Storing coffee the right way can genuinely make or break your cup of coffee. For the freshest and most flavorful coffee, store them in a dry, cool, and dark place in an opaque container. Moisture, heat, and light are some of the key factors which cause your coffee to go stale.
For a more detailed explanation of storing your coffee perfectly, read on!
How To Store Coffee?
There are 2 main factors when deciding how to store coffee – the location and storage container. Both of these factors play a crucial part in ensuring your coffee retains its freshness and flavor.
Store your coffee in a cool (room temperature), dark and dry place. This can be anywhere, from your pantry to your kitchen top.
Just make sure to avoid places which can warm up due to nearby heat sources. These include places too near your cooking area or near the window (sun light can sometimes be an issue). Also avoid humid places, as moisture can be absorbed by the coffee, affecting the flavor.
Store your coffee in a dry and airtight container. Especially if your coffee comes in a vacuum sealed packaging, it can lose its’ freshness easily after being opened. I would recommend you transfer it immediately after opening into an appropriate container.
Unless you are storing your coffee in a dark place, make sure to use an opaque container instead of a transparent one. Light can definitely affect the flavor of your coffee, so be careful if using a clear container.
How Long Does Coffee Stay Fresh?
After coffee has been roasted, they start to lose their freshness and become stale.
For ground coffee, aim to consume them within 7 to 10 days of roasting. For whole coffee, aim to finish them between 4 to 6 weeks.
However, don’t brew your coffee immediately after roasting either. Ideally wait for a few days (around 2-4 days) to let the carbon dioxide – built up during the roasting process – escape. This will ensure you get the best taste.
Ground vs Whole Beans
If you are using ground coffee, they lose its freshness and flavor faster than whole coffee beans. Since ground coffee has a larger surface area, there is greater contact with oxygen. Oxidation (the process which causes coffee to lose freshness) will then occur faster.
If possible, I would recommend you grind your coffee fresh every morning. Freshly ground coffee means its’ natural aroma is preserved and that will result in a better-tasting cup of coffee.
To Freeze Or Not?
If you aren’t interested in the why, here is the short answer – don’t store your coffee in the fridge.
As mentioned earlier, coffee absorbs moisture from the surrounding. Along with this, it will also absorb the aromas in the environment. Your coffee will take on the flavor of the food items in your fridge! Also, the increased humidity in the fridge can cause moisture to build up on the coffee. This will make it go stale faster.
However, if you really have to freeze coffee (because you bought too much coffee!) here are some tips. Make sure to not frequently take out the coffee, once per week is the maximum. Also, use an airtight container. These will minimize the condensation on the coffee and keep them fresh for longer.
Remember to let the coffee beans thaw to room temperature when you remove them from the fridge.
Bonus Tips & What To Do Next?
Here are some tips to keep your coffee fresh and flavorful.
- As much as possible, buy freshly roasted coffee in small batches that last for 1-2 weeks.
- If you decide to buy larger quantities of coffee, keep 2 separate containers. One larger one and another smaller one for everyday usage. Open the larger container only to refill the smaller one, otherwise keep it closed and in a dark place.
- Here is my favorite tip. If your coffee has been sitting out for a while and has become stale, don’t throw them out. Instead, use them for cold brew coffee. The taste will just be as good.
Now that you know how to store your coffee perfectly, why don’t you learn how to brew great coffee? We have some awesome guides to making French press coffee and pour over coffee!