A Compelling Reason to Freeze Your Coffee Beans

June 22, 2016

Black or creamy, hot or iced, decaf or double shot—coffee drinkers aren’t short on options (or opinions). But there’s one thing we can all agree on: A great cup of coffee starts with quality beans.

Most experts agree that storing the beans in the freezer is a no-no. Doing so can mess with the moisture content and cause the beans to absorb surrounding flavors; better to stash them in an airtight container out of direct sunlight.

But! A recent study published in The New York Times insists that a flash-freeze might ultimately benefit your brew. It turns out that freezing coffee beans before grinding them helps the beans break down more evenly, which is important because the size of the grind affects the rate at which water extracts their flavor during brewing. Too-small particles can create a sour taste, while the too-big ones make for an overly bitter cup. You want the Goldilocks grind: juuuuust right.

Shop the Story

So don’t banish your freezer from your coffee routine just yet. In fact, here are four more ways it can make your morning (or afternoon) cup better:

  • Coffee “nice cream.” If you haven’t tried this one-ingredient frozen treat, get on it! Throw in a few of the aforementioned coffee ice cubes, and feel great about eating coffee ice cream for breakfast.
  • Affogato. Ice cream. Plus espresso. This simple, perfect Italian dessert is the ideal midday pick-me-up.
  • Coffee ice cream cake. Here's the coffee you should always have in your freezer. Homemade coffee ice cream is layered with brownie cake and a no-churn bourbon ice cream. It’s our kind of wake-and-bake.
Grab your copy

It's here: Our game-changing guide to everyone's favorite room in the house. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks—from our community, test kitchen, and cooks we love—to help transform your space into its best self.

Grab your copy

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Vagabond. Baker. Hot mess maker.


[email protected] June 23, 2016
I've been keeping my coffee beans in a sealed jar in my freezer for years. No issues with taste or otherwise.
M June 22, 2016
From "Goldilocks grind" to "improving" coffee by adding ice cream is quite the leap.

And those wanting Goldilocks grind would probably be better served with the Rafino.