One of the most interesting discussion in the coffee community is how you keep your coffee fresh, how you store it, and one of the interesting idea is to freeze the coffee beans. There have been a lot of debates about this. Scientists have been studying this option too. The taste and aroma is a big part of why people love coffee, that’s why preserving its freshness is important. So, is it good to freeze coffee beans? We will discuss it here.
What Happens When You Freeze Coffee Beans?
This idea first comes up because we love to put foods into refrigerator or even freezing it to preserve its freshness, so why not try it with coffee beans? This method have 2 sides, it can be good, and it can be bad, depends on how you do it.
The bad side
We know that if roasted coffee turns damp, the oil in the coffee is affected and the taste changes. As stated by Scott McMartin, one of the well-respected and well-known coffee testers in the world, coffee will start to degrade once it gets contacted with any kinds of precipitation.
The coffee’s cell structure will change once the coffee comes into contact with moisture. As a result, the aromas and the flavors of the coffee start to lose. This scenario will happen for coffee that the packaging already opened or doesn’t packaged properly.
The good side
If the packaging is good and unopened, like other foods, freezing coffee beans will keep it fresh for a longer time and also its shelf life is increased.
One thing you shouldn’t do is storing the coffee beans normally after it’s exposed to moisture in the freezer if the packaging already opened or doesn’t packaged properly. This will cause mold to grow, the worst sign of coffee beans go bad, making it dangerous to drink
The Study About Freezing Coffee Beans
There are a lot of studies about coffee since it’s one of the most consumed beverages in the world. However study about freezing coffee beans mostly slipped through the scientists’ net, except for a few scientist.
Some of the scientists taking a part in the study were Ken Fox, the founder of one of first online coffee shops in Seattle, and Jim Schulman, the SCAA’s founding member. Both of them set out to find out whether roasted coffee that is frozen could bring any effect on the coffee’s taste.
It is worth noting that the study was actually Ken Fox’s second study on this particular subject. In his first study, he found out that the roasted beans were just fine when they were frozen for up to two months. Nonetheless, his study result got some methodological criticism such as the choice of tasters and grinders.
Meanwhile, in his second study, Fox and Schulman found out that there was no any significant difference between the frozen and the unfrozen coffees. However, in some cases, the frozen coffee was more preferred than the fresh coffee.
Besides, there was also a suggestion saying that the roasted coffee that was frozen could peak at different rates to the roasted beans that were subjected to the temperature of the room. Nevertheless, both scientists concluded that the study’s results showed that there was no significant difference between storing coffee beans inside or outside the freezer.
The scientific research on this is still surely lacking. Although the study has been conducted for the second time, the result still got the influence of the kinds of coffee beans used and how it’s brewed. So, until further research is done, coffee lovers could keep coffee fresh by freezing it or not freezing it. There should not be any judgment here.
Yes, there have been some researches on this subject although still a few. Although the result of the study showed that there is no difference on the coffee after being frozen, there must be future research to strengthen the finding. Freezing it or not freezing it, it is all up to you.