The Reason Café Coffee Tastes Different - In All The Right Ways

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So you've invested in every piece of coffee-making equipment available at the department store — we're talking a full espresso system, a milk steaming wand, and your own automatic hopper and grinder. Not to mention the countless hours you've dedicated to researching ratios and grind sizes. But somehow, the coffee shop down the street still seems to make a better cup than you, even on your best day. Why? It's likely because the coffee they're using is fresher. 

Because coffee shops necessarily work in higher quantities than you do in your home coffee bar, they run through a spectacular amount of coffee each day. That means that opened bags of coffee sitting on the shelves aren't really a thing. Instead, the coffee you're being served was very recently roasted and put into the hopper. On the other hand, you might only go through a bag of coffee per week, if that. Plus, professional baristas do a lot of work to keep coffee fresh even when it is opened, even for a short time. That includes removing the beans from the espresso grinders each night and putting them in airtight containers. All of this makes for fresher beans and better-tasting coffee that might not be as intuitive to the at-home coffee brewer.

Getting fresher beans at home

The best way to get better coffee at home is to keep your coffee stored in a completely sealed, air-tight container. That means absolutely no chip-clipped bags sitting on the countertop. Instead, invest in a solid coffee container with a proper closing mechanism like a latch. For instance, the Coffee Gator Canister would work well and has over 3,700 5-star ratings. This will keep your beans protected from oxygen, which leeches the flavor out. Between batches, give the canister a good wipe down as coffee beans are oily and leave grease behind which can easily go bad and ruin the flavor of your fresh beans. 

Another way to get fresher beans is to only buy whole beans. Pre-ground beans have already had more oxygen introduced to them. In that same vein, only grind beans for one batch at a time. It is certainly convenient to grind a bag of beans all at once, but they will spoil faster. Finally, if you're someone who only has the occasional cup of coffee or wants to save a special roast, pop the air-tight container of beans into the freezer to make it last and stay fresh.