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Q. Where is the best place to store my coffee the cupboard, the fridge or the freezer?
The cupboard or pantry is my favourite.
My rationale is: the fridge has a lot of fairly funky smelling stuff in it. Unless you have a very good seal on your container or coffee bag your coffee will absorb whatever odours it is exposed to. So locked away in the fridge, the defrost fan is gently circulating the smell of last nights tacos and tonights prawn dish in amongst your fresh coffee.
And it can be a similar story in the freezer. In addition you have a lot of fragile oils in a coffee bean and these are being frozen and defrosted. Would you freeze then defrost olive oil to keep it fresh?
If you buy fresh coffee keep it sealed in it’s bag, use it within two weeks of purchase then there really is no need to try and prolong the shelf life and risk contamination in the fridge or freezer.
Use fresh coffee. You are starting from behind if you don’t have fresh coffee.
Buy a good quality espresso grinder. A reasonably cheap espresso machine will make a pretty good cup of coffee if you grind coffee to order and the grind is right for the machine.
Use good water. You really want your water to be neutral. Not too much in the way of minerals if you are using bottled water and not too tainted by chlorine and other chemicals from the tap. If you can taste the chemicals in a glass straight from the tap then that is what you will get in your coffee.
Dose and pack correctly. Be careful with the amount of coffee you put in your filter. When you remove it from the machine there should be an indent left from the seal and shower screen of your espresso machine. This means that during the extraction the water has caused the coffee to swell up and fill the filter basket. Combined with a good amount of pressure in tamping or packing the coffee and this should result in a good extraction.
Monitor your extraction. The total time on a domestic machine should be at least 20 seconds (Check in your owners manual for exact recommendations. Yes, I put that in to cover my backside.)
Keep your milk to a reasonable temperature. Not more than 65c. Once you get over that temperature, look out for the porridgy smell. Above 65c, some say 60c, you will lose the sweetness of the milk and pick up that porridge taint that comes from cooking milk.
Use warm cups.
Keep it clean.