Vacuum Sealing Coffee, Making Traveling Easy

Against conventional wisdom, I sometimes vacuum seal my coffee.  I know that coffee releases CO2 over time, and that vacuum seals can sometimes burst.  Although that has never actually happened to me (I like to think Its because our heat seals are so strong), I’ve heard stories about vacuum sealing coffee. I think the problem people run into, is that they try to seal large portions of coffee, and leave them around for long periods of time.  What I do, is seal single servings of ground coffee for weekend getaways, and quick business trips. 

I have a Hario hand grinder, which I really enjoy, and gives me the best grounds that I’ve ever had. I also like the portion, one basket gives me the amount of coffee I want to brew in a day.  Grinding the day’s coffee is a wonderful early morning meditation.

I use it in a pour over, usually a chemex, but when I travel, I’ll use a smaller dripper.  I don’t really want to travel with the grinder, but I still want the grinds I like, and I want them portion controlled.  When I’m on the road, I want things to be as simple as possible.  With this in mind, I’ll take an hour when I’m preparing for my trip,  grind out coffee for each day, and individually heat seal each one.  Vacuum sealing coffee is totally worth it. 

vacuum sealing coffeeI’m very careful with sealing, because the grinds are little and light.  The strong vacuum on the sealer can easily pull the coffee out, or get it stuck in the part of the bag that is going to take the seal.  Our vacuum sealers all have a pulse function, and an impact seal function, and this is when I use them.  I’ll give the bag a quick vacuum pulse or two, just to flatten it out a bit, and then I impact seal it the rest of the way.  It helps keep the bag flat without making a mess.

The image I attached to this blog shows the coffee in a bag made from one of our 11″ clear plastic rolls.  You can see that the roll was sealed in half, and then filled on both sides.  It seems to work well this way.  I  used the clear roll just for the article.  I wanted you to be able to see the coffee.  Black bags and rolls aren’t very interesting to look at.  But black bags are what I use when I travel. Just like exposure to air can degrade the oils in the coffee, light isn’t going to do it any favors either.  The black vacuum seal roll protects against both.   

I’ve never had a problem with CO2 gassing vacuum sealing coffee like this.  Tiny batches over an extended weekend, and it has only been beneficial.  The only potential downside, is that because I have my coffee situation so well handled in my hotel room, that sometimes I don’t take the time to seek out the local shops or roasters.   

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