Are you about to do any of the following in the near future:
- Enter a new term or semester at your college or university?
- Move into the dorm rooms at your new school of choice?
- Prepare to enter university next year?
Whatever your reasoning, going back to school or entering post-secondary education is a massive step forward to building your career and pursuing your dreams. It’s a big responsibility and there is so much to worry about. One thing you shouldn’t have to worry about though is coffee!
If your school is okay with allowing you to make your own coffee (it depends on where you’re going), buying your own beans and storing them has some financial benefits. It’s where and how you store your coffee that may be the tricky part. To help you out, here are some tips on coffee storage for college and university students, whatever and whenever it’s needed.
Why Not Just Go Buy Coffee?
There are a lot of reasons we recommend students to make their own coffee in their dorm rooms or a nearby kitchen (if it’s at all possible). For one, it can become expensive to buy a coffee every day, especially if it’s your second or third cup! That kind of expense adds up over time, and you could put the money to better use such as for school supplies or a laptop.
Another reason to buy your own coffee for storage is so you can be better prepared for the next morning. The alternative would be rushing to class without coffee, or standing in line with everyone else at the coffee shop and then ending up late for class! When you have your own coffee, all you’d have to do in the morning is program your coffee machine so that it brews when you wake up, and then off you go.
You also have a limited choice of coffee types when you store your own coffee in your dorm room or the kitchen. In comparison, the coffee shop will have so many choices that it can be overwhelming. You already make so many decisions daily while you’re pursuing your studies—you don’t need to add the decision of whether you want a macchiato or latte for right now on top of that.
Now, onto the more important stuff: the actual storage tips!
Tip 1: Types of Storage Containers
Naturally you may want to simply pick up a new container at the nearest grocery store, but have you ever considered the types of containers being used? As it turns out, coffee’s taste, whether it’s pre-ground or freshly ground up, can be affected by how you store it. In fact, there are common enemies that can hurt your coffee’s freshness and overall quality, and they are: air, heat, moisture, and light. For this reason the best type of storage container should be an opaque and airtight container. Glass jars may look beautiful, but they’re not opaque so if they soak up too much light and heat, the coffee’s flavor will be compromised.
As for where to find a storage container, it may be tempting to go straight to your local grocery store, but some of the prices there can be pretty ridiculous! Try asking around for hand-me-downs from your parents or family members, or your friends. If you’d rather find your own, there’s always local thrift shops, dollar stores, or secondhand stores that may be more than happy to sell you containers.
Tip 2: Labeling
Depending on your new living situation, it’s a good idea to label what’s yours and what kind of coffee it is. That way if you’re in a rush to get to class in the morning, you know where exactly it is and what kind of coffee lies inside, whether it’s whole bean or ground. Lots of labeling options are available at your local crafts store or even the dollar store, and it will depend on the size and type of storage container you plan to use.
For those who want to add some style to their containers and get creative, there are lots of cool ideas such as stickers for drawing and writing or blackboard to give the container an actual coffee shop look and style. For those students who don’t really care, a piece of masking tape with a black tip marker for labeling should be enough.
Tip 3: Places
If your dorm room is near a kitchen, that would be the best place to store your coffee (bonus if there are cupboards). Keep your storage dry and cool, ideally in the cabinet. However, as we mentioned, too much heat can be damaging to the coffee’s freshness. You should pick a cupboard that’s not directly above the oven and stove, or where sunlight shines directly onto the cabinet’s exterior.
Freezing your coffee beans is debatable and it all comes down to preference. Bear in mind though that coffee beans are hygroscopic (a fancy term used by coffee fans to describe coffee’s super absorption powers). The term basically means that the flavor of the beans can change depending on what else it’s stored with, meaning your coffee could accidentally taste like other foods, and possible even vice versa. Plus, not every campus includes a refrigerator or freezer, or even a kitchen.
Tip 4: Sharing
Depending on where your university is located or its overall designed layout, sharing your coffee may inevitably happen. Making coffee that you’ve stored in your dorm room or in the kitchen is a great way to bond with your classmates (they may find the scent too hard to resist!). Brew a pot and share it while you’re both studying, or simply to get to know each other better (having cookies or baked goods can also help!).
Maybe you decide to ask that cute girl or guy out in your class and want to make them coffee in the kitchen? Making them fresh ground coffee, rather than simply going to the nearest coffee shop, might impress them—they’ll know you love the good stuff!
How do you take your coffee at college or university? Let us know in the comments!
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