How To Store Coffee Beans At Home For Maximum Freshness
Keeping your coffee beans fresh is a fight against the elements, specifically air, moisture, heat, and light. Great coffee starts with fresh beans though, so it is well worth the effort.
In this post we'll explore the best way to store coffee at home, how to keep it fresh as long as possible, and debunk some common myths surrounding the topic.
What is the Best Method For Storing Coffee?
The absolute best way to store coffee at home is to use a vacuum sealed storage canister that is built with coffee in mind. They are affordable and are optimized for long-term coffee bean storage.
Those created for coffee storage, will protect from light, are air tight, and will vacuum seal. We're big fans of the Fellow Atmos but there are a number of models available that will do the trick.
But with or without a specialized canister, use these best practices to ensure peak freshness.
Buy Fresh Coffee
Green unroasted coffee beans will stay fresh for months on end, but as soon as a coffee is roasted the clock starts counting. So one of the best ways to ensure you're drinking great coffee is to buy freshly roasted coffee.
Many of the mass produced coffees found at the big box stores have been sitting in a warehouse or shelf for months and are already well past peak-freshness.
At Lucky Goat, we include the roast date on every bag we sell and we sell them as quickly as possible so you brew them days after roasting, rather than weeks or months.
Buy Smaller Quantities More Frequently
Even following all the advice we have here, there is a limited shelf life on coffee. So the less time you need to store it, the less you need to worry about storage methods. If possible, we recommend buying no more than 1-2 weeks worth of coffee at a time.
Hint: Sign up for one of our coffee subscriptions and never worry about fresh coffee again!
Grind Directly Before Brewing
If possible, we recommend keeping your beans whole and grinding them directly before brewing.
Grinding coffee beans exposes more of their surface area to the elements we are trying to avoid, which in turn, escalates the speed at which they lose freshness.
However, we know that isn't always an option so if you do purchase coffee beans ground in advance, the steps below are even more critical.
Protect From Air & Moisture
Always seal your beans tight and remove as much air from the storage container as possible.
It's worth repeating that a vacuum sealable canister is the preferred route here, but that may not be an option for you. If so, you can use a bag and roll out the air prior to sealing or opt to store in an airtight jar (mason or otherwise).
Avoid The Light
Many people like to store their coffee in decorative glass jars on their shelves. While that may look cool, it's terrible for your coffee. Skip the glass jar and store in a dark container.
If you are using something transparent like a glass jar or plastic bag, then it's advisable to keep it in a dark place or use a darker outer bag around the plastic bag.
Store In A Cool Place
Hot coffee is one of life's greatest pleasures, but getting it too hot too soon is going to strip away flavors. Storing at room temperature in most homes is sufficient. Just don't store the coffee next to a hot burner or stove.
Should You Freeze Your Coffee?
If you are following the steps above, freezing your coffee shouldn't be necessary and we don't recommend it.
However, if you've found yourself in a situation where you simply have more coffee than you can reasonably drink in a week or two, freezing coffee can be a last resort to stretch the shelf life.
If you do freeze your coffee, ensuring it is air tight and protected from light are even more important than usual. Use a vacuum sealer if you have access to one and store in smaller quantities.
Good coffee is a result of quality beans, careful roasting, and controlled brewing, but even the best barista is limited when working with stale coffee.
Buy local, buy fresh, store it properly, and you'll experience great coffee time after time!