Freezing produce is a fantastic way of prolonging the lifespan of the product and preventing it from spoiling. Some people enjoy grinding their coffee beans and storing them for a later date. But what happens when you grind frozen coffee beans straight from the freezer?
You can grind coffee beans straight from being frozen. However, in doing so, you will put more strain on your coffee grinder, which in turn will accelerate the rate of wear. As a result, it’s better for your coffee grinder to leave your frozen coffee beans to thaw before grinding.
Continue reading this piece for a breakdown on grinding coffee beans from frozen. I will explore the risks involved and offer some valuable insights so you can decide for yourself whether it’s a good idea.
Think of Your Coffee Grinder
One of the most significant risks to grinding frozen coffee beans without allowing them to thaw is the wear it puts on your coffee grinder. Coffee grinders are built to grind dried coffee beans, not frozen ones.
Frozen coffee beans are harder and don’t grind up as quickly as room-temperature beans. As a result, your coffee grinder needs to work harder to turn the frozen beans into powder for brewing. This puts a strain on the mechanisms and the motor inside the coffee grinder, reducing the grinder’s lifespan.
Coffee grinders can also be expensive. While you can pick up a cheap coffee grinder for under $100, you can also spend thousands for a good quality model. A decent coffee grinder is an expensive investment that you need to care for to save you money on repairs and replacements.
To ensure you get your money’s worth from your coffee grinder, thaw frozen coffee beans before grinding them. This could save you thousands on repairs and replacements.
Frozen Coffee Beans Need Time to Thaw
Thawing your frozen coffee beans before grinding is an essential step in the coffee making process. Not thawing them can destroy your coffee grinder and cost you many repairs and replacements. But just how long do frozen coffee beans need to thaw?
Frozen coffee beans only need about an hour to thaw. However, depending on whether the beans are in a sealed bag or container, it could take a little longer. Your home’s temperature can also influence how long it takes; warmer conditions will thaw the beans quicker than cooler conditions.
Use a Blender or Food Processor To Grind Frozen Coffee Beans
Not everyone uses a fancy coffee grinder to grind their coffee beans. Many people use a blender or food processor to grind their beans to the desired consistency for their brew. So, can you use a blender or a food processor to grind frozen beans?
You can use a food processor or blender to grind frozen coffee beans, provided it is powerful enough to chop through frozen goods without sustaining damage. Many food processors are much more powerful than coffee grinders.
Blenders are also effective for grinding frozen coffee beans, and many blenders are built to chop through solid ice for making milkshakes and smoothies. As a result, they can grind your coffee beans without breaking easily.
There are drawbacks to choosing a food processor or blender over a coffee grinder for grinding beans. For starters, coffee grinders are built explicitly for the job and produce better results. However, if you are not picky about how finely ground you want your coffee beans to be, a food processor or blender is an excellent option.
Brewing With Frozen Ground Coffee Beans
Since grinding frozen coffee beans is not a practical solution when you are making your morning cup of coffee, as it can take at least an hour, can you instead choose to freeze already ground coffee beans, so they’re ready for making coffee at a moment’s notice?
Freezing ground coffee beans is not a good idea. When the coffee beans are ground, they are great at absorbing other scents and flavors nearby due to the fats and oils present. Frozen ground coffee beans could cause them to absorb the flavor of other items in your freezer.
In other words, coffee made from frozen ground beans could end up tasting like frozen fish, chicken nuggets, or anything else in your freezer. So it’s best to freeze your coffee beans before grinding them.
Pros and Cons of Freezing Coffee Beans
If you’re wondering whether it’s worth freezing coffee beans, I’ve included the pros and cons of this process below:
Pros of Freezing Coffee Beans
Here are the advantages of freezing coffee beans:
It Keeps Your Fresh Coffee Beans for Longer
The biggest motivation for storing coffee beans in a freezer is to prolong their shelf life. When stored in an airtight container, frozen coffee beans can last for up to months, provided they remain frozen the entire time, and you store them in an airtight container.
Better Ground Particle Size Distribution
When coffee beans are ground after being frozen, the beans tend to grind into more evenly sized and distributed particles. The resulting brew has a slightly sweeter taste than other coffee brewing methods. However, most domestic freezers don’t get cold enough for this to happen.
It’s interesting to note that most studies that make this claim have chilled the coffee over 100 degrees below zero, much colder than your average freezer.
To learn more about the benefits of freezing your coffee beans, check out this informative Youtube video:
Cons of Freezing Coffee Beans
Freezing coffee beans is not all good news, though, and there are also some drawbacks of freezing the beans:
Coffee Beans Degrade Quickly, Even When Frozen
Fresh coffee beans can last for about two weeks when they’re properly stored before they start losing flavor. However, frozen coffee beans do not last as long. They typically start losing their flavor after a week if you don’t store them in an airtight container in your freezer.
Most of the flavors and aromas coffee enthusiasts love come from certain oils that coffee beans have. These oils can degrade, break down, and escape from your coffee beans when frozen, and can alter their original aroma and flavor.
Condensation and Moisture Can Accumulate on the Coffee Beans
Moisture and water can escape from the beans during the freezing process, resulting in an accumulation of condensation. This moisture can hamper how long the frozen beans last, and may also interfere with the coffee’s flavor.
While condensation and moisture can risk your frozen fresh coffee beans, this issue is not unavoidable. Instead, all you need to do is to freeze the beans in an entirely airtight container. So if you’re freezing coffee in a bag, you should use a good quality ziplock bag.
Alternatively, a plastic box with a vacuum seal makes another excellent storage container that will prevent water from accumulating on the lid and messing with your coffee.
Grinding coffee beans straight from frozen can be done, but it’s not a great idea. Coffee beans must thaw before being ground, as frozen beans can damage the grinder. It’s a good idea to let frozen coffee beans thaw for an hour to thaw before grinding them.
If you desperately need a quick cup of coffee and can’t wait for the beans to thaw, consider using a food processor or blender to grind the frozen beans. These appliances are powerful enough to chop through the beans without breaking but can produce poorer results.