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How to store coffee beans

How to Store Coffee Beans? Top Tips, Tricks & Factors

It’s always a special moment when fresh coffee beans arrive at your door. Then you start brewing delicious java with a great aroma and all seems great. Until it’s time to store them. How to store coffee beans so that they remain flavorful and tasty longer?

According to the National Coffee Association, the best way for storing your coffee beans is to seal them in an opaque, airtight container and store them at room temperature (1).

Also, make sure you’re keeping them in a dark, cool and dry place!

By doing that you ensure that they’re safeguarded against anti-flavor elements like moisture, air, light and even heat.

Now let’s take a closer look at all the details associated with storing your precious coffee beans the right way!

The 4 Things That Can Destroy Your Coffee Beans’ Flavor, Taste And Aroma!

To make sure that you know how to adequately keep your Arabica, Robusta, Liberica (or other) beans fresh, we first have to examine the main things that can totally ruin them.

1. MOISTURE (might lead to mildew & mold)

Moisture is the invisible enemy that can potentially grow mildew and mold on your coffee beans.

Now, moisture can form when the warm air inside your home gets in contact with a cold surface e.g. the coffee beans.

This is especially problematic if you’re keeping your java in a cold place like your fridge.

Because they’ll be cold and when you open them the moisture will creep in!

Apart from the nasty mold, moisture can also transfer an external odor (e.g. garlic) right into your coffee.

2. AIR (diminishes the natural flavors)

Did you know that all the great aroma, flavor and freshness of your java is perishable?

Well, it is!

Since air (oxygen) is all around us, the coffee beans start losing their natural favors from the moment you open the bag.

That’s why you have to seal them in an airtight container to preserve this freshness, although it’s always better to simply use them as soon as possible.

Another thing that helps (Apart from using air-tight bags or canisters) is diving the beans into smaller servings (the bigger portions are to be always kept in airtight containers).

How to store coffee beans, spilled coffee beans

3. LIGHT (wrecks aroma, flavor and ages the coffee beans)

Exposure to light speeds the aging process of coffee beans and you want to avoid this.

How?

By not using one of those transparent canisters, glass jars etc. that lets you see what’s inside!

Opt for dark, nontransparent air-tight containers only as they’ll block any sunlight from reaching the contents inside.

This way you’ll make sure that the natural flavors and aroma won’t be broken down and your coffee won’t age as fast.

4. HEAT (results in stale coffee)

Exposing the coffee beans to heat is a big no-no since it can make your coffee go stale faster.

That’s because a chemical reaction called oxidation occurs when they’re exposed to heat.

And guess what oxidation does to your favorite caffeinated drink?

It shortens its lifespan and makes it go stale!

So avoid storing your coffee beans close to an oven, hot plate, electric pot or even the window since sunlight generates heat as well.

How to store coffee beans, fridge

Should I Store Coffee Beans in The Fridge?

Generally, it’s not advisable although you can try by putting the coffee beans in a  100% air-tight bag or canister.

Still, it’s best to forget about keeping your coffee in the fridge as it’ll absorb various aromas from other foods and items found in your refrigerator!

But why does coffee absorb external smells and odors?

Because coffee is hygroscopic that means it absorbs moisture from the air.

Don’t thaw your coffee beans as this creates moisture and that results in them aging faster!

Thus, if the container that you’re using lets some oxygen inside might lead to your coffee beans suffering from the dreaded freezer burn.

And freezing coffee beans might only make sense if you’re not going to grind them anytime soon i.e. within a 10-day period.

What About Grinding Frozen Coffee Beans?

You grind frozen coffee beans just as you’d grind regular, unfrozen ones and in case you didn’t know – you can even grind coffee beans without a grinder.

Although grinding frozen coffee beans comes with a caveat – refreezing them will alter the natural flavors!

Make sure the coffee beans remain  frozen right until brewing them for the best taste and flavor.

Basically, as long as the beans were stored correctly, your java should taste just as good even if you ground the beans while they were frozen.

How Long Can You Store Coffee Beans?

