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The Best Ways to Store Coffee at Home

Nothing can mess up your morning than taking that much-anticipated first sip of joe, only to recoil in horror because it doesn’t taste right. It doesn’t bode well for the rest of your day, and all because your beans went stale because you didn't store your coffee properly.

Knowing the best way to store coffee is crucial to the caffeine-kick you crave every morning. And the only way to guarantee a great brew in the morning is by learning how to keep your beans as fresh as possible for as long as possible through correct storage.

Freshly roasted coffee can be quite sensitive, so you must treat it right to get the best flavor out of it. But the thing is, you might get confused with all the different and often contradicting info out there. Coffee myths abound.

So you have recently purchased some beans and want to know what the best way is to store coffee and how make your it retain its freshness for a long time, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will answer your burning questions and give you some very important coffee storage tips.

coffee beans

What Factors Can Affect the Freshness of Your Coffee?

Before we get to the best way to store coffee, we need to first focus on the key factors that can affect the freshness of the coffee. These factors will play a key role in how you store your coffee, as you will have to look for ways to avoid them. Some of these enemies include:

Moisture

Coffee beans are sensitive hygroscopic products that can absorb water from the air. 

Coffee can also absorb the flavors and odors carried by water. And this is not good for coffee beans as they are meant to be roasted. When they absorb water, coffee beans displace the essential oils and accelerate aging. 

Light 

Just like all the other food products, coffee also likes dark, cool places to remain fresh for an extended period. Coffee can go stale very fast if left out in the sun for an extended period. So the best way to preserve Coffee is by keeping it out of sunlight.

Heat

Coffee beans love heat, particularly when being brewed. The heat helps dissolve its oils and flavor compounds into a delicious beverage. But when it's exposed to heat before brewing time, coffee beans can start breaking down and even lose their flavor.

Air

Freshly roasted coffee beans release a lot of carbon dioxide. In fact, carbon dioxide is a known natural byproduct of roasting coffee beans. So, one of the best ways to keep your coffee fresh is by preventing oxidation and allowing carbon dioxide to leave.

The oxidation process accelerates with the surface area; so, the whole bean oxidizes slower than ground coffee. So, you can either keep your ground coffee in a tightly sealed container or make sure you only store coffee beans.

Why Is Coffee Storage So Crucial?

Milk is normally stored in the refrigerator, while potatoes are stored in a dry, dark cupboard. Either way, there are numerous known rules surrounding how food is stored in your home. Same goes for your beans. 

And just like all the other kinds of food, coffee reacts with oxygen and become stale with time, losing its aroma and flavor — the very qualities that makes it delicious.

Coffee doesn't technically “expire” in a way that it would be harmful to ingest it, but it does deteriorate in such a way that it will neither give you that hit of pleasure nor that kick of caffeine.

The purpose of proper storage is to delay that particular death of potency.

The Best Way to Store Coffee

Storing coffee at home is a process, so we have prepared the following key points to ensure that you store your coffee in the best possible way.

Confirm Its Roast Date

Since you can never purchase out-of-date foodstuff, then you should confirm the roast date of your coffee so as to make sure it is as fresh as possible. Remember, coffee beans lose aroma and flavor with time, so the chances of having a spectacular brew increase as you get closer to the roast date. 

coffee roast

A point of clarification: coffee needs to degas. Roasting results in numerous gases, including carbon dioxide, forming in the coffee beans. And these gases need some time to release after roasting. So if you’re buying freshly roasted, coffee — we’re talking mere hours after roasting, storage needs to allow for that CO2 release. For about a week. After that, airtight is the way to go. 

When making a filter coffee, you can use your coffee a few days after roasting. But when dealing with espresso, you should wait for about a week. If you don't, then the gas can interrupt the extraction process by impeding water, resulting in a flat-tasting and stale beverage. Therefore, knowing the roast date will help you determine how long you can store it in your home.

Reduce Contact With Air

Reducing contact with oxygen will help your coffee last longer. This factor plays a key role in storing your coffee at home, especially when it comes to the bag or container that you might use. So you can either store it in its original bag with a ziplock or in a vacuum jar.

Try and remove as much air as possible before sealing the jar or its original package. 

This way, there will be less air left in the bag. You can also pack it using a vacuum packing machine that removes the air from the bag.

Similarly, there are numerous vacuum jars in the market that can keep your coffee safe. All you have to do is fill them with coffee and screw their lid before removing the air using a button. And make sure it's an opaque container that doesn't allow the coffee to react with sunlight.

Store Your Coffee in the Right Place

Heat, light, and moisture can make your coffee stale, so you should try and store it in a dark, cool, and dry place. This can be in the pantry or cupboard if your home has one. And make sure this place is away from any heat sources, including your oven.

And being hygroscopic, you should keep your coffee beans away from anything that smells, and this includes your spices. Coffee tends to absorb any smell in the environment, and this can turn it stale. Therefore, it's always a good idea to keep it away from any food with an extremely strong smell.

Purchase Less Coffee and Make Sure You Grind It Yourself

When purchasing coffee, there are numerous things that you can do to improve the storage of coffee and maintain its freshness. Remember. Pre-ground coffee goes stale faster than coffee beans. And that is because grounded coffee has a huge surface area and can undergo oxidation at a very fast rate. Therefore, if you need your coffee to last longer, you should purchase coffee beans and grind them yourself.

Purchasing huge coffee bags means that the last of the beans will wait a very long time before being used, resulting in them becoming stale. So you should purchase a small amount that you can consume within a certain period.

Coffee Storage Myths

By now, you must have heard or read numerous myths on how to store coffee. In fact, some of these myths have been passed down from one generation to the other. We have debunked some of the most common ones so that we can help you store your coffee correctly.

Storing Coffee in Your Refrigerator

Coffee beans are porous compounds that can absorb odor and aromas. And your refrigerator has a wide range of smells of the foods stored inside. Your refrigerator also has a lot of moisture that can contribute to your beverage becoming stale faster. And that is because coffee beans react with moisture.

Storing Coffee in Your Freezer

Many people claim that you can't store your beans in the freezer; however, that is not correct.

Coffee beans can be stored in the freezer, but you have to keep them in vacuum bags. You can keep them in vacuum bags and then freeze them, making sure that they don't come into contact with air.

If you don't get rid of all the air in the bag, your coffee beans will have a high risk of absorbing moisture. Even in frozen form; coffee can still absorb all the smell in the freezer and become stale.

Final Thoughts

Freshness is important for every cup of coffee you take during the day. And specialists agree that coffee must be brewed faster after being roasted, particularly if its original bag's seal has been broken. However, there are numerous steps you can take to ensure that your roasted coffee remains fresh for as long as possible.

Remember, the quality of your coffee can be affected by heat, light, water, and air. So make sure you take the above measures to help the coffee retain its aroma and flavor.

And to avoid wasting too much coffee, you should avoid purchasing huge bags of coffee beans. Another method you can use to extend its shelf life is to avoid buying ground coffee. Instead, you should go for roasted coffee beans and grind them yourself. Note that ground coffee has a huge surface area and can go stale faster when exposed to air due to oxidation.

Avatar for Giada Nizzoli

Born in Italy but currently brewing from the UK, Giada is a highly-caffeinated coffee expert with a soft spot for espressos. She worked in cafés for years and has recently fallen in love with the practical Kalita Wave (just don’t tell her Italian moka pot!).

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