Yes, you can safely freeze coffee if you do it right
Freezing coffee can help keep your coffee fresh if you have more than you can brew in a reasonable period. Most whole-bean coffees will freeze well and can be kept frozen for up to a year. Ground coffee can also be frozen, but it is damaged more easily and more severely if it is not frozen and thawed properly.
Carefully follow the directions below and you can successfully extend a coffee’s flavor-life by storing it in the freezer. However, fresh roasted, fresh ground, and never frozen coffee will always produce the best cup of coffee!
The two threats to coffee when you freeze it are odors and moisture. A coffee bean’s backbone is porous cellulose with lots of voids. It absorbs odors much like baking soda, so it must be protected from all sources of odors. The main reason you should never put coffee in your refrigerator is that it is very, very hard to protect it from all the odors in the fridge.
If moisture reaches your coffee prior to brewing it will compromise its flavor. Your coffee needs to be protected from frost getting to it while frozen and from condensation when thawing.
So here it is, the how-to, and how-not-to, freeze coffee.
- Only freeze coffee in its unopened original packaging. If the packaging has gas vents, press out the excess air from the bag and put tape over the gas vent to seal it (Btw, if you're buying coffee that doesn't have gas vented bags, you're buying stale coffee).
- Put the packaged coffee inside a one-gallon Ziploc freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the Ziploc bag and zip it shut.
- Freeze the coffee.
- To thaw the coffee, set it on your countertop overnight or until it reaches room temperature throughout the coffee package. Do not remove the coffee bag from the Ziploc bag until the coffee has completely acclimated to room temperature.
- Open and enjoy.
Once frozen and thawed, don’t re-freeze coffee – just brew it and drink it!