Roughly 2-4 weeks if you store them the right way i.e. in an airtight container that’s kept in a cool and dark place.

Truth is, coffee starts losing flavors and aroma the moment they’re roasted.

Your best bet is to buy smaller batches on a regular basis (every 2 weeks at most) for optimal freshness!

Or in other words, your newly arrived batch of coffee beans will be good for a maximum of 1 month and that’s if you store it according to our recommendations!

Also, keep in mind that you’re supposed to grind the coffee beans immediately prior to making coffee for the best taste and flavor.

How Do You Store Coffee Beans Long Term?

Here’s what you have to consider to preserve your coffee beans as much as possible if you’re not planning to grind them anytime soon:

  • Place the beans in an airtight bag or canister that’s 100% air-tight
  • Keep them in a cool, dark place without any direct sunlight
  • Store them far away from any heat sources
  • Put them in the fridge if you won’t be using them within the next 10 days

Above all though, if you want to drink fresh java, always buy the right amount of coffee beans i.e. enough for 1 to 2 weeks max!

How Long Are Vacuum Sealed Coffee Beans Good For?

Up to 9 months if unopened and around 3 weeks once you open them.

Now, this is only relevant if you’re storing the vacuum-sealed coffee beans in the pantry.

If you keep them in the freezer they’ll last twice as long, although that’s not the most optimal way of storing the beans as your best bet is putting them in a cool, dry and dark place.

What About Sealed Pre-Ground Coffee – How Long Does It Last?

Typically around 1 and a half years prior to opening.

However, once you open a sealed pre-ground coffee it’ll only be good for the next 5 to 6 days unless you transfer it to an airtight container.

As a general rule of thumb though, once the coffee is ground it starts diminishing immediately!

Coffee Gator Coffee Canister Stainless Steel Coffee Container

How To Store Coffee After Roasting?

Here’s how to properly store freshly-roasted coffee beans:

  1. Let the beans cool down for a bit
  2. Put them in a special container with a CO2-release valve 
  3. Place the container in a place that’s not too humid, hot and light
  4. Let the coffee beans rest for a minimum of 12 to 24 hours so that the gases formed during the roasting evaporate
  5. Grind the coffee beans and brew all of the coffee within a week for the best flavor and aroma

Please, don’t neglect step number 4 – letting the freshly-roasted beans rest for at least 12-24 hours!

However, depending on the type of beans they might require more or less time to properly degas e.g. oily coffee beans like darker ones.

This is imperative if you’re after the best taste and that’s also why coffee roasters don’t sell their coffee right away.

They wait for several days (after roasting) before they start selling it!

Is Storing Coffee Beans in Mason Jar Reasonable?

Only if the Mason jar has a tight-fitting lid i.e. is air-tight and if it’s nontransparent i.e. you can’t see what’s inside.

That might be problematic since most Mason jars out there are actually transparent and this means that your coffee beans will be exposed to light.

So opt for a silver Mason jar or just an airtight container that doesn’t let any light in.

How To Store Lavazza Coffee Beans?

By putting them in an air-tight bag or canister and placing them in a dry, cool and dark location.

Also, note that big coffee manufacturers such as Lavazza use a processing method known as nitrogen flush.

This is meant to make the expiration date much longer than say coffee beans from a local roaster.

Thus, an unopened bag of Lavazza coffee beans might last many months.

But once you open the bag, the beans will only be any good for about 3 weeks or so if you store them adequately!

How To Store Instant Coffee?

The best way to store your instant coffee is to transfer it to an opaque air-tight container that you then keep in a dark, cool and dry place.

Doing so will ensure that your instant coffee stays good for a long time.

In fact, if stored properly, instant coffee can be used for up to 20 years!

Conclusion

Knowing how to store coffee beans the right way is essential if you to drink fresh and tasty coffee longer.

That’s why storing them in an opaque air-tight container and keeping them away from heat, light, moisture and air is your best bet.

Now, how do you personally store your coffee beans?

We’d love to know so drop a comment below!

Last update on 2021-05-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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