There are a lot of articles saying to store our coffee beans in an airtight container and keep it at room temperature. But did you know that keeping your coffee beans in the fridge is the best way to store them?A new study suggests there’s added benefit to this practice: more flavorful coffee.
Scientists from the University of Bath, in collaboration with a local cafe, studied the effects of grinding beans at different temperatures—from room temperature all the way down to a chilly -196°C.
During the study, the researchers said, “We get more bang for the buck when we grind cold coffee beans. That’s because the particles within coffee beans get tighter as the temperature gets lower. So during the brewing process, we get more flavor from the same amount of coffee.”
Brewing coffee is like chemistry where we wanted to coax as many tasty organic molecules from the roasted bean, which has been ground into tiny bits. The flavor will depend on the brewing process such as water, the accessible surface area of the coffee, and as the new study shows, the temperature of the bean when it was ground.
The researchers point out that small, and uniform coffee grounds has better extraction of the flavors which allows for more coffee per bean, and consequently more flavor.
“What you’re looking for is a grind that has the smallest difference between the smallest and largest particle,” noted Christopher Hendon, a chemistry Ph.D. student at the University of Bath. “If you have small grinds you can push flavor extraction upwards. We found that chilling the beans tightens up this process and can give higher extractions with less variance in the flavor—so you would have to brew it for less time or could get more coffee from the same beans.”
Hendon said this alters the taste of coffee because “subtle changes in particle size distributions make a huge difference in rate of extraction.” His team proposes that the temperature of the bean should be more steady to achieve consistent grinds and that cooler temperatures maximize surface area, allowing more of the coffee bean to be utilized.
So if you are keeping your coffee beans in your fridge all this time then there is nothing wrong about that, this study fortifies the idea that we should keep our coffee beans as cool as possible
This article is first published at Gizmodo by George Dvorsky.