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Having a bad cup of coffee in the morning can put a serious damper on the rest of your day. But now there's an easy, scientifically proven way to make your coffee tastier: just put your coffee beans in the freezer.
Researchers from the University of Bath (opens in new tab) in the U.K. teamed up with local coffee shop Colonna & Smalls for the study, which was published in Scientific Reports (opens in new tab). They put coffee beans through grinders at different temperatures to see how it affected the resulting coffee grounds.
It turns out the key to a good cup of joe is small, consistent particles in the coffee grounds, because increased surface area allows the flavor to escape the beans. And, according to their research, the colder the coffee bean, the finer and more consistent the coffee grounds turn out—meaning you can get more flavor out of a smaller amount of coffee.
Because coffee grinders heat up with lots of use, especially at busy coffee shops, they can create an inconsistent coffee grind, which leads to just-meh coffee. Smaller grains taste sour, and big grains taste bitter, and all adds up to lackluster.
In the study, the beans were only adjusted to cold temperatures for two hours before the grinding process, so it's unclear how your coffee will be affected if you store it in the freezer or fridge all day. But the New York Times (opens in new tab) notes that it should work just fine, as long as you pack them in an airtight container to prevent condensation and staleness.
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Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
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