The 4 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.

Starbucks Medium Roast Ground Coffee—Variety Pack—3 bags (12 oz each)
  • PREMIUM GROUND COFFEE—Starbucks delivers exceptional coffee cup after cup with House Blend, Pike Place Roast and Breakfast Blend medium roast coffees. Each ground coffee bag is 12 ounces
  • STARBUCKS MEDIUM ROAST VARIETY—Includes Starbucks House Blend coffee, Starbucks Pike Place Roast coffee, and Starbucks Breakfast Blend coffee
  • FRESH TASTE—Starbucks adheres to the highest quality standards—shipping you the same carefully roasted 100% arabica coffee beans we brew in our cafés
  • MAKE IT YOUR OWN—An everyday cup no matter how you brew it, Starbucks coffee is carefully ground to be ideal for a variety of brewing methods, including drip brewer, coffee press, pour-over and moka pot
  • SUBSCRIBE & SAVE—Add the convenience of automatic delivery and save up to 15% off your favorite Starbucks coffee while never missing a cup

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.

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.

Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Ground Coffee, 3.53 oz
  • Made from 100% highland Arabica coffee beans
  • Kosher
  • World's first organic instant

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 work-around 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, 3 Lbs Unroasted Green Coffee Beans - Burundi Kayanza - Women Produced Single Origin - Specialty Arabica - Fair Trade - Fresh Crop
  • Flavor Profile: Blackberry, Candied Peach, Butterscotch, Chocolate
  • 100% Specialty Grade Arabica From Mountainous Kayanza Region.
  • Premium African Coffee With Similar Taste to Kenya AA, Rwanda, Tanzania Peaberry - Medium Bodied With Balanced & Rich Flavors
  • Fresh Harvested Coffee - Washed Process - Whole Beans
  • Green Coffee Beans For Roasting. Roast to Fit Taste. Light, Medium Roast Recommended.

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, 15pcs BPA Free Plastic Dry Food Canisters for Kitchen Pantry Organization and Storage, Dishwasher safe,Include 24 Labels, Black
  • Help Organize Your Kitchen and Pantry----Imagine every time walking to your kitchen or pantry, found everything is neatly organized. No longer messy, you can get everything you want very quickly. With the stackable and space-saving design, these containers will make more efficient use of every inch of your kitchen pantry cabinets.
  • 4 Size Combinations Fit Your Needs----Our kitchen storage containers set comes in 4 different sizes. Includes 1 Tall Container (2.5quart/2.8 liters), 4 Large Containers (1.8quart/2.0 liters), 6 Medium Containers (1.5quart/1.6 liters), 4 Small Containers (0.7quart/0.8 liters). Perfect for storing spaghetti, baking supplies, cereal, flour, sugar, oats, pasta, rice, coffee, tea, snacks, nuts and other dry goods.
  • Airtight Containers Keep Food Fresh----The side-locking lids with silicone gasket make these storage containers airtight, and the top flips open easily. Airtight storage system will always keep your food dry and fresh. All have the same lids make it easy to wash dry and reuse with ease.
  • BPA Free and Food Grade Material----Vtopmart pantry storage containers are made of durable plastic, BPA free, which have a longer life than many other brands plastic containers. Clear containers make it convenient to see what’s inside, you can easily get what you want without opening every container.
  • 24 Reusable Labels ----Except 15pcs dry food storage containers, you will also receive 24pcs labels. They are reusable, you can switch contents whenever you need. Just wipe clean with a damp cloth to change what you have written, Peel and Re-stick.


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