should contain the amount of coffee you consume in a few days. The plastic will prevent air and water from entering, but it will not prevent the loss of crucial flavor volatiles. If the coffee is going to be stored for a long period (such as weeks) you might consider wrapping each plastic bag with aluminum foil which is a perfect gas barrier. Coffee should not come directly into contact with aluminum because the acids in coffee will react with the aluminum.. The temperature in the freezer and your taste sensitivity will dictate if they can be successfully stored for a longer period of time. Six months is quite realistic.

    • Dont allow frozen, or cool coffee beans to come into contact with warm air, unless you plan to use all of the beans being exposed right away. Remember that warm air contains water vapor which will condense immediately on the cool surface of the beans. The condensed water will be rapidly absorbed into the beans. It is a good idea to take a packet of beans out of the freezer the night before you are going to open the packet.

    • Do not apply extreme heat to frozen beans or try to thaw them out in a microwave oven. Raising the temperature of the beans too high will restart many chemical reactions that will immediately destroy the quality of the coffee.

    • Never grind coffee beans until you are ready to brew. Ground coffee simply cannot be reasonably preserved in any way.

    • If you have purchased pre-ground coffee, all of the preceding principles apply, but be aware that the grinding process has destroyed one of the most significant preservation factors ... the physical structure of the whole bean itself. The coffee bean provides natural layers of paraffin and oil which significantly retard the loss of flavor volatiles and carbon dioxide (carbon dioxide prevents oxidation). These layers of protection also make it more difficult for oxygen to enter the bean. Once the physical structure of the bean has been broken down, the staling process jumps into high gear and races ahead of any known technology to control the degradation.


    this was taken from a roasting company in USA. * www.blackbearcoffee.com/perfect.htm *(If website not appropirate then please remove Mods and they can PM for link.


    I think at the end of the day, freezer may extend the life but a lot of factors come into play that could run the risk of degrading your beans quicker in the defrost period and you really need to plan ahead for the morning coffee. *I think just keeping it fresh store it in the cupboard in the zip lock bag and drink it within 2-3 weeks. *Its not really hard to do this. *
    Cheers
    Steve


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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Great Post Goodies,

    Heres a good tool to help visualize SIZE, *a lot of the "goodies"(volatiles) in coffee are in the glucose size level. * Youll be able to compare it to a Water Molecule (which is 2 parts hydrogen to 1 part Oxygen)

    From COFFEE BEANs to CARBON ATOMs
    understanding Centimeter(cm), Millimeter(mm), Micrometer(Ám), Nanometer(nm), Angstrom (┼) and Picometer (pm)

    Its very neat and worth the click:

    http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/begin/cells/scale/

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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Also related to storage, i buy beans about once a week and keep them in a tupperware container lids firmly closed in a cupboard away from all other food stuffs.

    This seems to work fine, but im wondering if because no air can get in or out if it might not be the best solution??

    Is there another container id be better using than my tupperware?

    Thanks in advance :) x

  22. #22
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B59594D3E0 link=1171354650/20#20 date=1260352564
    Is there another container id be better using than my tupperware?
    Oneway valve bags such as those available in BeanBay.

    http://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/ViewProduct.aspx/166-250g-stand-up-valve-coffee-bags
    http://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/ViewProduct.aspx/218-500g-stand-up-valve-coffee-bag
    http://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/ViewProduct.aspx/167-1kg-stand-up-valve-coffee-bags


    Java "No Vacuum!" phile

  23. #23
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    There was a thread I kicked off about this subject recently and the question of freezing was very quickly put to rest by an overwhelming number of CSers.

    I was told to freeze unused beans by 2 roasters, one of whom is a leading Melbourne coffee supplier.

    My local blokes argument, and I cant help but feeling theres something to this, is that when you roast coffee beans you are actually cooking them. He argued the best way to preserve the qualities of cooked food was to freeze it. I guess a better way to maximise the quality is to pass it through our digestive system immediately but if, as I usually do for economys sake, buy 2kg at a time, well I dont know how much caffeine it takes to kill you but....

    Quote Originally Posted by 494551564D474149240 link=1171354650/6#6 date=1173598840
    So it was with some interest that I came across a very detailed study by Ken Fox and Jim Schulman which concludes there is no discernable tatste difference between frozen and non frozen beans.

    The experiment was extremely rigorous as youd expect from a *couple of scientits, (Ken *is an MD specialist radiologist and Jim Schulman is as far as I know a phd in statistical analysis or some related field).


    Anyway here is the link
    http://www.home-barista.com/store-coffee-in-freezer.html *
    I found the article very interesting but Im still confused by it all. I guess if I was extremely satisfied drinking my regular coffee that had been kept in a particular way I wouldnt be worried by all the discussion; unfortunately thats not the case at this stage.
    Tony


  24. #24
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Keep Coffee in Freezer

    Here are two of the conclusions reached about Freezing in the home-barista piece.

    Two months is safe: Freshly roasted coffee that is immediately frozen after roasting in a near airtight container in a very cold freezer, can be kept undisturbed in the freezer for at least 2 months and be expected to produce espressos that are not obviously inferior to those made from fresh coffee that has never been frozen.

    Freezing does not accelerate staling after defrosting: At least over a period of time extending to about 8 days after roasting, using the roasting and freezing procedure used here, there was no evidence that previously frozen coffee deteriorates more quickly after defrosting than does coffee that has never been frozen.



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