When it comes to enjoying a slow morning on relaxing during a cold afternoon it doesn’t get any better than coffee. Coffee has been part of our lives for centuries and, today, it’s one of our most powerful tools to keep up with today’s fast-paced world.
It’s precisely because our day to day can be so hectic that it’s important to know how to store coffee beans. After all, you never know when you won’t be able to run to the store to fetch fresh coffee.
But first, let’s cover the basics:
Why not ground coffee?
While undoubtedly convenient, as most people don’t have the ability to grind their coffee every single day, pre-ground coffee has one flagrant disadvantage:
It goes stale.
- You should ground all your coffee beans before storing: This is a huge lie. Doing this will make your coffee lose its freshness much, much faster. If you want to store it, don’t ground it.
- Placing your coffee in the fridge or freezer makes it last longer: This is a popular myth and also a sure way of ruining your coffee. This is because coffee is very porous and will absorb humidity and, worse, smells and flavors of the place you’re storing it and no one, absolutely no one, wants fridge tasting coffee.
- Vacuum-sealed bags guarantee freshness: Freshly ground coffee is like a living organism in the sense that it ‘breaths’. When you first ground it and roast it, it will release CO² for days. This means your “freshly ground coffee” actually sat for days on end before it was possible to vacuum seal it, removing all freshness it could’ve had.
So now that you know why you should always choose to store coffee beans over ground coffee, let’s cover the best ways you can do this.
How to Store Coffee Beans at Home
Storing coffee beans isn’t hard but it does need some precautions to ensure their longevity and freshness.
There are four things you need to keep in mind when choosing the right place, and the right container, for your coffee beans.
These elements are important to consider because they all play a crucial role in whether your coffee will stay fresh and for how long.
With that in mind, let’s proceed:
Step 1 – Choose the Right Container
The best kind of containers for coffee bean storage are airtight containers that keep them away from the sun with “containers” being a bit of a loose term.
The absolute best containers for this specific purpose are ceramic airtight containers, as they will protect your coffee from air, moisture, temperature and even light. These handy containers can be kept inside or outside the pantry with little to no difference, as long as they’re not directly under the sun.
If ceramic isn’t your thing or if you want to show off your coffee beans to the world, then a glass container works just as well. Just make sure it’s air tight as well to preserve the freshness of your coffee; Be careful to always leave them in the shade, as this will minimize exposure to light.
Ultimately, if you’re a ‘bag’ person and the bag your coffee grounds came in has a strong, resealable seal then you can keep your coffee in there as well. Just make sure to always keep it in your pantry or in a drawer away from humidity and sunlight.
Step 2 – Choose the Right Place
If we mentioned the pantry several times in the last point is with good reason. There’s no better place for your coffee beans than your pantry, regardless of the kind of container it’s in.
If you don’t have a proper pantry, then the cabinets of your kitchen will work just fine but it’s important to keep in mind that not all cabinets are made the same. Avoid storing your coffee grounds on a cabinet on top of the oven or the stove, as these tend to get too hot.
The same goes for any cabinet that gets constant exposure to sunlight because, believe it or not, these too will get hotter than other cabinets. (You can also use this knowledge to help you extend the shelf life of your other products)
Step 3 – Don’t keep your coffee beans forever
While it’s true that coffee beans will keep their flesh flavor and delicious properties for longer than ground coffee, it too will lose its freshness with time.
The rule of thumb for coffee snobs is to always use your coffee beans within two weeks of being roasted but you can store it for longer if you need to… although, if you find yourself keeping your coffee beans for months on end without using them or without using them all then you should probably consider buying only the coffee you’ll need.
Yes, it’s great to keep your pantry well stocked and that should absolutely include coffee but, let’s face it, The End Isn’t Nigh and you probably don’t need to keep tons of coffee beans around “just in case”.
- Buy only the amount of coffee beans you’ll need.
- Store in an airtight, preferably ceramic, container.
- Keep in the shade or in a dark cool place.
- Keep it away from the heat, the sun and your fridge.
- Consume within 2 weeks of roasting to ensure maximum freshness.
- Use directly after grounding or, if you absolutely must ground days before consuming, use it within 1 week of grounding.
Infographic – How to store coffee beans
And there you have it! You now know all there is to know about storing coffee beans the right way.
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