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How To Store Coffee Beans: Keep Your Beans Fresh With These Top Tips!

April 13, 2021 4 min read

How To Store Coffee Beans

Fresh beans are the best beans! That’s a motto that coffee lovers all over the world live by. But if you’re new to the coffee bean brewing game, you might be left wondering how to store coffee beans to keep them super fresh for as long as possible. 

Luckily, coffee beans can be kept fresh for weeks at a time, but only if you store them in the right way! The freshest beans make for the best brews, so it’s wise to keep them well stored. 

Keep reading to discover our top tips and tricks for keeping your coffee beans fresh for longer!

How Long Do Coffee Beans Last? 

Let’s start with the fundamentals: Do coffee beans go bad? 

Yes, unfortunately, coffee beans have a lifespan. That lifespan varies greatly and depends on a number of factors. What type of bean is it? Are the coffee beans roasted? Have they already been ground? 

Coffee starts life as a green bean, once it’s been picked from the tree and pulped of the encasing red fruit. Bad beans are removed, and the best green beans will be dried out. Once processed in this way, the green coffee bean lasts for as long as two years.

The green bean needs to be roasted and ground before it can be brewed into coffee. Unless you roast your own beans at home, it’s likely that you’ll be purchasing ready-roasted beans for your pour-over coffee maker. If you don’t have a coffee grinder, you’ll be taking this a step further and purchasing ground coffee. Although if you decide to grind your coffee we have a helpful guide on how to grind coffee beans at home!

So, how long is coffee good for? Roasted coffee beans can last for as long as 6 months if kept in the correct conditions. This is the ultimate lifespan, though, because the younger the coffee beans are, the better the flavor. 

More realistically, you’ll be aiming for a few weeks at home for the freshest brews. Roasted beans last longer than ground beans, which lose their flavor much quicker. Once ground, you’ve got a few weeks left in the coffee before it spoils. 

As you can see, the best coffee is always going to be freshly roasted and freshly ground, and storing coffee beans correctly is paramount to enjoying the freshest brew!

How to Store Coffee Beans at Home 

So, let’s look at how to store coffee grounds and coffee beans at home. The biggest factors to consider are the level of moisture in the storage area, the light levels, and the temperature. These factors all have significant effects on the coffee. 

Here are the key points to consider when looking at the best way to store coffee beans:

  • You must keep your coffee beans airtight. If the coffee is out in the open, then it starts to go stale quickly. Stale coffee beans don’t produce a fresh brew!
  • Coffee beans have to be kept away from moisture. Moisture severely affects the oil in the beans themselves. The oil can be broken down by moisture, which causes the beans to lose many of their best flavors. 
  • Store your coffee beans as far from any heat sources as you can. If the beans are too warm in storage, they will lose their taste and aroma as the bean is broken down. Keep your beans cool! 
  • Keep coffee beans away from sources of light. Sunlight, in particular, causes beans to break down and lose their flavor before they can be brewed. 

This means that the optimal storage conditions are cool, dry locations out of the light. The simplest way to store your coffee beans fresh is to keep them sealed in a resealable airtight container. Often, beans are purchased with a resealable bag. If this is the case, keep them sealed up tight inside. If not, transfer them to a suitable container. 

Ideally, the container will be dark (not a see-through one), but if it’s not, don’t worry. Just make sure you store the container in the cupboard. Keep the beans away from your oven so they aren’t affected by the heat when you cook in the kitchen. 

If you have a pantry, that’s the best location for them! 

Buy the Right Amount of Coffee!

When stored in a moisture free, airtight environment, coffee beans will last for several months. However, they will still start to break down over time, affecting the taste of the finished brew.

For this reason, it’s good practice to only buy coffee beans in small quantities, as once the bag is opened, they start to degrade. We suggest buying enough coffee to keep you going for 2 or 3 weeks at a time. That’s the optimal storage time for the freshest coffee, but you’ll still benefit from buying beans in bulk!

Can I Store Coffee Beans in the Fridge or Freezer? 

The number one rule when learning how to store ground coffee and coffee beans is to never use the fridge!

There’s just too much moisture going around. If the beans are in the refrigerator, they’ll accumulate condensation. As we already mentioned, moisture is not good for the coffee bean. Moisture causes the oils to break down, essentially causing the coffee bean to deteriorate (your beans go off quicker in the fridge than outside the fridge!). 

Surprisingly, it is possible to freeze your coffee beans, but it’s only recommended if you’re not going to use up the beans within a few weeks. Only freeze for the long term, if they aren’t going to be used for several months! 

Coffee that is frozen needs to be totally airtight to avoid any moisture getting inside. It shouldn’t be thawed either and should never be frozen twice. That means brewing beans from frozen as soon as they are removed from the freezer!

How to Store Coffee Beans the Right Way

For the freshest brews, you need to store your coffee in the most appropriate environment. Coffee beans, whether they are roasted, unroasted, ground, or unground, all need to be stored in a cool, dark, dry, and moisture-free environment. 

Your best friend is the simple yet ever effective airtight container. Keep those beans sealed up, in the dark, and far away from the fridge! Coffee storage doesn’t need to be difficult, so keep it easy.

Why not bookmark our guide to coffee bean storage, so you can have the freshest brew each and every morning?

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