Why Coffee grounds become hard? How to prevent it easily

If you are a coffee lover, there is nothing worse than waking up in the morning and finding that your coffee grounds has become hard. It will ruin the taste of your morning drink, and eventually, your day will go bad.

In this article, we will discuss why coffee grounds become hard. As hard coffee is not perfect for brewing, the taste of the coffee from those grounds will not be delicious and fresh. We will also discuss how to prevent the coffee ground from hardening and keep them soft, fresh and flavorful, and what are the other ways you can use hardened coffee beans instead of discarding them.

Why coffee grounds become hard: Three main reasons

You may blame the coffee brand you are using when your ground becomes hard. Sometimes you are right as the quality of some cheap and local brands is not up to mark.

But most of the time, you are making a mistake, as you are not storing the coffee ground properly.

Coffee grounds are vulnerable to heat, air, and moisture. So, you have to keep the coffee ground properly if you want them to last longer without hardening. 

Why Coffee Grounds Become Hard

Moisture

Moisture is one of the critical factors that reduce the shelf life of coffee and contributes to its hardening. So, if you live in a moist environment or keep the coffee in the refrigerator, your coffee ground is more prone to hardening. Moisture also leads to the growth of bacteria and makes the taste of coffee stale.

When coffee grounds contact moisture or drops of water, small clumps of coffee are formed, which gets hard when the water dries off. The taste of these hardened ground will not be fresh and bold, and sometimes they will not fit into the scoop of your coffee machine.

Temperature

Higher temperatures encourage the growth of bacteria and molds. If you live in a hot and humid environment, your coffee ground will stale more quickly. 

So always keep the container of coffee ground in a cold environment away from the heat of stove in your kitchen and make sure that it never comes in contact with the sunlight.

Air

Oxidation of coffee occurs when it comes in contact with the air, which stales your coffee more quickly. Air also carries away the aromatic compound from the coffee ground, which are responsible for the sweetness and the aroma of coffee. So always keep the coffee ground in some airtight container.

Also read: 10 Best Portable Espresso Makers

How do you keep coffee ground from getting hard?

Protecting the coffee grounds from moisture is most important in preventing them from getting hard. As mentioned above, air and heat are also the contributing factors that cause the staling of coffee grounds. If you keep care of the following factors properly, your coffee will surely last longer. 

Airtight container

Whether you buy whole bean coffee or coffee grounds, keep them in some air-tight glass or ceramic container. If you keep the coffee in an open environment, it will slowly lose its flavour and get hardened because of the moisture in the air.

Grind beans yourself

Always try to buy whole bean coffee as the shelf life of whole bean coffee is much greater than ground coffee because the exposed area of coffee grounds is much larger than the whole bean coffee.

So, it is recommended to buy some good quality coffee grinder and grind your coffee beans just before brewing a cup of coffee. Moreover, most coffee machines nowadays come with a built-in grinder, so these types of devices are also a good choice. 

Buy less coffee

If you don’t have a grinder and you have to buy ground coffee, it is recommended to buy it in small batches to keep it fresh and flavorful.

You can also buy Nespresso capsules or instant coffee as they usually come in small packets, and you can easily finish them in a week and buy fresh coffee after it.

Never put wet utensils in the coffee container

Always clean the airtight container properly before putting the coffee into it and make sure it is scorched. Never use wet utensils in the container to take out the coffee grounds. As it well increases the moisture content and eventually, it gets hard.

Keep the coffee away from heat and light

Always keep the container of coffee in some cabinet away from light, or keep it in some opaque container. Never place the coffee container near the stove of your kitchen or at the place where it can be exposed to sunlight. As heat and light encourage the growth of bacteria which stales your coffee more quickly.

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Is hardened coffee bad? Some other uses of hardened coffee

Sometimes your coffee container gets broken, and you don’t come to know about it. Sometimes you keep it around the stove by mistake, and sometimes you forget to properly close the container’s lid.

In those cases, your coffee grounds become hard and clumpy. So, if you are wondering whether to keep that coffee or throw it away, the answer is “No”, you should not throw it away. There are many other uses of that hardened coffee.

  • As a Fertilizer: Coffee grounds contain many essential minerals necessary for the growth of plants, such as nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. They also absorb heavy metals that are not good for the soil. So next time, if you are thinking of discarding your hardened coffee grounds, then dump them into your garden; it will be beneficial for your plants.

  • Bake Desserts: You can bake some yummy coffee deserts with these hardened coffee grounds.

  • Neutralize the odour: Coffee has the capability of neutralizing foul-smelling gases from the environment. You can use coffee grounds in your shoes, socks or gym bags or anything smelly. They will be beneficial in removing the smell.

  • Natural cleaning scrub: Coffee grounds are abrasive and have anti-bacterial properties, so you can use them as a natural body cleaning scrub. Add these coffee grounds into coconut oil, and your scrub is ready; you can also use it for sanitizing your hands.

  • Repair furniture Scratches: Hardened coffee grounds can be used to hide the scratches in the wooden furniture. Just make a paste of coffee grounds and water and pour it on the scratched area. Allow it to settle for a few minutes, and then rub it with the cotton rag. Coffee grounds are helpful in dyeing the scratched area with dark brown color.

Have you ever seen coffee beans in perfume shop. Why is it so? Check our interesting article.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have discussed the reasons why coffee grounds become hard. There are many simple by which we can easily avoid this hardening. If unfortunately, the coffee grounds have become hard, there are many other ways we can use them instead of brewing a cup of coffee.

What you do with your coffee grounds when they become hard? Please tell us in the comments.

FAQs

Is hardened Coffee bad?

It’s not dangerous to drink a cup of coffee from hardened coffee grounds. But the taste of that coffee will not be flavorful and bold.