To freeze roasted coffee or not

Whilst experiments with freezing green coffee have really just started to take off with people like Terroir and the guys at Barismo experimenting with it, it seemed that the topic of freezing roasted coffee was pretty dead and that most people seemed to think it was a bad thing.

That meant that this monster article/experiment from Ken Fox and others over at Home Barista.com was perhaps refreshing and certainly interesting.  I hope further follow up work is done on this.

5 Comments

  1. i’ve thought about this a lot too. i’ve lived with a few people who keep their roast, ground coffee in the freezer and i’s always stuck me as a fairly innocuous thing to freeze it, but then when it defrosts, surely the moisture that condenses on it will have a significant negative effect on the coffee.

    When this is seen in the context of a daily (at least) cycling of getting it out of the freezer, leaving it on the side, making the coffee, then refreezing with additional moisture content this has got to be bad.

    it’d probably be much less damaging with whole beans as they have a much smaller surface area:volume ratio, but it’d probably be worth vac packing the beans before they went into the freezer so that there was no additional condensation as the door was opened etc.

    i should probably look into this a bit more before i start thinking out loud any more out the temperatures that the various liquid element of coffee freeze at etc.

  2. When I’m buying roasted coffee online, I’ll usually by several bags. When I get it (usually in 250g seal foil) I’ll keep one out, and pop the rest straight in the freezer (still sealed) – this is usually 48 hours or so afte roasting by the time I receive them.

    I’ll take out a bag at least 12 hours before using it, and let it defroast in the sealed foil bag to avoid excessive moisture formation.

    Using this method, at least with my Mazzer Mini and Isomac Rituale, I notice very little quality difference compared with the same coffee that’s never been frozen.

    I certainly wouldn’t refreeze, or subject to daily freeze/thaw cycles – but my method works pretty well for me and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend freezing properly sealed roasted coffee

  3. Gotta wonder if Kein’s next project is freezing for 6-12 months or longer. As with a lot of folks in the industry, we get a lot of samples and can never use everything before it stales, so this is good to know.

    I’ve seen large quantities of 5lb bags of roasted whole bean frozen by a 3W-ish shop that’s on EspressoMap, So there’s precedence out there even if nobody admits to it.

  4. There is a roaster here in Denver that freezes all of his coffee, and requires that all his accounts do the same, He has done an amazing amount of research into it, and it really shows. Check it out at : http://www.kaladicoffee.com

  5. I want to say that Terroir/Daterra have done the research on the freezing of roasted coffee as well as the green coffee. Needless to say, the results of their experiments are proprietary, hence the reason for us embarking on the green freezing project. However, I do believe they found that you could freeze roasted coffee to a possitive effect, but dont quote me on it because I dont even remember where I heard that.

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