Ensuring coffee freshness

Nitrogen Flushing

Ensuring freshness in our Ground Coffee
Posted on December 15th 2014 by Maddie

Kicking Horse® Coffee has recently launched Ground Coffee. Great for the grinder-less, for any adventure far from home, or for those mornings where making coffee before drinking coffee is just too much.

Our Kicking Horse® Coffee mantra ‘grind before use’, always came down to freshness and ensuring the highest quality cup. But it turns out; buying pre-ground coffee doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

We’ve found a way to ensure our ground coffee is packaged so you can still enjoy the freshest coffee possible. Remember in our Transporting the Goods entry, where we discussed the two main killers of coffee - light and oxygen?

With our ground coffee, the one way valve still allows oxygen out as coffee degasses. But we’ve sped up this process by introducing nitrogen into the mix.


Immediately following roasting, coffee releases carbon dioxide. From roasting to brewing, freshness is always in question. Whole Bean coffee releases carbon dioxide relatively slowly compared to ground. Once you grind coffee, carbon dioxide is liberated from the beans.  And when coffee is ground, degassing and staling accelerates since the porosity and surface-to-volume ratio increases.


Nitrogen is an odourless and tasteless gas that is heavier than oxygen. It is typically used in the food industry because of its ability to reduce staling. Since nitrogen has no smell or taste, it won’t compromise the quality of the coffee. Nitrogen already makes up 78% of our atmosphere. This abundance of nitrogen makes it relatively inexpensive to produce by capturing it from our fresh Rocky Mountain air.

Nitrogen molecules have a larger diameter than oxygen. When paired with our one-way valves, the nitrogen molecules squeeze oxygen molecules out of the Kicking Horse® Coffee ground coffee bag before they make their own escape.


Coffee’s freshness is directly correlated to when it was packaged and how it is stored until enjoyed. To ensure the best end product – that Kick Ass® cup of coffee we’re always talking about, our coffee is roasted, ground and packaged on the same day.

The nitrogen addition to our ground coffee simply contributes to the preservation of flavour and aroma.

We maintain the integrity of our coffee through packaging and intensive quality control; the next steps are up to you. The minute you open your bag, be conscious of how you store it and how soon you consume it. Take your Kick Ass® cup of coffee seriously!