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).
I drink my coffee black.
I don’t have a problem with people adding things to their coffee (my wife enjoys her coffee with cream and minimal disapproving head shakes from me) but I do think black coffee has its merits. It is my opinion that the vast majority of coffee additives are remnants from the first wave coffee notion that coffee is vile, caffeine is good and adding things to coffee makes it tolerable.
Unlike fifty years ago, the abundance and variety of amazing coffee available today is astounding. If you are still adding cream and sugar to your coffee, maybe you just haven’t found a coffee that really resonates with you and need to explore it some more.
It is, of course, entirely possible that you have found your coffee sweet spot and do actually enjoy coffee best exactly how you prepare it. I am fine with that. However, if you are someone who adds things to your coffee out of habit (instead of purpose), this post is for you. I’d like to make a case for exploring drinking coffee black.
The Benefits of Drinking Coffee Black
Coffee is good. I’m not talking about gingerbread lattes, caramel macchiatos or mocha frappuccinos. I’m talking about coffee, that little roasted seed from the fruit of a plant that is grown in an exotic location. When it is artfully grown, roasted and prepared, it’s good (really good).
I drink my coffee black because I want to taste it. I want to experience the sweetness, balance and subtle nuances of a great cup of coffee. There are many different reasons to make the move to drinking coffee black but here are a few of my favorite reasons to make the switch:
My Florida vacation has come to an end and while my travel coffee set-up was more than sufficient to weather the coffee doldrums of Anna Maria Island, I did manage to visit a few area coffee shops during my stay.
Author’s Note: When it comes to visiting coffee shops, I am no Brian’s Coffee Spot. I do enjoy visiting and experiencing coffee shops, but it is actually pretty rare that I get the opportunity to go to one. When I do visit, I will typically order espresso or espresso based drinks as I do not get the opportunity to drink these very often. The three shops I visited on this trip were with my wife and children and thus seen through that lens as well.
Below are brief summaries and reviews of three coffee shops I visited while in the Tampa Bay(ish) area. My trip took me from Tampa to the Fort Meyers/Cape Coral area but these coffee spots are from Tampa down to Sarasota (about 60 miles south of Tampa). Special thanks are due to the members of the Twitter coffee community who pointed me in the right direction and helped me find some good places while on the road.