Best Coffee For Long Term Storage

The article lists the best coffee for long term storage, and I offer other information and advice based on my research into the topic.

best coffee for long term storage
Coffee beans can go bad

If you are like me, then you probably keep fresh coffee beans on hand for a daily brew—or two. You may be under the impression that coffee beans cannot go bad. After all, whoever heard of spoiled coffee?

The fact is that coffee, like other beans, can go bad. It contains natural oils, and when these are exposed to the air they begin to oxidize, and will eventually go rancid. Even if you keep your coffee sealed and stored away in a pantry, it can still go bad.

The good news is that it takes a very long time for coffee beans to go bad. If you have received a bag of beans as a gift, or you have purchased a high-quality blend yourself, you can still store it. And in most instances, it is okay to use the coffee beyond the expiry date.

However, long before the coffee goes bad, it will become stale. The overly long storage of coffee will also kill the taste and aroma that we coffee drinkers love so much. In other words, while it is safe to drink stale coffee, it is not nearly as enjoyable to drink it.

The Best Coffee For Long Term Storage

If it is your practice to store coffee long-term, then you should know the types of coffee that are most suitable for this condition. Below, I have listed the top coffee bean types for storage. I am not someone who keeps coffee beans for long, so I have not personally observed the effects of long-term storage on beans.

My method for putting together this list is a simple comparison of websites that detail the longevity of different types of coffee beans. The information in the article is based on a consistency of facts across the various sites.

If you want more info, read our guide to the best way to store coffee beans.

1. Ground Coffee Beans

espresso powder
Ground coffee can last up to 5 months

These beans can last up to 5 months past their expiry date if they remain unopened in the container. Once the can is opened, it can last between 3 to 5 months.

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03/03/2024 01:05 pm GMT

The grinding required to make ground coffee beans exposes them to air, which leads to faster oxidization. You may be able to safely drink this coffee several years after its best-by date. But it will lose its flavor and aroma several months after the container has been opened.

2. Whole Roasted Coffee Beans

These beans can last up to 2 years past the expiry date if left unopened. When opened, they will last between 6 to 12 months.

Kicking Horse Coffee Kick Ass Dark Roast
$32.65 ($0.93 / Ounce)
  • Kick Ass, Dark Roast
  • Whole Bean
  • Certified Organic
  • Fairtrade
  • Kosher Coffee
  • 2.2 Lb, 35.2 Ounce
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03/02/2024 06:35 pm GMT

It is clear that whole beans last longer than ground coffee. However, there is a catch. Whole beans are roasted, and the heat from the roast triggers a chemical reaction that causes the oils inside of the beans to start breaking down.

It is probably safe to drink whole bean coffee some years after you have opened the container. But if you want to get the full flavor of the blend you have bought, you should use drink it within a few months of your purchase.

3. Instant Coffee

A glass of instant coffee on a plate
Instant coffee is best for long term storage

Instant coffee is the best type of coffee for long-term storage. It can last up to 10 years in an unopened container. Even if you open the container, it will still be safe to drink the coffee after a decade.

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03/03/2024 07:04 am GMT

Instant coffee is freeze-dried. This process removes the moisture from the coffee, which keeps it stable. You need not make any special storage arrangements to make instant coffee more durable. It is made to last a long time.

However, there is one potential catch. Instant coffee can absorb moisture from the air. If you live in an especially hot and humid place, the coffee can get wet and start to go bad fast.

The best workaround for this problem is to repackage it in an air-tight container. Be sure that you do so on a low-humidity day.

4. Green Coffee Beans

These beans can last more than 5 years, unopened, past the sell-by date. Once opened, they are still safe for over a year.

Grand Parade Coffee Unroasted Green Coffee Beans
$36.95 ($0.77 / Ounce)
  • 3 Lbs
  • Unroasted Green Coffee Beans
  • Burundi Kayanza
  • Women Produced Single Origin
  • Specialty Arabica
  • Fair Trade
  • Fresh Crop
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03/02/2024 08:30 am GMT

The natural oils in green coffee beans are more stable because the beans are not roasted. If you decide to store them, you should do so in a food storage container that is free of oxygen. And the container should be put away from heat and light.

Vtopmart Airtight Food Storage Containers Set with Lids
$28.99 ($1.93 / Count)

Help Organize Your Kitchen and Pantry

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03/03/2024 07:45 pm GMT


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  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.