If you are looking to maximize the flavor of your coffee, the best way is to use it days after it’s been roasted and then grinding it just prior to brewing. But, you will always need to store the unused beans or ground coffee as you are using up the bag or container. Many people wonder what the best way to store this coffee is. Like many foods, the best way to store coffee is to keep it away from heat, light, and moisture. Let’s go through some of the things you can do to maximize the taste and aroma of your coffee at home.
If you are looking for maximum freshness for your coffee, you should always buy beans and grind them just before brewing. Therefore, we recommend buying beans instead of pre-ground coffee. But, if you do buy pre-ground, the same rules for storage apply to both.
Use an airtight canister or bag
Fresh roasted coffee beans will begin to lose its full flavor after about 2 weeks. In that time, the first thing you want to make sure is that you are storing the beans in a good container that is air tight and prevents light from getting to the beans. There are a number of ways to do this.
The easiest container to use is the bag the beans came in. But, before you do this, make sure that bag does not let light flow through and that it can be sealed tightly. If you feel the bag does not allow you to seal it properly, use a rubber band to help seal it. Also, if your beans have recently been roasted, that will emit CO2 for a few days after roasting. Therefore, having a bag with a one-way valve will allow the gases to be emitted and prevent the bag from bursting.
Another method of storing is to use a mason jar or similar container with a screw on lid. These will give you the air-tight seal. But, you want to make sure that the jar allows little light exposure. You can also purchase special coffee containers from a home store. These are often made of stainless steel to prevent light exposure and have a plastic seal. This is the best container for storing your beans. If you are looking at coffee bean storage containers, stay away from containers with a vacuum for removing air. Removing air from the beans will actually cause the beans to dry out and become stale.
There are some excellent coffee bean containers available. Check our page on Coffee Storage Containers for our recommendations.
Where to store the coffee beans
Where you store your coffee beans depends a lot on how often you have coffee. As mentioned, you want to prevent moisture. Therefore, keeping the beans at a stable temperature is very important. If you drink coffee every day, the best place to put your beans is in the pantry in an airtight container. The pantry will be at room temperature and will be out of the light. Therefore, removing heat, light, and moisture are all accomplished.
Some people believe that coffee should be refrigerated or even frozen for maximum quality. If you use your coffee daily, you should not refrigerate or freeze your coffee. The reason is that the bag or container will retain moisture as it is going from freezing temperatures to room temperature. The moisture will get to the beans which will change the structure of the beans and cause it to lose its aroma and flavor. You should never store your coffee beans in the refrigerator since it is not cold enough for extended periods.
Coffee beans begin to lose their flavor after about 2 weeks. Therefore, you first should not buy bags of coffee that will take more than the 2 weeks to use up. The large bag at Costco might seem like a good deal. But, if you are not going to use it within the 2 weeks, you are better off buying smaller bags to have maximum freshness.
If you rarely use up the beans and need to store it for over 1 month, putting the coffee is the freezer is ok as long as you follow a few simple rules. First, make sure you are storing in an airtight container. It shouldn’t even have a one-way valve. You will also want to prevent going back and forth from the freezer. One way to do this is by storing it in smaller containers. Then, you can simply remove the smaller containers one at a time as you need them. You never want to refreeze coffee beans. When removing the coffee from the freezer, you want to thaw it out first. You should also use the coffee within 2 weeks for maximum aroma and flavor.
In short, the best place to store your coffee beans is in a pantry with airtight containers that do not allow light to get through. This will keep your coffee beans at its maximum freshness and give you that wonderful flavor and aroma. But, if needed, the freezer can be used as long as you use a proper container and you limit the temperature changes of the coffee.