There was a time (before I started this blog) when my ideal coffee was something like this. I would get a big ol’ bag, store my coffee in the freezer, remove it every morning and brew a pot of coffee with it.
One of the first things I “learned” when I stepped into the craft coffee wormhole, was it is never okay to store coffee in the freezer.
More recently, I’ve read several things that heartily support storing coffee beans in the freezer and some things that stick with the old no freezer rule of thumb.
Well. Which is it? Can I store my coffee in the freezer or is it a bad idea to store coffee in the freezer?
Here is what the experts say and of course (it’s my blog after all) my opinion on the matter.
Why You Should Not Store Your Coffee in the Freezer
According to a leading coffee freshness expert, Chahan Yeretzian (who boasts a PhD in chemistry and a pretty impressive resume), you should not be storing your coffee in the freezer.
Yeretzian reports that the coffee aging process is considerably slowed as you cool down the temperature. He also emphasizes that the small benefits you get from impeding the aging process are more than offset by the risk of structural damage to the coffee as well as the possibility of odor contamination and staling by condensation (warm air condenses on cold coffee beans creating moisture, the sworn enemy of coffee freshness).
The average daily temperature is rising, you can hear the drone of lawn mowers throughout the neighborhood and, most likely, your urges to sit outside and drink a cold refreshing coffee drink have returned. It is cold brew coffee season again (I’m a little late actually).
If you have never made cold brew at home, it is one of the more simple brewing methods. You need minimal equipment and experience. I recommend starting with my Introduction to Cold Brew Coffee post. This will give you a basic understanding of the process and a recipe with an equipment list. If you have never read it, go now and get started.
If you have brewed a batch or two of cold brew or are just looking for some ways to experiment with your coffee, this post is for you. I am upping the cold brew ante and sharing a couple of my favorite cold brew hacks to get your summer started off on the right foot.
Here are three cold brew techniques that will help you take your cold brew coffee to the next level (or at least give you some fun experiments to try).
Easy Kyoto Style Cold Brew
Credit for this technique goes to Prima Coffee and this sweet post featuring a DIY Aeropress Kyoto method (and a Hot Bloom recipe) from last year.
Kyoto Style Cold Brew is a different take on cold brewing coffee. I like to think of it as the cold brewing equivalent to a pour-over (since most other recipes are full immersion). For this brewing method, ice cold water is dripped over a coffee bed for a period of hours and the cold brew slowly drips out of the bottom of the coffee bed into a collection container.
Something I learned from my recent abstention from my automatic coffee maker that I didn’t mention in my previous post is that I am capable of making some pretty outstanding cups of coffee.
Unfortunately, I also realized I am capable of making a very unremarkable cup of coffee as well. In fact, I found out that my coffee can be a little inconsistent. It runs the gamut from “outstanding” to “mediocre at best” making stops at “something is a little off” and “not my best work” along the way.
I may have mentioned once or twice that I am a huge fan of consistency…
Diagnosing the problem
What’s the problem? Taking a peek into my every day manual brewing habits would reveal several prime suspects.
I have a lot of brewing methods at my disposal- I sat down and made a list of possible brewing methods and brewer combinations I have to choose from. The number is ten. There are ten different ways that I could reasonably brew a cup of coffee manually every time I start up my electric kettle. Each one has different nuances, subtleties and things to learn and remember. Thats a lot to keep track off.
I have a lot of different coffees to choose from- I like to have a variety of origins, roast levels and processing available at the same time and I like to switch it up. I rarely drink the same coffee with much consistency and each coffee brews differently.
I brew a lot of coffee while distracted- My household can get a little chaotic at times. Hence, at times I make ‘mistakes’ when I am brewing. (The other day I almost poured water from my kettle into my grinder hopper, true story.) Manual brewing has become almost a product of automatic reflexes for me. Sometimes I don’t pay attention. No wonder I get the occasional surprise in cup quality.