How to Store Coffee Beans

Coffee beans are the wonder grains that are used to make coffee. When stored the right way, they make a well-flavored, fresh, and sweet coffee. The reverse is the case when you don’t know how to store coffee beans. 

How To Store Coffee Beans
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Most times, people buy coffee beans and keep them carelessly in their homes. Some grind them immediately and while awaiting brewing, it goes bad. The methods of storage affect the way it tastes, and the quality of your coffee drink.

If you love your cup of coffee, it is okay to say you should know how to store them. But do you? Sadly, a lot of coffee lovers don’t know the best ways to store their coffee beans.

It is important to know how long it stays after roasting, factors that affect it, and how to keep coffee beans the right way.

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.

Ground Coffee Vs Coffee Beans

Coffee beans, like most natural foods, have a certain time they can stay fresh before they become stale or go bad. The average period coffee beans can stay fresh before it goes bad, is about one month. 

On the other hand, ground coffee gets bad faster than coffee beans; most times after one day. This is so because ground coffee has a greater surface area and is thus predisposed to more oxygen than coffee beans. 

Note that oxygen catalyzes a lot of oxidative reactions in coffee beans and this causes coffee beans to spoil faster. 

It is advisable to buy coffee beans that you will use for at least one week, or at most for one month to preserve its quality. Most importantly, you should grind them just before brewing your coffee to retain its freshness, flavor, and taste.

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Factors That Affect the Quality of Coffee Beans

These factors determine how long coffee beans are preserved, its taste, flavor, and quality. They include:

Method of Roasting

The method of roasting used is a major factor that determines how long the coffee beans will stay fresh. When it is roasted for too long till it gets darker (most people prefer darker coffee beans), it can only stay fresh for a short time. Darker coffee beans go bad faster than the lightly browned types.

This is so because they are roasted beyond the first layer of the coffee beans, and as such are exposed. In that state, they are more absorbent and this quickens their spoilage.

This process begins as early as 4 days after roasting. There is a great possibility that your coffee beans will lose their freshness after this time, especially when they are not stored properly.

Light

Exposing your coffee beans to light is not a good idea, as it quickens the rate at which it goes stale. Removing the coffee from the bag it came in and storing it in transparent containers won’t do your coffee good.

Light reduces the natural flavors and taste as well as essential oils that come with coffee beans.

In storing your coffee beans, you must always make sure you keep them in a dark container far from light. The darker the better.

Air

This is the factor that affects the quality of coffee beans the most. How do you store them far away from oxygen? This sounds almost impossible.

Well, as much as you can, keep them stored in an airtight container to preserve its flavor.

Moisture

This is a perfect environment for mildew and mold to thrive. When your coffee beans are exposed to moisture, they start to grow on it. Their growth process is so rapid that soon, your kitchen smells and the coffee beans get ruined.

Hence, it is not advisable to keep coffee beans inside the refrigerator, as it can absorb moisture when not stored at the right temperature. Also, constant removal from the fridge distorts the state of the beans or it will absorb moisture from other food stored in the fridge.

If you must keep them inside the refrigerator, you must make sure they are stored in an airtight bag fit for the freezer and you must not remove them often. This is almost impossible, so it’s not the best way to store them.

Heat

Storing your coffee beans where they are exposed to excessive heat is not advisable. Heat increases oxidative reactions in the coffee beans which can reduce its lifespan. As much as possible, store them away from direct sunlight, or other sources of heat.

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Best Ways to Store Coffee Beans

Video: How To Store Your Coffee Beans

This video will show you everything you need to know about storing your coffee beans.

Considering the factors discussed above, the best way to store your coffee beans is in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or any other source of heat, and air. Let’s look at some best storage methods, shall we?

Coffee Bags

Coffee bags are good for storing coffee beans. They have only one opening which completely preserves coffee beans. This form of storage reduces oxidative reactions and all other factors.

Luckily, most coffee beans come in such bags, so you don’t necessarily have to change the bag. But most importantly, you must always remember to carefully seal them after each opening and keep them in a cool and dry place.

They can stay for about 1-3 weeks without going bad depending on the conditions under which they are stored.

Coffee Canister

This is a non-transparent vacuum-sealed container that is used to keep coffee beans under the right conditions. They can store coffee beans for one month and even more and retain their freshness under normal conditions.

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Other Containers

In the absence of coffee bags and canisters, you can use non-transparent air-tight jars or containers to store coffee beans. Keep them inside your kitchen cabinets or cupboards where they are shielded from light, heat, moisture, and air.

How To Keep Ground Coffee Fresh

We already know ground coffee is not the best form of storage for coffee beans because of its vulnerability, sometimes it’s the only option we have. For example, your coffee blender is bad, or you are traveling and you’re not sure if you will get a good coffee there. 

Maybe, you have more quantities of ground coffee than you can finish at a time, what do you do? The same principle applies here; use airtight coffee bags or canisters to store coffee beans away from moisture, light, air, and heat.

Tips

Buy Quality Coffee Beans

Coffee beans are of different species and quality. Your best bet will be going for the very best. So, the next time you want to buy coffee beans, you should be sure it’s the best quality.

Buy in Smaller Quantities 

As we have already seen, buying smaller quantities that will last for about a week is better to preserve its taste, flavor, and freshness.

Get Lightly Roasted Coffee Beans

This might be hard for dark coffee lovers, but if you are buying large quantities that will probably take you for a time then, get the lightly browned coffee beans.

Buy It Fresh 

Most people buy coffee beans that have stayed on the supermarket shelf for weeks or months. You must make sure they were recently roasted. Check the date the coffee beans were roasted at the back of the bag before you buy them.

Grind The Quantity Of Coffee Beans You Need Per Time 

Like earlier stated, whole coffee beans last longer than ground coffee. Always grind your coffee beans prior to brewing.

Store Coffee in Clean Containers 

Before you store coffee in containers, you must ensure that the container is clean and dry. Keeping coffee beans in a dirty container ruins them faster because of the essential oils’ coffee beans contain.

Roast your Coffee Beans

You can roast your own coffee beans. This guarantees that you’re getting a great taste and well-flavored coffee at all times and of course you will save money.

In summary, do all you can to protect coffee beans from light, air, heat, and moisture. Coffee tastes better when it is freshly preserved. However, if your coffee beans are stale, use them to make a refreshing glass of iced cold brew coffee instead of throwing them away.