Guest author Igor Dernov, founder at FrenchPressCoffee.com, where we deliver exceptional French Press Coffee experience with the personal touch.
There is nothing quite like a freshly brewed cup of coffee whether it’s to start your day, end a delicious meal, keep you going all night, to catch up with friends, or simply just because. The smell of freshly roasted coffee can perk you up at any time of day in any situation. Coffee is made to be savored, but if you’re working with coffee beans that haven’t been stored properly, your favorite beverage can go sour.
It’s important to care for and properly store your whole, freshly roasted coffee beans. Keeping them safe and secure in the right kind of container ensures that your beans stay fresh and maintain their taste, so that you’re always pouring the perfectly brewed cup.
How to Store Coffee Beans
Beans are negatively impacted by heat, air, moisture, and light. While coffee can be bought in attractive retail packaging this isn’t ideal to actually keep your beans in. If you want to keep your beans fresh and tasty you need to store them in an airtight container that is opaque enough not to let any light in while keeping your beans at room temperature. Your beans should be stored in the correct kind of container in a cool and dark location, avoiding any hotspots in the kitchen such as the oven or place on the counter where the sun shines through. Remember that you always want to decrease air movement, control temperature fluctuations, and prevent exposure to light.
Using the Coffee Bag
Chances are that you’ve bought your beans in a coffee bag. These bags can look nice and are even quite stylish, but they don’t really protect your beans from the impact of oxygen and they can even allow some of the delicious aromas of your coffee to escape. These bags are usually made of plastic coated paper and don’t have a firm seal so that your beans run the risk of going stale very quickly. Though some bags include a one-way valve that permits the release of CO2 from your coffee beans before being resealed.
These bags are certainly an economical option as they don’t require you to purchase a separate container to store your beans in, they are not a great choice for long-term storage. The flimsiness of the bag can allow too much air, light, and moisture into it which negatively impacts on your beans.
Using Coffee Storage Containers like the Airscape
Using a specialized storage container such as the Airscape Coffee Canisters helps to keep your beans safe and dry. Not only are these receptacles attractive but they also make it easier to scoop your beans out of. These containers are constructed out of opaque ceramic or stainless steel so that light doesn’t reach your freshly roasted beans which keeps them fresher. The jars or containers can also include a special inner seal. When you press down on this seal all the air and extra oxygen is forced out of the container so you don’t have to worry about them threatening the freshness of your coffee beans.
These jars or containers are the best option for more short-term storage of freshly roasted coffee beans, but they can be a bit costly. Though if you’re a serious coffee aficionado then the investment is well worth it in order to enjoy your favorite brew in the most optimal way.
Using the Freezer
As freshness is crucial to a great cup of coffee storing beans in the freezer can be a no-brainer. Storing your whole roasted beans in the freezer can keep them fresher for longer it can also help prevent odors, tastes, and moisture from seeping into them and ruining them. Freezing beans also doesn’t drastically change the brewing process making it an easy choice for keeping your beans fresh for more long-term storage.
Though most home storage containers can still let small amounts of oxygen seep into them which puts your beans at risk of freezer burn. Storing them in the freezer in an airtight container is a much better way to go. Only store coffee in the freezer that you plan to have longer than a month. To optimally freeze your coffee only take enough beans out for a week before quickly returning the rest to the freezer so that condensation doesn’t gather on the frozen coffee. Once your coffee beans have been thawed do not freeze them again otherwise you’ll risk ruining your beans.
How Long Can you Store Coffee Beans?
How long you can store coffee beans depends a lot on how often you plan to use them. If you are an everyday coffee drinker that enjoys multiple cups each day than more short-term storage in a bag or jar or container is for you. This allows you access to your beans when you need them without requiring you to pull them in and out of the freezer. Though if you are buying a lot of coffee or are in infrequent drinker, then storing your whole roasted beans in the freezer might be a better option for keeping them fresher in the long term.
Best Strategy to Store Coffee Beans in the Short Term
If you’re storing for short term usage you should follow a few easy steps to keep your beans in better condition.
Start by buying the right amount of beans. If you buy smaller batches more frequently this will prevent you from having a lot of stale coffee on your hands. Buying a smaller amount also prevents excess air from ruining your beans as you can put smaller unused portions in an airtight container.
Use an airtight container to store your beans in to keep oxygen, moisture, and light out of your coffee. This is especially important if you’re buying pre-ground coffee as it has been exposed to more oxygen in the grinding process.
A proper coffee storage container protects your beans and gives them an airtight seal so that they stay fresher for longer.
Best Strategy to Store Coffee Beans in the Long Term
The best strategy to keep your whole roasted coffee beans in the long term is to keep them in the freezer. Putting your beans in the freezer keeps large amounts of coffee fresher for longer. Putting your beans in the freezer in a proper container prevents air, moisture, and light from ruining them. This is especially useful if you will be enjoying your coffee beans for longer than a month.
Whether you put your beans in airtight containers or in the freezer it’s best to grind your whole beans right before you brew your coffee. This ensures that your coffee maintains its taste and freshness by keeping too much oxygen from getting into your grind. If you make multiple batches of coffee throughout the day you can grind enough for the day but no extra.
Bonus: How to Store Green Coffee (Unroasted) Beans
When storing green coffee which are unroasted beans the most important thing to be aware of is fluctuations in the atmosphere. Your beans should be kept at an optimal humidity level around 60 percent and an optimal temperature around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to be careful about your environment becoming too humid or too hot to protect your beans.
Air circulation is also important with green coffee. Air circulation helps to prevent condensation and allow more breathability. Keeping your green coffee beans in a cooler that has an airtight lid is a good idea for keeping some moisture in. If too much moisture is stripped away from your green coffee then it will lose much of its unique taste and aroma. Yet if it becomes too humid then your coffee beans can even become moldy. Too many fluctuations in your environment, between dryness and humidity, will also ruin your coffee.
To store your green beans properly only buy enough to last you a few weeks or a month maximum. It may be useful to also re-package your beans into smaller amounts or to vacuum pack them.