Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Great Coffee Storage Debate

Mmmm coffee. There is absolutely no better way to start a day. And it is the greatest drink to share with a friend in the afternoon (unless you're getting the party started early with some mid-afternoon brewskies).

Coffee is a part of my morning meditation. Even the smell of coffee makes me smile and wakes my brain from a dreamy haze.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that I'm a coffee snob. But I'm definitely picky about what coffee I drink.

In general, Starbucks coffee doesn't impress me. It's not bad but it's also not amazing. So not worth the price for me. This opinion was only further solidified after living in Guatemala. Guatemala has GREAT coffee and numerous different coffee shops on every corner. None of them are Starbucks. Yup, Starbucks does not exist in Guatemala. I would also venture to say that Starbucks would FAIL in Guatemala because the coffee chains that already exist in the country are so much better.

When I buy coffee for making at home I usually go with one of two options: (1) Mayorga coffee - a local company (DC area) that is all about socially conscious coffee production. Oh and their coffee is excellent. Their tagline Good Coffee. Good Karma makes perfect sense. (2) Trader Joe's coffee - weird psuedo-hippie grocery store with a free trade angle as well. Not only do they have a wide variety of types of coffee from different regions of the world, all their coffees are extremely reasonably priced. Oh and I can use their coffee grinder for the appropriate courseness/fineness for my drip coffee maker or espresso maker.

Once I get the coffee home, the real question becomes: How do I store coffee? My roommate in college put hers in the refridgerator. Another friend hides his in the freezer (I must mention that he drink Folgers .... I'll leave it at that). My mom keeps hers on the counter next to the coffee maker.

Who is right? I've heard some wild tales about how refrigerating your coffee sucks out all the flavorful goodness. And I've hear that putting coffee in the freezer makes the grounds take on the taste of the frozen shrimp piled next to it (or whatever you keep in your freezer). Oh the horror!

I try to keep my coffee in a cool dark place in my kitchen (and easily accessible so I'm not Angry-Kelly in the mornings). This seems reasonable enough for me. But since I LOVE coffee beyond description, I figure I need to know the right way to do things...

How do you store your coffee? And can you point me towards a coffee expert?

(I think I know my next book genre obsession)


  1. Check this out...

    You know what I do! Works for me!

  2. Haha, I think I looked at this page while I was writing this post.

    Even more than a coffee snob's guide, I really want to read about the history of coffee. I'm turning into a food history nerd.

  3. I am the total opposite of a coffee snob. I love Starbucks just for the familiarity of it :)

  4. I worked at a cute, artsy coffee shop for two years and never store your coffee in the refrigerator or the freezer. It works for a while, but imagine that every time you are opening the door the coffee is heating up a little and when the temperature change happens it drains the flavor and the color from your coffee.

    An airtight container is best, or those light reflective bags with the big zip-loc seals.

    I'm back to drinking instant coffee, so pppffff! to you.

  5. @Kyle Living in Chile does put up some barriers for being a coffee snob. I will admit that I always went for the Starbucks when I was missing American style drip coffee. But I grew to love espresso and Americanos there.

    On a related note, have you heard about Starbucks instant coffee?? I thought I escaped the instant coffee when I left Chile, but apparently they're trying to create a market for it in the US! Nooooo.

    @Sara I was hoping that you would have the answer for me, being my coffee partner in crime. :o) Sorry for the instant coffee! Invest in a coffee maker! I had one at my Bustamante apartment. It was heavenly (despite the horribly small variety of coffee in grocery stores).