Should You Refrigerate Organic Coffee Beans?

Coffee is good for you and organic coffee is even better. The positive health effects of coffee primarily come from the antioxidants. And coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the foods and beverages that we eat both because coffee contains these great chemicals and because we drink so much coffee. In order to preserve the antioxidants in coffee should you refrigerate organic coffee beans? The answer is an emphatic no. Here is why.

What Should Go in the Frig or Freezer and What Should Stay Out

Foods that will spoil at air temperature like meats and poultry go in the freezer for long term storage and in the frig for a day or so. The food that you eat comes out, gets thawed and gets cooked. There is no spoilage, no food poisoning and everyone is happy. What you do not do with meat or poultry is to continue to repeatedly remove from the freezer or frig, allow to warm up, and then freeze again. You are risking food poisoning and to a degree are degrading nutritional value. The later issue is what applies to coffee as well as tomatoes, watermelon, onions and garlic.

Condensation Is an Enemy of Organic Coffee Antioxidants

Organic green coffee beans retain their freshness and antioxidants for up to two years if stored in a cool and dry place. Roasted coffee beans are good for up to six months, also if stored in a cool and dry place. If you have the exact quantity that you intend to grind and use to make coffee on the spot you could store that quantity in an air tight bag in the freezer or frig. What you cannot do without degrading antioxidants and losing freshness is to store a five pound bag of green, roasted or especially roasted and ground coffee in the frig or freezer. Then every time you take out the coffee and remove some to make coffee the warmer air in the room will cause condensation on the coffee beans. And it is this condensation that serves to degrade antioxidants and freshness.

Worse with Roasted and Ground Coffee

The effect of condensation on coffee antioxidants is quickest where the warm, moist air touches to cold coffee. If you are storing ground coffee first of all the best you can hope for by storing in a cool and dry location is six weeks before all the freshness and antioxidant value is gone. If you repeatedly cause condensation by removing from the frig and putting back in every little grain of roasted and ground coffee is effected each and every time. At least with whole beans the condensation effect only works on the outside of the bean and needs to work its way inward with time.

Healthy Coffee Does Not Go in the Frig or Freezer

If you want to enjoy the health benefits of coffee and make the taste and aroma last, do not refrigerate or freeze your coffee. Store your coffee in a cool and dry place in a sealed jar. This means do not put the coffee in the cupboard over the stove where the heat and humidity from cooking will negate everything that we have just said!

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