Why It Pays To Freeze Coffee Beans Before Grinding Them

Savoring a morning cup of coffee encapsulates life's simplest pleasures — but there's nothing simple about what goes inside that mug. Rather, brewing your ideal cup of Joe can be a complex and scientific process with multiple steps, each of which leaves room for interpretation. Whether you're a fan of Moka pot espresso or prefer to simplify your routine with a Keurig, you'll want to follow a few guidelines to maximize your coffee's quality.

Some suggestions are a matter of preference. Coffee fans swear by their go-to brands of beans. Meanwhile, certain brewing mechanisms — like the AeroPress – have proven controversial. According to The New York Post, choices related to coffee — do you take yours black or with sugar? — may actually reflect your personality. A OnePoll survey connected select personality traits with how you make your morning caffeine.

This correlation between personality and coffee remains up for debate. However, the relationship between coffee and science is far more stark. Grinding beans yourself has already proven to yield more flavorful coffee than using the pre-ground version, while chilling your beans ahead of time is known to yield a tastier drink.

Freezing coffee beans results in a more uniform taste

The temperature of your favorite coffee beans, whether from Starbucks or your local roaster, impacts their taste, according to a Scientific Reports study. This is due to particle size; Grinding beans that have been chilled ahead of time results in smaller, more evenly-sized grounds.

While such uniformity may seem inconsequential, its results are noticeable. Water garners flavor from smaller particles faster than it does larger ones, according to The New York Times. So, if your beans are unevenly sized, your coffee may retain a sour flavor from smaller grounds and a more bitter taste from larger ones. 

"It's important that all the particles in there are extracted at the same rate," chemist Chris Hendon told The New York Times. "It's kind of cute that you can do that just by cooling the beans down before you grind them."

To cover all your bases and ensure a morning brew that's as consistent as the day ahead, pop your coffee beans in the freezer. Not only will you have more flavorful coffee, but you'll also waste fewer grounds. Per Scientific Reports, smaller particles result in more flavor with fewer beans required — and fewer grounds wasted. 

You'll have tastier coffee and, as a bonus, more beans on deck for the next morning. Sounds like a win-win.