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How to Keep Coffee Beans Fresh

How to Keep Coffee Beans Fresh - Proline Range Hoods

In this article, we’ll discuss some common methods to keep coffee beans fresh, how to store coffee grounds, and some frequently asked questions when it comes to storing beans and grounds.

So, you’ve decided to buy some coffee beans instead of ground coffee this time around. You’re excited to have your first home-brewed coffee with beans that you grind on the spot. You come home, grab your mason jars, pour the beans into the jars, and set them on the counter.

Two weeks later, you use these beans and make coffee, but it’s not as tasty as you would have thought. Why don’t the coffee beans make the coffee taste better?

Without proper coffee storage, you’ll never taste the full flavor and smell the sweet aroma of a brewed cup of coffee.

Mason jars are a big no-no, as are plenty of other containers, too. We get that they’re pretty, but they are not a practical way to store your coffee beans. There’s a reason that coffee beans come in an opaque bag.

For more great coffee storage tips, keep reading!

Coffee Beans in a Cloth Bag

Keeping Coffee Beans Fresh

Coffee Art with Beans

Coffee beans will more often than not come in an airtight container when you first buy them. Ideally, this is one of the best places to keep them!

However, if for whatever reason you do not want to use this bag, or you don’t think you’ll use the coffee as quickly as you’d like, you can store it in other containers.

The best way to store coffee beans is to use an opaque container that can be sealed tightly and stored in a room-temperature, dark, and dry area of your kitchen. Something like an old washed out cocoa container would work. The next best place is a dark, opaque or tinted container that lets in a minimal amount of light.

Two Cups of Coffee with Whole Coffee Beans on the Table

To keep whole beans good for longer, freezing them is an option, provided you can seal them in an airtight container for best results.

You can seal whole beans away in the bag they come in, and then place that bag into a Ziploc bag and freeze it. But, you shouldn’t take frozen beans in and out of the freezer. Moisture causes the aroma and taste to dissipate and the beans may taste more bitter.

How Not to Store Coffee Beans

The worst solutions are a Ziploc bag, mason jars, or clear Tupperware. While Ziploc bags can be used if they are also put in a sealed, dark container, like the cocoa container we mentioned above, coffee beans shouldn’t be exposed to light, heat, or moisture of any kind.

Keeping Coffee Grounds Fresh

Coffee Grounds

Keeping coffee grounds fresh includes many of the same methods as coffee beans, but coffee grounds have an even shorter lifespan.

Airtight, dark containers in dry, dark spaces will increase the life of your grounds. Using this method can extend the life of your coffee grounds by up to four weeks.

You can also freeze grounds with the same methods we mentioned above: in a vacuum-sealed container, or inside the packaging in a Ziploc bag.

Remember to never store your coffee grounds (or beans) in the refrigerator! Moisture is bad for coffee grounds and may accelerate mold growth.

Commonly Asked Questions About Storing Coffee

Time for some rapid-fire questions about coffee!

Coffee Grounds on a Scale

How long do coffee beans stay fresh?

Most coffee beans will have either a “roasted date” or “best by date” on the packaging. The best time to drink your roasted coffee is around 2-4 weeks and up to 6 weeks with a slight loss of taste. You may find the last few brewed cups taste stale, so it’ll be time to buy more coffee soon.

Should I store coffee beans in the fridge?

Never store beans in the refrigerator. They need to be in a room-temperature, dark room in an opaque container with no moisture.

Whole Coffee Beans on a Scale

Does freezing whole coffee beans keep them fresh?

Freezing whole coffee beans is a good strategy to keep them fresh for a long time, but beware: they must be in a vacuum-sealed container so no moisture gets in. Removing the beans and placing them in the freezer again may result in moisture leaking in. So, it’s best to store them only if you have an excess of beans. You can store whole coffee beans in the freezer for up to 6 months.

What is the best container for coffee beans?

The package it comes in is the best way to store beans, but if you’re looking for an alternative, an air-tight, dark container is a good option. Don’t use clear or see-through Tupperware or mason jars.

How to Keep Coffee Beans Fresh - Spilled Containers of Coffee Beans

Do coffee beans go bad?

The short answer is no. Coffee beans can’t go bad or expire like milk or fresh produce will. Mainly, the taste and aroma will fade away, leaving the coffee less flavorful.

For ground coffee, it’s best consumed within two weeks of opening, although an unopened bag can last up to five months. After two weeks, the flavor starts to be lost, but again, it will not expire like dairy or produce.

For brewed coffee, the lifespan is even shorter. It’s best when consumed within the first 30 minutes – at most an hour. But, it is still considered okay to drink after about four hours.

What can you do with expired coffee beans?

You can use expired coffee beans for decoration or add some flair to photos and more (see below).

With grounds, you can fertilize your plants, compost them, or even dye your clothes - all those stained shirts can be reborn!

Spilled Cup of Coffee Beans

Do coffee beans stay fresh longer than coffee grounds?

Coffee beans stay fresher longer than coffee grounds. Coffee beans are best used within the first four weeks of opening and coffee grounds are best used within two weeks of opening. This is based on maximum freshness, taste, and aroma. Both beans and grounds can be used after their respective dates; they will just have less flavor.

Two containers of coffee and coffee grounds

This wraps up our article on how to store coffee. We hope you found this article helpful! If you’re wanting to find some lovely photos of coffee, be sure to check out our Pinterest board of all things coffee!

We promise you won’t be disappointed! You can also check out our previous blog posts below regarding how to grind coffee without a blender and how to create a coffee station in your home – they are fun reads!

We’ll see you next time!

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