The Enemies of Good Coffee

The Enemies of Good Coffee

Good versus evil. Darkness versus light. Batman and the Joker. Like it or not, every Dudley Do-Right has a Snidely Whiplash.

Good coffee has its enemies, too.

What are the most common enemies of good coffee? Blade grinders should be obvious culprits. Just go ahead and throw yours away. But there are others. The short list would include such things as light, moisture, and high temperatures. These mostly deal with how and where your beans are stored.

Of these three, moisture and temperature do the most damage in the quickest fashion. It takes light a bit longer to degrade the quality of your beans. Too much moisture and high temperatures speed up the process of oxidation, when oxygen wrecks havoc on your beans.

Some people believe you should immediately freeze your beans (sounds more painful than it really is) when you bring them home from the roaster. But the majority of people believe that freezing the beans doesn’t help; in fact, it may actually be detrimental.

At home I use an Airscape Container that effectively seals out the air, light and moisture. Since I home roast and need to degass the beans, I’ll leave the valves open for about six hours or so. I also keep the canister in the cabinet, out of the light. In a pinch, I’ll use a tupperware dish and hide it in the cabinet, too — but that’s for beans that I anticipate going through pretty quickly.

Don’t let the enemies of good coffee ruin your beans!