So, how long do coffee beans last, and where is the best place to store them? Read on to find out!
Are you like me, who always finds it hard to balance when my next coffee purchase is? Coffee’s taste has a lot to do with freshness. And the freshness you get from your bag of coffee is directly linked to where you store coffee.
I like to try every variety I can get my hands on. I tend to buy more than I can, so making my coffee last longer is hard. However, I have found that freshly roasted coffee beans stay fresh when I pay particular attention to my storage method.
The better you store the beans, the more flavourful your cup of coffee will be. When stored correctly, coffee beans will stay fresh for a month after roasting, but ground coffee will only last for a week or two. After grinding, the surface area increases, and the ground coffee starts losing flavor faster.
The Green Coffee Beans
A great solution is buying green coffee beans rather than pre-roasted ones. Unroasted beans can last for two or more years, but don’t expect them to have the same quality and flavor profile after the first twelve months.
If you’re unfamiliar with green coffee beans, it’s the raw seeds inside coffee cherries. The seeds are then removed from the fruit using various coffee processing methods such as:
These green beans are in the natural state of coffee beans before roasting, which turns them into the brown-colored beans you usually see in stores and online.
Like roasted beans, green coffee varies in flavor and boldness. For example, raw coffee beans from South America have a mild taste, while African beans have citrus and acidic flavors. Raw coffee beans from Indonesia and Brazil are the best choice if you like an intense and bolder flavor.
You can store the green coffee beans for six to 12 months without losing the bean’s freshness, natural taste, and aroma. Compared to roasted beans, which can last about two to six weeks after opening, and ground coffee, which only lasts seven to 14 days, it’s not surprising that more coffee lovers are switching to raw coffee beans because it’s shelf-stable.
But like roasted beans, green coffee’s shelf life depends on how you store it and its origin. Raw beans from India, Indonesia, and Central and South America are already three to four months old, while beans from African countries are older. If you need your whole beans to last that little bit longer, they can be a good option for you. However, you will need to roast it at home and use a grinder, so it’s not as convenient as pre-ground coffee.
Where Should Coffee Lovers Keep Their Beans?
No matter what type of beans you decide to go for, it’s worth noting that some ways are better than others for storing your coffee. Here are a few of the options.
1. Original Coffee Bag Or Original packaging
The coffee beans come in thick and re-sealable packages to keep them in the best possible condition. You may choose to let your coffee stay in there and reseal the bag after every coffee-making session. You may also use a plastic clip to lock the bean bag and keep air, light, and moisture away. The shelf life of coffee won’t be extended by using this method, so pay attention to the printed expiration date on the packaging to avoid drinking rancid stale coffee beans.
Of course, a canister or storage container is usually a safer option. With them, you don’t have to worry about tears in the bag, allowing moisture and oxygen to get at your beans accidentally.
2. A Closed Bottle Or Recycled Food Container
Of course, if you are trying to save cash, you might even try to store your coffee in batches within recycled bottles or containers. Unfortunately, this isn’t a great option for coffee drinkers.
The coffee will be exposed to several issues, including the oxidation process, odors from whatever was there prior to that, and potentially moisture. If you want the freshest coffee, then this isn’t your choice.
3. Mason Jars
Mason jars are an excellent option for storing coffee beans. Keep your jars filled with coffee beans away from sunlight. If you plan to use the coffee beans within a month of purchase, you may use mason jars or any jar with a secure lid like this to store your beans.
You should make sure the jar is as airtight as possible. An airtight jar can prevent oxygen from getting in, extending its shelf-life. Oxygen can cause your coffee beans to go stale.
4. Airtight Containers
Another good storage option is a container specifically designed to be airtight. Such airtight containers can be expensive but can also be an investment as they do not let air inside and are great for protecting specialty coffee from the elements. One of the best coffee storage containers is Coffee Storage Gator.
This is an airtight storage container that is made out of stainless steel. It comes in three different sizes, and it has a carbon dioxide valve that will vent your beans as they are stored.
If you have a large amount of coffee to store, you may want to check out Planetary Design Airscape. It is a coffee storage canister that can hold up to two and a half pounds of coffee.
5. Coffee Canisters
There are also plenty of coffee canisters that aren’t airtight that are trusted by baristas. Of course, they may not be as good an option as the airtight containers. However, if the beans are being used quickly, in an office setting or a coffee shop, they can be an ideal option.
For instance, check out The Friis Coffee Vault. This coffee storage canister doesn’t have an airtight seal, but it is made of stainless steel and has replaceable carbon dioxide filters. It’s an absolutely fine option for those of you who want to store your coffee beans in a coffee container and use them soon after.
Compared to roasted ones, raw coffee beans have a longer shelf life. These beans can remain stable for a long time compared to roasted beans or coffee grounds. Some reports say coffee beans will stay fresh even longer in freezers, but it’s still controversial and continues to be investigated by experts.
Factors To Consider When Storing Coffee Beans At Home
Some brands claim their coffee can last longer than others. If you are storing raw coffee beans, you should always look for a cool, dry place away from the sunlight and in an airtight container. However, even with proper storing, all beans can still expire and lose their unique taste, aroma, and overall quality. To ensure they’ll last longer, consider the following factors:
You must keep the beans in a cool and dry place. If not, too much moisture can make the beans too soft and lose most of their natural flavor. It will also be prone to molds, bacteria, and fungus, accelerating spoilage before the beans go into the coffee grinder.
Different types of coffee will have different heats in which they should be stored. For instance, the ideal room temperature for storing raw coffee beans is 60°F to prevent the beans from drying out due to high temperatures. Generally speaking, cool and dry areas are best for strong whole coffee beans.
Place the beans away from direct sunlight, as any exposure can cause premature aging. Your kitchen pantry or cabinets are the best places for storing the beans because it’s dry and cool. Wherever you choose, ensure it’s a dark place that gets little to no sunlight.
Another vital factor to consider is a suitable container for storing coffee beans. Coffee beans in airtight containers last for six to nine months. In contrast, raw coffee beans can last for up to a year. An airtight jar or sealed container is your best choice, but you have other options, such as vacuum-sealed bags.
5 Common Mistakes When Storing Coffee Beans At Home
- Storing more coffee than you can consume in a month to avoid making that trip to the store can be an expensive waste. A good way to prevent this is to get a coffee subscription that sends you just enough beans monthly.
- Buying coffee beans from the open bins may feel great due to the overwhelming smell, but you do not know how long they have been roasted. And beans that went through the roasting process in the distant past won’t help you make good coffee. If you want to buy from the open bins, ensure you know the roast date.
- Keeping beans in the freezer, hoping that this will extend their lifespan, may result in your coffee absorbing various smells, just like baking soda does.
- Storing coffee beans in a glass container will expose them to light and speed up the deterioration process.
- Storing coffee beans in the bag they came in may be a big mistake if it is made of plain paper or plastic. However, you may keep them in re-sealable packages in a cool and dry place.
All coffee fanatics will agree that the best part of waking up is an excellent cup of Joe! But, regardless of whether you use a French press or espresso, your coffee is only as good as your beans. So, ensure the beans are exposed to light and air only while grinding and the grounds come in contact with heat and moisture only while brewing.
As a coffee lover, it’s good to know that a bit of care can go a long way in keeping the aromas and flavors intact for a rich and smooth experience! If the coffee beans go stale, you can use them to make a cold brew coffee, which is more forgiving. When it comes to a hot and immersive brew, you should never compromise and accept only the best-roasted coffee beans.