Storing Your Beans.
You’ve purchased some quality coffee beans; now what? Like any food or beverage, I’m sure once you purchase it you want to make sure it keeps well. The same should apply to your newly purchased coffee beans! We’ve detailed the do’s and don'ts of coffee storage here, so you can always be sure you’re having a fresh cup!
When purchasing coffee from your local roaster they’re probably packaging it in a bag with a one-way valve which protects the beans from oxygen and allows the carbon dioxide in the beans to escape. When shopping for coffee, or having coffee shipped to you, make sure the bag has this feature so coffee can maintain freshness while in transit. Once you open the bag, coffee immediately begins to lose it’s freshness. Therefore, properly storing once you receive your coffee is so important.
If you question the roasters you’re buying from they all will have a varying scale of when their coffees are best consumed by which largely stems from the fact that each coffee will have it’s own sweet spot for drinking after it’s been roasted. A good rule to follow is consuming your coffee within one or two weeks post purchase (assuming you're buying freshly roasted coffee).
“Coffee is best consumed within 1-2 weeks of purchase for optimal freshness.”
When storing your beans there are a few things to consider: air, moisture, light, heat, quantity, and odor.
Coffee can quickly go stale once exposed to air. It’s important to have an airtight storage container to prevent the beans from oxidizing. If you wouldn’t fly around in space in the container, it’s not airtight enough. Keep those beans safe.
Coffee is hygroscopic. ….What in the coffee talk does that mean? It means coffee absorbs moisture, which is horrible for coffee. Why? Moisture can cause the flavors to taste off, deteriorate the beans, and taint the oils. It’s a no from us.
LightLike vampires, coffee prefers darkness. Those UV rays are a killer and can cause the beans to go stale and lose their flavor. Avoid clear or glass containers. They are trendy, but not ideal for proper storage. Store your beans in a container that can shield your coffee from unwanted light and store in a dark place “I vant to stay freshhhh!”
HeatYour coffee should not be sweating. If you enjoy your coffee’s flavor then you’ll want to avoid storing your precious beans near heat. Anywhere near your stove, where the afternoon sun can hit it, or even on your counter can be a bad idea. Opt for a cool, dark place.
If you buy in bulk, we recommend purchasing two containers. One large enough to keep the “bulk” of your coffee, and the other for your day-to-day use. This will reduce the amount of air getting into the bulk container, allowing those beans to stay super fresh.
Unless you enjoy your coffee taking on funky flavors you’d best store them in a proper container. We prefer the metal airtight ones, but there are a few good ceramic and even darkly colored plastic containers on the market that do the job well. Coffee is porous, which means it has very tiny holes which take on liquid or air. This can cause the coffee to take on whatever funky smells are happening around it, leaving you with a less-than-desirable tasting cup of coffee. Gordon Ramsy would for sure send it back.
Freezing coffee beans.
Short answer: do not treat your beans this way. Long answer: if you’re constantly moving your beans in and out of the freezer you’re going to expose them to everything on the list above. You’ll end up with stale coffee that tastes like the fish you’ve had in your freezer since ’02 with a hint of freezer burn. Some say you can store beans in an airtight bag in small quantities, only unthawing what you need at a time and using immediately. This seems like a lot of work and a really easy way to ruin your beans.The takeaway? Store your beans in an airtight container away from heat, light, and moisture – avoiding clear or glass containers. If purchasing in bulk, opt for two containers so the bulk of your beans have limited contact with air and remain fresher. Consume your coffee within 1-2 weeks of purchase for optimal freshness!
Here are a few of our favorite storage containers: