HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Coffee in the Freezer?

Mistake? The way to go? Please advise.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I do it all the time & haven't had any problem...just be sure to wrap it securely because the coffee odor can really take over.

    1. A very close friend of mine is a retired plant manager of a major coffee roasting company, and he recommends only to keep opened coffee packages as airtight as possible at room temp. Hope this helps.

      1. To clarify, I am not referring to long time storage, I am referring to day to day use. To further clarify, i usually buy a one-pound bag of ground coffee (for paper drip) which usually lasts around 10-14 days. Is it beneficial to keep it in the freezer to preserve freshness?

        2 Replies
        1. re: abu applesauce

          I'm talking about day2day use as well. To tell you the truth, I have no idea if it's beneficial or not...lol...

          1. re: abu applesauce

            The problem I see here is the word "ground". Ground coffee goes stale very quickly. Like 24hours quickly. However, most people drink stale coffee with zero problems. I'd suggest a $20 krups grinder, buy whole beans that you'll use in one week, and store it in an airtight container.

          2. For day-to-day use, no. It dulls the flavor of the coffee. It will stay perfectly fresh for a week at room temperature if you keep it in an airtight container. You should really only freeze coffee if you're storing it for longer periods of time, and then when you get some out, bring it to room temperature before you brew.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Andiereid

              Fauchon, I'm in the same boat as you--I put freshly bought coffee dirrectly in freezer out of habit. However the other day I purchased particularly delicious smelling coffee, and I was truly enjoying the smell in my kitchen, which led me to wonder if freezing it while fresh is actually harmful?
              Andiereid, who i must assume is an eagles fan, has provided an answer.

              1. re: abu applesauce

                Ha! No, that's actually my name! Although I don't play ball. I'm 39, so I'm too old for playing pro football, and I'm also a girl, so they probably wouldn't let me on the team. Oh well...

                I used to freeze our coffee for daily use, and then I read an article about storage and freezing it and such, and I really do notice a big difference in how our coffee tastes now that I just leave it at room temp in a sealed jar.

                1. re: Andiereid

                  The problem with coffee in the freezer is that when you take it out, it warms up slightly, and condensation forms on the beans. When you put them back in the freezer, the condensation freezes. Bad.

                  1. re: Buckethead

                    Ah! OK! Well, that makes perfect sense!

                    1. re: Buckethead

                      Yes, this is what I have heard as well. There is a coffee store in NYC called Porto Rico. Their suggestion is long-term storage in the freezer, but once you take it out, keep it in refrigerator for daily uses. As you say, no in and out of the freezer because of the condensation.

                      1. re: chow_gal

                        I do the same thing as well. I also heard that besides condensation, the oils in the beans freeze and may even separate. If you freeze your beans for the day to day use, I don't think you give enough time for the oils to thaw.

                1. I keep long term storage in the freezer and day to day use in the fridge. When I was researching how to properly store coffee from various website, that's what was recommended by nearly everyone.

                  1. Store some in the freezer. Store some on the counter. After a week or so, make some of
                    both and taste. Can you tell the difference? If yes, then continue storing the way the one
                    that tasted better was stored. If no, then store in the most convenient location.

                    One downside to storing ground coffee in the freezer is if it's in a bag your ice cubes
                    will start to taste like coffee. Or is that an upside?

                    1. I buy whole bean coffee and grind only enough for 1-2 days use. I keep both the opened beans(in the original bag), and the ground coffee in separate air-tight Rubbermaid containers in the freezer.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Kelli2006

                        If you store coffee in the freezer, everytime you open it and expose it to the air you get a little bit of condensation forming on your beans or grounds. Moisture is death to coffee. The best way I've learned is to store it in an air tight container at room temperature. And try to grind the smallest amount you can at a time. Air and moisture are coffee's worst enemies.

                        1. re: sgwood415

                          Correct. You also want to make sure that your beans or ground coffee are not exposed to light - we have an airtight opaque container that we keep our roasted beans in (we roast 3 or 4 days worth at a time). We grind what we used daily.

                          I do have some coffee in the freezer for long term storage - it's stuff we use infrequently for after dinner with liqueurs or desserts. It's in 1/4 lb. bags - so just enough for a couple of pots.

                      2. Historically, we bought beans which we froze and ground before use. (that brought the ground beans up to room temp!) Never noticed that the quick in and out caused a problem. I became frustrated with the quality of the grind I got for my electric expresso maker - it kept getting clogged - so I now buy pre-ground beans. However, ground coffee does deteriorate at room temp quite noticeably if it doesnt get used up within a few days. We keep most of our ground coffee in the freezer as a result.

                        1. I noticed that frozen beans (even if thawed first) created static when ground. Made a bit of a mess getting it out of the grinder too. Last time this thread appeared on CH it was suggested that freezing the beans was the culprit.

                          Currently we buy 5 lbs of beans at a time and store in a large glass jar with a rubber seal. We grind fresh each morning and love the smell & taste of the brew.

                          Now the only time we freeze coffee is in its liquid form (still intended for ease of prep, not to keep long term) for adding to baking, beverage or grilling recipes.

                          1. It's been a while, but when I was living at home with non-chowish parents who bought huge cans of already-ground Folger's, putting the can in the freezer or at least the fridge seemed to make a big difference compared with leaving it out.

                            Now, of course, I buy whole beans and grind them fresh for every pot. I store them at room temp in an airtight jar.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

                              The reason Folgers (and any canned coffee) seems okay in the freezer is it's already stale. When coffee is ground it gives off CO2. While it's outgassing it's releasing flavor too. The big coffee producers have to let the coffee outgas completely before they seal it, otherwise the package would explode. So they let it go through that process before they pack and ship. Anything in a sealed package is made this way and typically they'll add natural/artificial flavoring to bring the coffee taste back. So it would survive the freezer, but it's not good coffee and you're drinking chemicals too.

                              For fresh coffee, buy bulk from a roaster or it comes in a bag that has a little valve inplanted into the side that allows it to outgas without problems. Take a close look at a bag of Starbucks, Peet's, SBC, etc coffee and you'll see the valve.