How To Store Coffee Beans To Keep Them Fresh

by TobyApr 26, 2024

What goes into a fantastic cup of fresh coffee is not as simple as how it’s made. The perfect cup depends on many different things, such as the quality of your beans, their freshness, how and where they’re grown, and the type of coffee grinder you’re using.

When it comes to the freshness of your brew, most people don’t realize how quickly your beans start to go stale. After roasting, beans typically start to lose their desired taste and aroma after 7-10 days. This is due to exposure to heat, light, oxygen and moisture. If you’re someone who wants to preserve their coffee beans’s great taste, it’s vital to know how to store them properly. Here are 4 quick tips to help you store your coffee beans just right.

How to Store Coffee Beans

1. Store your beans in an airtight container

Over time your coffee beans will be exposed to oxygen, drying them out and hastening up the process of them going stale. To slow this down, you should keep your beans in an airtight container where oxygen can’t reach your beans. It’s also a good idea to store your coffee beans in a colored, non-see-through container, as this helps restricts the amount of light that can enter.

2. Keep your beans in a cool and dark place

Just like how oxygen can quickly make your beans stale, exposure to too much light and heat will do the same thing. This is why it’s just as important to store your coffee beans somewhere dark and cool. Avoid keeping your beans near your oven, or anywhere where they will be naturally exposed to the sun. A cupboard that’s slightly separated from the rest of your kitchen is ideal.

3. Freeze your beans

There’s some debate with coffee lovers on whether to freeze or not to freeze. After all, your coffee beans are at their best right after roasting, not weeks, or even months after. However, storing your coffee in your freezer helps lock in the flavor, keeping it tasting fresher for longer. Will it be just as good as freshly roasted coffee beans? Probably not, but it certainly helps. Make sure if you’re keeping your beans in the freezer that it is in an airtight container, as the freezer naturally exposes them to moisture. To get more out of the body of your coffee after freezing, wait until your coffee beans return to room temperature before use.

4. Buying less can be more

Of course, it is tempting to buy your coffee beans in bulk. Unfortunately, this just gives your supply more time and opportunity to lose its freshness and flavor. Buying enough coffee to last you one to two weeks is ideal, as this is when it is at its optimal quality. However, if buying in bulk is unavoidable, it’s advised to divide your coffee supply into smaller portions. This limits the amount of exposure your coffee has to light, heat, air and moisture, as you won’t be touching it again until it’s time to brew.

How NOT to Store Coffee Beans

  • While it might be tempting to store your coffee beans in the fridge, this is generally a bad idea. Your fridge simply isn’t cold enough to keep your coffee fresh, and your beans will absorb all of the aromas in your fridge, distorting your coffee’s natural aroma and taste.
  • Avoid storing ground coffee too long, as it has a very short shelf life. Ground coffee usually keeps its great taste for a week max. The best approach is to grind your coffee when you’re ready to make it.

Making Great Coffee

While finding the best way to store coffee is a huge part of making coffee with that perfect kick, it is not the only thing you should be considering when it comes to getting the best from your brew. Things like where the coffee is grown, how it’s grown, and how it’s ground can all greatly affect the final product. Here are a few points to consider when making your coffee selection:

  • Organic coffee is richer in flavor, and free from nasty chemicals when compared to non-organic coffee.
  • The country of origin of your coffee deeply impacts the taste and flavor. Central and South American coffee is known to be sweet and nutty with a mellow acidity. Asian coffee is rich, earthy and spicy, and African coffee is fruity, floral and delicate in flavor.
  • Coffee grown at greater altitudes tends to have more complex and unique flavor profiles. This is due to coffee beans grown at higher altitudes developing at a slower rate, meaning there’s more time in the coffee bean’s development to develop strong, robust and unique flavors.
  • The two dominant types of coffee seen on the market are Arabica and Robusta. Robusta beans are typically grown at lower altitudes, and are a more inexpensive option when compared to Arabica beans. However, while being pricier, Arabica beans are considered to be better quality with a smoother taste, and will often have added flavor profiles such as chocolate, vanilla or hazelnut.
  • Investing in a quality coffee grinder is something that’s often overlooked, however, this can honestly make or break your brew. A really great grinder should be able to grind your coffee to a variety of different sizes, as different types of brews require different types of grinds. Your grinder should also be evenly distributing your beans, avoiding any nasty clumps in your cup.

The Last Drop

When it comes to that really perfect cup of coffee, the fresher the better. However, if storing can’t be avoided, the above tips on the best way to store coffee beans will help keep your coffee tasting better for longer. Happy sipping!