How Should I Store Coffee?

Diana Bocco

Storing your coffee properly is one of the most important steps to maintaining flavor and freshness. Air exposure is the number one cause of loss of flavor, followed by moisture and light. Heat can also damage the freshness of the beans in certain cases.

Whole roasted coffee beans.
Whole roasted coffee beans.

The most important thing you can do to preserve coffee properly is to store it in an airtight container. Ceramic or metal containers are an ideal storage medium as long as you keep the containers in a cool, dry place. If you have no containers on hand, use Tupperware or Ziploc bags. Glass is a great storage medium, as it does not retain odors, but you should remember to keep glass containers inside a kitchen cabinet rather than the counter, so the beans are not exposed to light.

Sunlight is an enemy of coffee storage.
Sunlight is an enemy of coffee storage.

Refrigerating your coffee every day is not a good idea, as the moisture that will form from moving the package in and out of the freezer will more than likely result in deterioration. Freshly roasted beans will last for about two weeks before the flavor starts to deteriorate, so it is important not to buy coffee in large quantities.

Ground coffee will stay fresh longer than beans when put in a freezer.
Ground coffee will stay fresh longer than beans when put in a freezer.

Coffee can be stored in the freezer as long as you divide it in small plastic bags and take one at a time for use. Moving the same bag in and out of the freezer is again a recipe for disaster; condensation will form inside the bag because of the temperature change, causing the beans to become stale quickly. Ground coffee will stay fresh longer than whole beans in the freezer, so keep that in mind when shopping. If you already have a large quantity of coffee and need to preserve it, the freezer is your best option. Just make sure the container is airtight and no moisture will get into the bag.

Finally, when storing coffee, also remember sources of heat: the stove, an outdoor wall, and even the sunlight coming in from the window. Select a kitchen cabinet away from direct sources of heat and check occasionally to make sure the area is not too hot around the container.

Most experts recommend purchasing whole bean coffee and then grinding it at home prior to use.
Most experts recommend purchasing whole bean coffee and then grinding it at home prior to use.

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Discussion Comments

anon143844

i agree with the above posters.

anon74754

I have tried ziplocs in the freezer, storing it in glass jars in a dark pantry, even the vacuum containers. Nothing has worked as well as the Coffee Savor I got online. I can keep my bulk beans in it for over a month with no acid bitter taste. I will agree nothing is better than fresh roasted but this comes in a close second.

anon4656

coffee should never be stored in the freezer.

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