Nothing is better than that first sip of fresh coffee in the morning.
Unfortunately, coffee beans can be delicate and quickly lose their flavor and aroma. So if you’re a coffee lover who needs to have that perfect morning cup, you can avoid a substandard brew by storing your coffee beans properly.
Read on to see our top tips for how to store your coffee beans and maintain ultimate freshness.
Coffee’s Worst Enemies
Coffee can be delicate, and there are four main elements to be aware of when it comes to how to store coffee beans and maintain the freshness of your morning brew. Air, Light, Heat, and Moisture.
Coffee beans must be kept in an airtight container in order to retain their flavor and aroma. An ideal container would have a seal that blocks out both oxygen and other gases.
As much as we love the aesthetic of coffee beans sitting out on the counter in cute canisters, clear storage containers allow light in and compromise the flavor of your coffee. Instead, you should opt for opaque containers that prevent light from reaching the beans.
Coffee beans should be stored at room temperature, away from heat sources like ovens and stoves. This generally means around 68°F (20°C) is ideal.
Moisture and Odors
Coffee is a hygroscopic food, meaning it will readily absorb and retain moisture. That also goes for odors that are lingering in the air around your beans. Keeping your beans away from strong smells like spices, herbs, and onions will keep your morning brew tasting great.
The Best Short-Term Storage Options for Coffee Beans
If you are only storing your coffee beans for a short period of time, there are a few different methods you can use to keep your coffee beans fresh and tasty.
The Coffee’s Original Packaging
The original packaging your coffee beans came in will suffice if you plan on using your coffee within a few days of purchase. Keep the package sealed, and it will keep the beans fresh for up to two weeks.
An Airtight Container
As soon as you get your coffee beans home, consider transferring them into an airtight container like our favorite: the OXO Good Grips Pop Container. This container is airtight and great for storing coffee beans in a dark pantry for up to a month.
If you don’t have a dark pantry, you’ll want to use an opaque container since coffee beans start to lose flavor when exposed to light. This canister from Coffee Gator is a great choice for keeping your beans fresh and tasty within easy reach of the coffee pot.
Mason jars are a popular coffee storage choice because they are inexpensive, come in various sizes, and are relatively airtight. However, you’ll want to choose mason jars that are opaque if they’re going to be stored on the counter or near a window where they might be exposed to light. Mason jars are great for storing coffee beans for up to two weeks, but if you plan on keeping them longer, we suggest one of the airtight containers we recommended earlier.
Long-Term Coffee Bean Storage
If you typically buy your coffee beans in bulk, you will likely need a storage option that will last more than a month.
You can freeze freshly roasted coffee beans for up to six months, but make sure you use a vacuum sealer to keep them completely air-tight. We also recommend you break them up into smaller portions that will last about a week.
How To Store Green (unroasted) Coffee Beans
If you’re a home-roasting hobbyist and prefer to roast your own beans, then you’ll have green coffee beans around that need a safe storage place. Since these are more fragile than roasted beans, it’s important to keep them stored correctly for maximum freshness and flavor.
Green coffee beans can be stored in a cool, dark place like your pantry or cupboard in an air-tight container.
We recommend using several smaller airtight containers and roasting in small batches to keep your coffee beans at peak freshness.
Best Practices to Keep Your Coffee Fresh
If you want to keep your coffee at its peak freshness, we recommend the following best practices:
1. Buy coffee in quantities that you can use within one to two weeks.
2. Store your coffee in an air-tight container away from heat and light sources like ovens, stoves, and windows.
3. If storing for longer than a month, divide your beans into smaller portions and freeze them in airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags.
4. Buy whole-bean coffee and grind just enough for each cup of coffee you’re brewing.
Now that you know how to store coffee beans, you can keep your morning brew tasting great. Just remember, buying in smaller quantities that you will use up in a couple of weeks will keep your brew tasting fresh and delicious. Now, get brewing!