We all want good coffee. And good coffee means fresh coffee! Ironically, the greatest enemy of fresh coffee is oxygen.
When you leave roasted coffee beans for longer (even in a bag), they start ageing, lose their most subtle aromas and tastiness. When oxygen comes in contact with volatile organic compounds, they become unstable, which results in aroma loss. Oxygen affects also lipids in coffee; it produces unwanted rancid notes in your brew. Obviously, no one wants to drink stale, unsavoury or odourless coffee.
Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister
One of the best ways of preserving coffee freshness for longer is keeping it in a vacuum. But how can you do it? One of baristas’ favourite companies is there to help us: Fellow and their brand-new product: Atmos Fellow Vacuum Canister.
This is an airtight container safeguarding your coffee freshness. How does it differ from other airtight containers? It has no external pomp, because its secret lies in the lid. The lid makes removing air from inside extremely easy – all you need to do is close the lid and twist it back and forth several times (up to the moment the little button drops, revealing a green ring). This literally takes several seconds ‘Unblocking’ the lid is just as easy – you do it by pressing the big button which releases the pressure. A piece of cake.
All right, the construction is one thing, the function is another: but what about the difference in taste? I decided to check it by tasting every day three coffees stored in a different way. I bought a stock of fruity Colombian coffee beans and for over a week, kept some of them stored in a Fellow Atmos, some other in the original packaging (coffee bag with a zip-lock pouch and a valve) and the rest in a rather tightly closed jar (by rather tightly I mean as tightly as I managed to close it – objective tightness is difficult to assess here). Also, I poured the coffee beans into the other Fellow canister and hid them for a week from all coffee drinkers in order to try this coffee again after that time.
Every day I made three coffees and compared them in terms of aroma, taste, acidity and sweetness.
On the first day, the differences weren’t too profound. The coffee from a jar had a different taste – it was less sweet than the others and had a more subtle aroma. On the third day, the coffee from a jar already tasted of cardboard and wasn’t really interesting to drink; the other two, on the other hand, were still fruity and pleasantly acid.
On the fourth day, the Fellow Atmos slowly gained ground. But both to me and my friends the difference in taste became really noticeable after almost a week. The coffee from the bag became blander, more boring, it lost its strongest aromas. Whereas each time I opened the Fellow Atmos, I smelled the aroma of fresh tomatoes, apples and cherries. So maybe if you know that you are not going to drink the whole bag in a week, Atmos can be a reasonable solution. Because, obviously, the longer the bag stays open, the worse it tastes and the less enjoyable it is to drink it. And drinking coffee is meant to give you joy!
After over a week, I opened the second container (the one hidden even from me) and I compared the coffees from the container and bag opened daily and from the container closed for a week. And then it turned out I had almost forgotten the taste and smell of the coffee as they were on the first day! The subtle floral and fruity notes in the Fellow Atmos no. 2 were still very intense.
I used to be sceptical about airtight containers, I thought the original bag was all that I needed; but now I see that I can actually enjoy fresh coffee for a bit longer… and I really like it!
What are the other advantages of Fellow Atmos?
- Several sizes to choose from. You can choose a container ideally fit for the amount of coffee you brew. If you drink much coffee and the beans are used quickly, a big container will be perfect for you. If, on the other hand, you need more than two-three weeks to use a coffee bag – small containers will work best.
- A beautiful design; most of Fellow products will look amazing at the coffee station at home or at the coffee shop.
- It is also robust, bound to withstand the test of time.
- You can choose between stainless steel and glass containers.
- Contrary to what it seems, this container is fit for more than just coffee. You can keep there all easily oxygenated and perishable products, such as cookies, dried fruit or cereal.
What are the disadvantages?
- You can’t keep ground coffee in it. This could result in damaging the seals and clogging of the small holes in the lid.
- You can’t clean it in a dishwasher. But since you don’t have to do it daily, it is not too cumbersome.
- The container is easy to wash, but you need to be careful with the lid. You shouldn’t wash it under running water and you need to make sure that the water doesn’t get into the vacuum pump. Probably this won’t be to a problem to everyone; personally, I simply don’t like having to be too careful when washing coffee equipment.
- You need to pay attention not to store the container upside down, because then some small particles can get into the pump and this will make using your device when travelling more difficult.
Is it worthwhile? I think it is. Because enjoying the same favourite coffee beans longer is a thing you can’t replace, isn’t it?