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Freezing coffee beans

edited January 1970 in Have your say
Hi everyone

I am a big fan of this forum, been distracted on other things (baby) for some time but am trying to get off my butt and make some contributions to this great community.

Anyway, came across this article the other day (hope it's ok to post link) and I must say it was really surprising as I was of the belief that freezing beans was a no-no. The idea that there are some benefits and that it could open a way to preserving sought after/rare roasts is really quite fascinating. Ultra low temperature freezers are probably unlikely to make their way to many homes, so I'll stick to using room temperature beans for now  :D



  • Hey there DrD... this is a much debated topic and It’s a good article. I have frozen beans at work if we are to be away for a week or two and no chance to roast before returning. If the brands are thawed appropriately before use I can’t taste a difference (subjective relaxation of standards for convenience??) but one of my colleagues certainly does (my Wine is better than your wine and was only $6 a bag). To each their own, but I too will stick to being fresh. Enjoy the new Bub... they grow up too fast!
  • Hi Brett have you tried grinding while frozen? Some of those interviewed in the article considered this the way to go, as it changed the way the beans fractured during grinding and supposedly led to some improvement. All very interesting. Little bub is a year old now and getting into all sorts of mischief. He is especially interested in the coffee machine and I have to keep him out of cup storage area all the time!
  • Hi DrD... yep, I used to grind straight from the freezer but I found I was needing to clean my grinder much more often thanks to the Queensland heat and condensation. They grow up so fast eh... especially when you are consistently sleep-deprived and surfing their ‘phases’.
  • Yep there certainly is alot of interesting thoughts as to freezing beans, and many competitors have used it to great effect. But yeah the conditions have to be very specific to avoid alot of variables that are brought up as a result... but I'd love to experiment with it :)
  • The only thing with freezing beans that I can think of is that they will lose moisture and thus flavour as they return to room temperature so maybe only taking out as many as you need for the number of coffees that you are making is the way to go ?

  • I have been freezing beans for quite a while. I prefer to roast 3-4 900g batches at a time, and freeze a portion of each roast. Any coffee for pourover is also frozen. I use a form of mason jar. They are in fact glass jam jars (from Croatia). The jars are a nice size and hold about 200g of coffee. I fill a jar to the brim with freshly roasted beans (2-3 hr degas) and put some glad wrap over the top. I then put the lid on. The glad wrap helps seal the jar a bit tighter. The beans are then put into my bottom drawer of my freezer which is set to fast freeze at -23deg C. I have experimented with taking out only what I need to defrosting the whole jar. 200g is enough for 2 days so the beans are used quickly. For pourover, I will let the beans defost before grinding. For espresso, I have single dosed frozen beans straight into the grinder. No issues and you get plenty of aromatics. My findings are that there is little loss of flavour. Once the beans defrost they need to be used up within a couple of days. I prefer to freeze the beans asap and not degas for a few days as I believe the beans keep longer this way. My experimentation is expanding, and I have not tried ageing the beans and then freezing them, that is next. Our fridge/freezer is one of the newer Samsungs with temp control. When I take the beans out of the freezer and remove a portion, the jar goes staight back in. I do not experience any condensation issues as the process is very quick. I also prefer glass jars to the common coffee bag pouch. Another option used by some is to vacuum seal the beans into small bags, by specific weights/portions and remove from freezer as required. This would use up a lot of plastic, plus I do not have a vacuum sealer, so have not tried this. My advice is give freezing a go. I was hesitant at first but once I tweaked my technique there is no looking back. Always handy to have a stash of fresh beans on hand. As to pourover there is a lot of trials to be had. I find some lightly roasted beans are best at 20days+ and you do notice the difference when making pourover. My consumption of beans for pourover is low, so I have many experiments still to try.
    Commercial roasters will never recommend freezing as there are too many caveats with quality control. Also they prefer if you keep buying fresh beans from them.

  • Sounds like you are getting some good results from you're technique I'll.have to give it a whirl !

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