Hopefully you aren’t asking yourself ‘Wait, does ground coffee go bad?’ after hoarding five bags of store-bought grounds, because… yep, you’ve guessed it. It does!
Or, better, rather than ‘going bad’ like yogurt or fruit, it loses its freshness, which is just as tragic if you’re a true coffee aficionado.
Ground coffee goes bad because of the degassing process that naturally occurs after roasting the beans.
Carbon dioxide and other gases are formed inside them during the roasting process, and they’ll slowly start to escape.
Too much CO2 can actually compromise coffee extraction. For the best results, you should wait at least 24h after the beans were roasted before grinding them and brewing them.
However, the longer you wait, the more of these gases will leave. The problem is that… so will the volatile compounds responsible for aroma and flavor nuances!
Yes, coffee beans go bad too, just like grounds. However, they last a bit longer, usually around a month.
While air, heat, moisture and light are the main factors that speed up the degassing process, there’s a fifth element conspiring against your coffee: grinding them.
This process breaks more of the cells that store the CO2 and volatile compounds trapped inside the beans, helping release them. Plus, they result in a wider surface area exposed to air and oxidation.
While beans retain their freshness for around a month after roasting (although the sooner the better, after the initial 24h), ground coffee won’t be as fresh after a couple of weeks.
Make sure you store it properly in an airtight container away from direct sunlight and heat.
In the fridge, coffee lasts even less than it would in an airtight container. Shocker, we know. We really don't recommend storing coffee in it because the changes in temperature can result in a buildup of moisture and, since java works as a deodorizer, it'll absorb the smells in your fridge.
Now that you know how oxidation, grinding and other factors affect the degassing process, think of those store-bought grounds that have been sitting on that shelf for God knows how long.
They were roasted and ground months ago. Plenty of time to lose all those precious volatile compounds that enhance the flavor nuances.
Yep, you can put those five bags down.
Nobody likes stale coffee, but grounds are so practical. After all, not everyone might be ready to invest in a good burr grinder, or you might not have the luxury of sparing a few minutes to grind the coffee beans every morning.
With grounds, you can just chuck them in your automatic dripper while you get ready.
But does this practicality come at the price of freshness? Not necessarily, my friend!
The best way to enjoy fresh coffee grounds is to get them delivered straight to your house just after they’re roasted. At Fire Dept. Coffee we respect everyone’s caffeinated habits and only want you to have the freshest java.
That’s why we created a customizable subscription model that lets you decide how much and how often you’ll get it delivered.
Even better, whether you opt for beans or grounds, our coffee is always roasted to order. We also send it as soon as possible, usually within the same day.
That way you can enjoy ground coffee before it goes stale, when it’s still flavorful and fresh.
The moral of the story: does ground coffee go bad? Yes, it does. But it doesn’t mean that you should resort to stale java. A subscription lets you enjoy the practicality of coffee grounds and the freshness of their best flavor.
A hardworking coffee lover’s dream!
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