Firstly let me excluded any type of instant packaging (including instant coffee, pre-ground, pods, etc), these are designed for convenience and if you are a lover of coffee these should not be put in any category of coffee. I am talking about coffee beans only here.
So what types of packaging have I seen, and what are my comments:
- Tins, these are great if you are using the coffee in the next 7 days, otherwise they are a fashion accessory. Yes some fancy pancy products come with seals and they have some sort of Nobel gas in them, but even if the gas can survive for longer than 2 weeks, once the tin is opened the coffee gets flat quicker and 7 days is an absolute maximum
- Foil bag, this is another of these fashion things adding a non-return valve is also a great gimmick, convinces those who are impressed with blumph that they do something, best case they will keep the coffee fresh for about 10 days, but after that no thanks may as well put it in a Tin.
- Vacuum pack, seriously now think about coffee gives off gas if it is fresh, so can this work NO, marketing crap
- Freezer Bag, this is probably the most effective, and if the coffee was not murdered when it was roasted then it will survive perfectly well in the freezer for between 2 to 3 months (depends on the roast level, and how often it is taken out of the freezer)
After the tests we performed, what where the conclusions:
- Fridge is worse than cupboard, especially if cupboard is dark
- Freezer only works if the oils are not exposed to the surface on roasting, otherwise the stuff should be thrown in the bin anyway
- Freezer bags work best in cupboards, and the freezer. Coffee straight from the freezer into grinder performed as well as stuff left to return to room temperature.
And the best thing is that if you are seriously interested in reading properly written articles than these claims are substantiated many times over.