It’s no secret that for the better part of this year we have spent more time at home than ever before. Cafes all over the world shut down along with everything else, and suddenly we were tasked with the job of “barista” in our very own homes. A title that some of us only took on out of necessity, but now have begun to enjoy the ritual of making coffee for ourselves and our housemates.
Since March, the sales of home brewing equipment has skyrocketed, meaning that a lot of us are now making coffee at home, and we are here for it! There are plenty of ways to make your home set up sustainable, many more than what will list for you here, but here are just a few of my favourites!
If you’re the type of person who makes a full pot of coffee but can never get around to drinking the whole thing, you might want to consider switching to a manual brew method. The beauty of manual brewing is that you can tailor your brew to any volume that suits your coffee consuming needs without any waste. I prefer this method of brewing by the cup to using coffee pods in single cup brewers, not only is there less waste from packaging, it is generally more cost effective and you can customize your brew to suit your taste! There are so many different manual brew methods available ranging in both difficulty to master and in price point. I can guarantee that with a little research and help from your barista we can get you started with a home set up that will meet your coffee brewing needs!
STORING LEFTOVER BREWED COFFEE:
Inevitably, there will be times when you will have leftover brewed coffee and instead of throwing it away, try freezing it! Try freezing coffee into ice cube trays and adding them to smoothies, or using them in place of regular ice cubes in iced coffee or even cocktails. This is a really great way to use leftover brewed coffee without wasting it!
If you don’t go through a bag of beans fast enough and end up tossing them because over time your brew starts to taste stale and lacks the flavour it once had, freeze your beans! There has been lots of conversation and confusion surrounding this topic over the years, and I am here to tell you that freezing your coffee is not only okay, but in many ways the best way to store your coffee! When properly sealed, freezing coffee can not only extend the lifespan, but it actually can improve the flavour quality as well (which we can get into at a future time!).
The key to preserving the freshness of your beans is to store your beans with minimal exposure to oxygen when freezing. You can do this a few different ways:
- Use a vacuum sealer // This is the very best way to remove all the air from your packaging prior to freezing, vac sealing can become even better if you seal individual doses of coffee! Sealing individual doses is so easy to do and it is super convenient to just grab a package from the freezer, grind and brew!
- Ziploc bags // If you don’t have a vac sealer, no problem! You can use a ziploc bag to store your beans, just make sure to get rid of all the extra air inside the bag prior to throwing it in the freezer (a straw works very well for this!)
- Original packaging // If your beans have a one way valve, place a piece of tape over top of it and you can toss the entire bag straight into the freezer. This is the least effective way to freeze your coffee because the shelf life isn’t quite as long, but it will still work.
- Mason jars // This is also such a great way to store your beans in the freezer, and it eliminates any plastic packaging if you don’t want to produce excess by using vac seal bags.
You can take the beans out of the freezer, make your cup of coffee and return it to the freezer as long as it is sealed properly again (try to make the time out of the freezer as short as possible, and definitely don’t let it thaw out!). I am a big fan of storing coffee this way and I highly recommend it, in fact, our Britannia location has a whole coffee menu that is stored in the freezer!
BUYING SPECIALTY COFFEE:
This is my favourite, and perhaps, most important recommendation for sustainable brewing at home. With a growing demand for sustainable and ethically sourced products across the board, consumers are taking more interest in finding out exactly where the products they spend their money on are coming from, and coffee is no exception! With a little research, you will be able to find that there are many local specialty coffee roasters in your city, close to your city and country that buy coffee responsibly, paying much higher prices than the market price. This is an important thing to consider because the current market price of coffee is far below the cost of production for the majority of coffee farmers. If farmers continue to be paid prices that are lower than their cost of production, then ultimately there will be less and less people growing and producing coffee, leaving the industry in search of a more sustainable way to make a living. The more people who buy and drink specialty coffee, the more sustainable the industry becomes!
*Photo credit: Agricafe
There you have it, four easy ways to make your home coffee experience more sustainable. Our baristas would love to help you out if you have any questions about brewing coffee at home, so please hit them up! We also have a brewing hotline that you can text anytime at: (587)317-6466 and we would be more than happy to help you out!