How to store coffee beans at home
You crack open a bag of your favorite coffee beans, the scent filling the air - you can’t wait to brew your first cup. Then reality hits: will my coffee taste the same once the bag’s been opened?
It’s tough to gauge at first just how fresh your coffee beans will be soon after opening a new bag. And an indispensable part of maintaining freshness is storing coffee the right way. Though simple, we might overlook this part of the process under the impression that coffee will taste fine regardless of how we store it.
However, this guide on how to store coffee beans at home provides tips and tricks to help preserve your coffee beans' unique taste.
Always, always buy coffee beans!
Before getting into any coffee storing specifics, let’s discuss coffee grounds versus coffee beans. Either at our local supermarket or at a coffee shop, we might feel tempted to go for coffee that’s already been ground. This saves us a bit of time, right? Well, it’s always better to buy coffee beans instead.
The reason being? Crucial to coffee freshness is ensuring you’ve got the right grind size and grind your beans only when it’s essential. That is, for freshness to last, you should ideally grind to an even size for your preferred extraction method and brew immediately.
If you’re wondering how to achieve an even grind size best, we recommend investing in an electric flat burr coffee grinder - like our X54 - as this helps you gain more control over and obtain a consistent grind size every time.
What is the best way to store coffee?
Now, you’re left with your freshly bought coffee beans and wondering how best to store them.
We recommend that you store your beans in an opaque, airtight container. If that’s not handy, opt for a plastic, airtight container and keep away from light. Similarly, some coffee bags come with a trusty zip closure, making storing your coffee all the easier.
Another point to bear in mind: do not refrigerate your coffee beans! This is actually worse for your beans and doesn’t guarantee a longer shelf life. In fact, if you refrigerate your beans, they’re likely to pick up any pungent, fragrant notes of any food in your fridge. This impacts the overall flavor, so it is best to avoid this practice altogether.
How long can you store coffee?
Bear in mind, there’s a lot to consider at the time of buying and storing coffee.
From the moment coffee is roasted, your beans will begin to stale. The staling process is a result of oxidation - meaning, if any oxygen reaches your beans, the compounds in coffee react and start to break down over time. Grinding your coffee will accelerate the oxidation even more.
Of course, we understand that sometimes you’ll not use your coffee beans for some time, but there are ways to keep your coffee fresh:
- The best course of action at the time of buying coffee beans is to keep an eye on the roasting date. Preferably, you’ll buy coffee within two weeks of having been roasted.
- When buying coffee, buy as few bags at a time to ensure you get through most of your coffee. Great-tasting beans should not go to waste!
- If you are not using your beans anytime soon, you can freeze them. Remember to freeze them in an airtight container. At the time of defrosting, do so thoroughly and only the amount you’ll be using that day.