Coffee 101: Freezing Instant Coffee and Coffee Grounds? Full Guide


freeze drying your coffee and storing full guide
The Waka Life Blog

Coffee 101: Freezing Instant Coffee and Coffee Grounds? Full Guide

Everyone loves a fresh cup of coffee! So how do you keep your coffee grounds and instant coffee from going bad? 

Why Do People Freeze Their Coffee?

should you freeze your coffee

Some people choose to freeze their coffee because they believe it will keep it fresh for longer. With this logic, it can also mean that they could keep it maybe even past its expiration date. Then, freezing your coffee can be beneficial for those who tend to buy their coffee in bulk. Or even those who have many different types of coffee opened at once and can’t finish before the expiration date.

Freezing Coffee: Should You?

do you need to freeze your instant coffee

So, should you store your ground coffee in the freezer? What about instant coffee? These questions are still highly debated, with people advocating for both sides. However, right now, what it comes down to is mainly personal preference and opinions. This is because there have not been enough studies done or available scientific evidence to give a concrete conclusion. Some believe keeping coffee in the freezer can extend its lifespan, but others argue that the freezing process can ruin the beans and grinds.

Ground Coffee & Coffee Beans

premium instant coffee

Ground coffee usually lasts about 5 months and coffee beans have a slightly longer shelf life of 9 months. This can mean that if you have a large batch of opened coffee, or multiple different bags open, it can be difficult to finish within this time frame.

Many argue against freezing your ground coffee or coffee beans because extra moisture can ruin the coffee. This moisture can come from the freezer itself, if the container of the coffee is not completely sealed. The freezing, thawing, and refreezing process whenever you take out the coffee to brew can also create unwanted moisture. Additionally, coffee tends to absorbs smells and odors. Because of this, it can absorb the different smells in your freezer. This can change and negatively affect the taste of your cup of joe. The tendency of coffee to absorb odors mean storing coffee inside your refrigerator is a definite no that everyone agrees with.

There is also a separate debate on freezing coffee beans. Some say that freezing coffee beans before grinding can help create a finer and more even grind. However, this is not yet completely proven and a significant difference cannot be seen compared to regular grounds. Those who are against freezing whole beans say that the freezing process changes the internal structure and components of the bean. Because of this, the taste of your coffee after brewing can be altered, not in a good way.

While this debate is still ongoing, many do still store their ground coffee in the freezer. If you choose to do the same, just make sure you keep it in a proper container and it’s better to store unopened bags. But if you just don’t know which side of the argument to take, it’s agreed that it is best to just buy only enough coffee for you to drink and finish before the expiration date!

Freeze Dried Instant Coffee - Not the Same as Freezing Your Coffee

spray drying vs. freeze drying instant coffee

Unlike coffee grounds or coffee beans, instant coffee has a much longer and extended shelf life. It can last up to 20 years before it goes bad (Waka Coffee is recommended to be consumed within 2 years of production). Instant coffee lasts so long because of the processes used to make it. It lasts so long because instant coffee is already dried, with the moisture removed, unlike regular ground coffee. Because of this, it is not completely necessary to freeze your instant coffee. Like ground coffee and coffee beans, excess moisture can negatively impact instant coffee so it is better not to do it. Although, if you do choose to freeze it, the storage concept is the same as ground coffee.

Freeze Dried Coffee vs. Freezing Your Coffee

quality freeze dried instant coffee

So what the difference between freeze dried coffee and freezing your coffee? Which method can keep your daily coffee fresher and for longer periods of time?

Freeze-drying is a method used when making instant coffee. The biggest decision when buying instant coffee is freeze-drying vs. spray drying. These are two different methods used to create dried coffee crystals known as instant coffee. Spray drying involves using intense heat to dry the coffee. By using intense heat, it can create a burnt or bitter taste and it can ruin the natural taste of coffee. On the other hand, freeze-drying involves removing moisture from brewed coffee using sublimation. This process not only creates a super dried crystal, but also retains the natural and delicious taste of the coffee without the burnt flavor.

Freeze dried coffee is preferable to freezing your coffee. This is because the freeze-drying process creates super dried coffee crystals that can be stored for a long time. Its shelf life exceeds most other types of coffee. Even by freezing your ground coffee or coffee beans to extend it past its expiration date, instant coffee made of freeze dried crystals will still last longer. By using this type of instant coffee, you can have your coffee without the worry of it going bad quickly and without all of the risk that comes with freezing your coffee.

How To Properly Store Coffee

Stainless Steel Coffee XL Canister by Culinary Prestige on Amazon

Properly storing your coffee, no matter if it is instant coffee, ground coffee, or coffee beans, is essential to maintaining the quality for as long as possible! There are a few important ways to make sure you are extending the life of your coffee to the fullest.

The first detail to properly storing your coffee is to transfer it to an airtight container or a coffee bag with a one-way valve. By keeping your opened bag of coffee in these type of containers, you are able to keep airflow and oxygen from reaching it. Oxygen causes the coffee to oxidize and age faster. This means that the aroma and flavor of your coffee will deplete at a faster rate. There are plenty of special vacuum-sealed containers and airtight containers made especially for coffee to suit your needs!

The next part to storing your coffee involves three elements: moisture, heat, and light. These three components are coffee’s ultimate downfall. This is because all of them lead to either ruined beans or flavorless and stable coffee. Because of this, it is important to keep your coffee in a place away from heat and light, such as your cupboard. The easiest way to keep moisture away is to not store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Best Tips For Storing Your Freeze Dried Instant Coffee

Instant coffees are not as prone to losing their freshness and quality flavor like ground coffee or coffee beans, due to the way they are made. However, there are still a few tips to storing your instant coffee and keeping it fresh for as long as possible!

Buy high quality and premium instant coffee

Although these are tips for storing your freeze dried instant coffee, the first step to great coffee is the type you purchase. Make sure to buy high quality instant coffee! Even though this may mean spending a little more money, it is definitely worth it in the long run. Premium instant coffees cost a bit more because they use better technology and processes to make the coffee crystals. This means they will not only taste better, but last longer than those that are cheaply made.

Store in a place away from the kitchen stove area

Keeping your instant coffee in an area away from the stove and heat is an important part of retaining its flavor. Heat makes the coffee age faster, meaning it can lose its flavor more quickly. Because of this, it is important that coffee be only in contact with heat when you are ready to dissolve your coffee crystals in hot water!

Keep your instant coffee in your pantry or kitchen shelf

In addition to storing your coffee in a cool place, storing it in your pantry or kitchen shelf is ideal to also keep it away from light. Light, along with heat, contributes to the faster aging of coffee. By keeping it away from the sun and light, you can keep the delicious flavors of your coffee for longer.

Keep out of the fridge and freezer!

As with any other coffee, keep your instant coffee out of the fridge and freezer. Moisture from the refrigerator and freezer can ruin your instant coffee. This is especially true because it is made to be only in contact with liquids right when it’s to be dissolved in water and drank. Also, the odors and aromas from other foods in your refrigerator can be absorbed by the instant coffee. We don’t know about you, but we definitely don’t want our morning coffee tasting like last night’s spaghetti leftovers...

Now that you know the best way to store your coffee, do you prefer the storage process of coffee grounds or instant coffee? If you would like to try a low maintenance but high quality instant coffee, check out Waka Coffee’s instant coffee. Made using freeze-dried coffee granules and pure Arabica beans, it is one of the best kinds you can get!

Try the best freeze dried instant coffee brand here.

Lower temperature preserves aromas while freeze drying instant coffee


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