How long will my coffee last?

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Coffee, like many other food products, is best before a given date.

What exactly does this date mean?

Coffee has a fairly long life, considering the very long journey that your beans travel around the world to reach you is almost surprising. In fact, the beans resist long transports by land and by sea, crossing many states, with increasingly different climates and environments.

Even when roasted, if stored and packaged in the right way, it has an average shelf life of two years, thus leaving you all the time necessary to consume it. Of course this depends, as mentioned a little while ago, on the packaging and preservation techniques of the product, but we will deepen it soon.

The expiry date refers to the product still closed within its package.

As already mentioned, coffee is a food and as such undergoes atmospheric conditions, such as heat and humidity and oxidizes on contact with air. Consequently, once the package is opened, beans or ground coffee must be consumed more quickly to obtain maximum aromatic intensity in each of your cups.

Can it also be consumed after this date? Does it hurt?

In reality, even after the expiry date, coffee can be consumed without causing any harm to the body. The deadline in fact refers to the aroma, as the only difference from a coffee still intact is the loss of a large part of the aromas. As a result, the drink in the cup will be less intense and aromatic, in some cases even rancid. So consuming it within the deadline is necessary if you want to treat yourself with an impeccable coffee.

What is the best type of packaging?

Most of the packs we find on the market, especially in large distribution chains, are vacuum-sealed. So is this the most effective technique? Not exactly…

After being roasted, the coffee releases gases, especially carbon dioxide. This "breathing" of the beans continues even after time. For this reason, vacuum packing is not the most suitable packaging, because it is true that it does not allow oxygen to enter, and therefore to oxidize the grains or ground coffee purchased by you, but does not allow the substances produced by the coffee itself to come out.

If a roaster decides to provide you with only a well-preserved high-quality product, he will certainly opt for a more modern technique: a sealed package with a controlled atmosphere of nitrogen and a one-way valve.

It seems a very complex thing, but it is not at all.

It is a simple bag containing coffee, which is filled with a nitrogen injection before being sealed. Food nitrogen is an odorless and tasteless gaseous substance, which allows you to preserve the ground coffee or grains at their best, for longer and ensuring greater aromatic freshness.

Finally, the bag has a small one-way valve, also called "aroma-saver". This valve does not allow oxygen to enter, but allows the gases continuously produced by the coffee to exit, the degassing process can therefore continue.

We at Ernani know this well because our packs have been specifically designed for this purpose: to best preserve all our blends and single origin, to allow you to taste an exceptional drink, intense and full of aromas, which produces an automatic smile on your face, every time you take a sip.

It is in the envelope, therefore, that all aromas of the freshly roasted beans are imprisoned, perfectly preserved along the way from roasting to the bar or your kitchen. It is convenient to know that if you want to stock up on coffee at home or in your office, you should opt for these types of packages to feel comfortable.

How should I keep it so that it can be preserved in the best way?

Okay, we've seen the best packaging. But once purchased and brought home, how should its contents be preserved?

The best way to store the coffee you purchased is to leave it closed inside its original packaging, until you want to consume it.

Once opened you will have to be careful of the 4 major enemies of the dark dust:

  1. Air
  2. Humidity
  3. Heat
  4. Light

Let's find out together all the little tricks to take to keep your coffee always fresh as it was just purchased.

In fact, in order:

  1. It is good to keep the ground coffee or grains in a tin or glass jar, the two best materials to keep the aromas intact, and open it only and exclusively at the time of use. Instead, leave it completely closed the rest of the time to minimize contact with oxygen.
  2. Coffee is hygroscopic, i.e. it absorbs moisture, which can cause mold on the surface. So it is good to keep it in a dry environment. It can thus be understood that the refrigerator, given the very high concentration of humidity, is certainly not the best place to store your jar.
  3. The heat, together with the light, makes the coffee rancid. In addition, at high temperatures, especially as regards the grains, it may happen that the oils contained inside the beans come out, creating a glossy and slightly sticky patina on the surface, with the consequent loss of part of the aromatic substances in the cup and a more bitter taste.
  4. Finally, to protect it from light, simply use a container that is not transparent or that in any case does not allow rays of light to filter inside and hit our beloved magic dust. Rule perfectly followed by our packs and our Ernani tin, fully opaque and yellow.

So summing up the coffee can have a very long life, but only if packaged and stored in the correct way.

Check if the package you will buy has a small valve that allows your coffee to continue breathing.

Once the package has been opened, place the contents inside a non-transparent jar, in a dry place away from heat sources, such as a pantry, and open it only at the moment of use.

You will no longer have to be afraid of making a good supply of coffee to stop thinking about having it always at hand!

Martina Mazzoleni 

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