How to Store Coffee Beans For Freshness

The absolute best way of storing coffee beans is to put them into an airtight container. Then place that container somewhere cool and dry and out of the daylight.

This applies to instant coffee, ground coffee and even coffee beans. If you do that then you can add considerable length to the storage period, and also keep your coffee as fresh as you can.

​You will notice that even with instant coffee manufacturers seal the jar and also have it with a screw lid or some type of close suction cover. They are trying to prevent the grains coming into contact with the air as that is what starts to impact on the taste, aroma and freshness of your coffee.

The tighter seal that the container has the better.

Personally I would recommend storing any coffee in those kitchen jars usually called "Tea," "Coffee" and "Sugar." They are designed to look pretty rather than be functional.

How Long Does Coffee Stay Fresh?

When coffee has gone through the roasting process, the two weeks after it has been roasted and packaged, will be the time when the coffee is as fresh as you are ever going to get. That is not a long period of time but when compared to coffee that has already been pre-ground it actually is.

For many years I bought pre-ground coffee and kept it in the fridge to tray and keep it fresh.Ground coffee starts to lose its aroma and flavour in about 24 hours after being ground. That is why we highly recommend buying the roasted beans, or even roasting them at home, and then only grinding those as and when you fancy a cup of coffee.

Top Tips for Storing Coffee

Below you will find some very useful tips for storing your coffee which I hope you will find useful.

Tip 1 - Storing Ground Coffee

If you like to buy your coffee pre- ground then only ever buy what you are going to use for about a week. I would recommend buying from a local supplier where you can go and get them to grind it in front of your eyes. They will seal it and put it into a bag. With supermarkets it is hard to know how long it has been there.

If there is a "Best Before" date always check that. If there is no date on the bag then just do not buy it.When you get it home put it into the best airtight container that you have and then put it into a cool dry cupboard out of sunlight. Avoid buying large quantities of this as the lifespan for the best freshness is still short.

Tip 2 - Grind Your Own Beans

There is no question that if you want the best cup of coffee that freshly ground beans is the best way of doing that. Buy your beans and then grind just enough for your actual brew. Now I know that is time consuming and if that is the case, then grind maybe enough for a day or 2 days. Store that as I have outlines in Tip 1.

Tip 3 - What Are the Best Storage Jars?

Ideally anything with a strong airtight seal. You also want them to be non-porous which means that air can not get in through the material of the jar.

Glass and/or stainless steel is an excellent choice for this and also some type of rubber solution as a seal. Below I have included what I think are the best coffee storage jars.

No 2 Choice

VonShef Storage Jar Set

VonShef - Set of 4 Clear Top Spring Clip Stainless Steel Storage

Come in 4 different sizes

All have airtight lids

Stainless steel body​

No 1 Choice

Friis Coffee Canistor

Friis Coffee Canistor

Keeps your coffee fresh

Really locks in the flavour

Blocks out air, moisture and light​

No 3 Choice

Vacu Vin Coffee Container

Vacu Vin Coffee and Tea Storage Container

Ideal for storing medium to large amounts of coffee

Vacuum pump removes air before you seal the jar.​

Tip 4 - Develop the Putting Away Habit

I am as guilty of this as are many other people. When I open my jar and take the coffee out to make a brew, I have the really bad habit of not instantly sealing the jar again and storing it away. I get distracted and focus too much on the machine and making the coffee. It is a lot better if you remove what you need, put the seal back on and put it away.

Why Does Coffee Not Stay Fresh?

There are some scientific reasons why the grinds start to lose their flavour.Now I do not want to bore you with chemistry or scientific facts, but a little knowledge can certainly help understand why this happens. There are three factors that work together which will start to impact on your coffee. These are:

  • Oxidisation
  • Fermentation
  • Volatility

Oxidisation

If coffee grains are exposed to the air they are exposed to the oxygen in the air. Almost always that will mean they can also be impacted by temperature, light and moisture. if you ever cut open a piece of fruit like a melon or an apple, you will notice that they will start to go a brown colour.

The same thing happens with coffee grains and is called oxidisation. It makes your coffee start to taste a little stale as the oil and aroma is impacted by the environment around them.

Fermentation

Moisture in the air causes fermentation and you want to try and avoid that at all costs. The more coffee is exposed to water in the air, then the bigger the chances are that the coffee starts to ferment.

Volatile Chemical Reaction

Various chemical reactions create the pleasant aroma of coffee. The chemicals however can evaporate very quickly when brought into contact with the air. So when these three things start to happen together, and mainly that is because the grains have been exposed to the air, a number of chemical reactions take place of the surface of the bean or the grains and the coffee starts to be impacted.

In a tightly sealed container stored properly the coffee will simply stay fresher and last a great deal longer. Ideally if that container has a very good seal, and is also non-porous, then your coffee will stay fresher for longer.

Can You Store Coffee in the Bag Provided?

It simply depends on the bag that you are given.​ The silver foil type bags with some type of vacuum seal work great. On the other hand a brown paper bag that you can get from some coffee shops is just not ideal. The paper is porous and there is not any easy way of getting an air tight seal.

Enda McLarnon
 

Enda McLarnon has a Business Management Honour's Degree and applies his professional insight, to analyse and write helpful product reviews with tips and useful advice. I am also a coffee lover and enjoy tasting all of the coffee types the world has to offer.

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