3 Of The Best Ways to Store Coffee Beans


What I have learned from experience is that poor storage of coffee beans does not only make it lose its aroma but also other essential oils leaving it stale. I have, therefore, learned how to store coffee beans to make them last long and fresh. Without proper storage, your coffee will lose the freshness and the aroma.

The best coffee storage is the one that protects it from light, heat, moisture, and air. These are not good for coffee since they can make them go bad or lose freshness and aroma faster.

When coffee is exposed to oxygen, it gets oxidized, a process that can be accelerated by heat and humidity. So if you want your coffee beans’ freshness to last, you must protect them from those four things.

Although other factors such as coffee variety may define its shelf life, how and where you store it is crucial.

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Coffee beans can stay fresh for a significant time, provided they are not exposed to humidity and other things that kill them. Keep reading for more information on coffee storage.

Where Is the Best Place to Store Whole Coffee Beans?

The best way to store whole coffee beans is in a storage canister with an airtight seal. The canisters should then be placed in a dark, cool, and dry place at room temperature or below. Good storage canisters can be made from materials such as. 

  • Glass 
  • Plastic
  • Stainless steel

Each of these three materials has its pros and cons that you should consider before purchase.

Check out these frequently asked questions on coffee bean storage.

Can You Store Coffee Beans in a Mason Jar?

A mason jar, a container commonly used for jams storage, can also store coffee beans. Most important is to remember to keep it tightly closed.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using mason jars for coffee storage.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
They are waste-free.They can break easily.
They can preserve the coffee’s freshness and aroma for longer.The bisphenol A (BPA) used to undercoat the lids are not entirely safe when they contact food.
They are readily available in the market and come in many sizes.The screw-top rings are made of steel, a material prone to rust.
They provide an excellent barrier for oxygen and moisture.Most of them are transparent, allowing light to pass through, risking your coffee shelf life.

The good mason jar should have a distinctive ultraviolet light-blocking property; alternatively, you can place the coffee beans mason jars in dark places like in a cabinet.

You should also avoid keeping them in hot places like cabinets close to the gas cooker.

You can also consider buying mason jars with stainless steel lids or plastic lids made from acetal copolymer, which does not contain BPA.

Are Mason Jars Airtight?

Some mason jars are airtight, especially those with a metal clasp or plastic lids with a rubber seal that helps to keep them together. But therefore, not all of them are airtight. 

Do You Have to Boil Mason Jars to Seal Them?

Old guidelines recommended that you had to boil the mason jar lid to seal it but not anymore. Most mason jars lids come with a rubber seal band that creates an airtight vacuum seal on the underside.

They also have an outer band with screws to tighten the cap.

You can boil your mason jar for sterilization purposes but not the lid. This is because boiling the mason jar lid will destroy the rubber seal and make them loose. Instead, check out how you can clean the lids to avoid damaging them.

  • Use a damp vinegar towel to scrub the lids and the rings sufficiently. 
  • Wash them using a sponge and soapy water. 
  • Rinse with clean water and dry them using a clean towel.

Alternatively, you can consider replacing the lids with new ones.

Do Mason Jars Keep Bugs Out?

Mason jar lids are designed with screw-on tops that keep them tight, keeping bugs away. This makes them useful for a variety of storage needs.

However, it is possible to transfer pests from the original package into your coffee jar; it is vital to inspect it for pests before purchase.

If you see pests like coffee bean weevils in your airtight mason jar, it is possible that you transferred some microscopic weevil eggs from the packaging.

In such a case, you need to eliminate them immediately. To get rid of the coffee beans weevils, you will need to;

  • Discard the infested coffee.
  • Vacuum and wipe the shelves with white vinegar.
  • Throw the garbage far from your home. 

Cleaning the shelves regularly will prevent the reappearance of the weevils.

How Long Will Coffee Beans Last in an Airtight Container?

How Long Do Whole Coffee Beans Stay Fresh?

Coffee beans last up to six months past their shelf life if they are well stored in an airtight container. In this case, you should consider other factors that may shorten its shelve life, such as direct light and heat.

Other aspects will affect the shelf life of coffee beans even when stored in airtight containers. For example, unroasted coffee lasts longer. Also, various types of coffee beans have different shelf lives.

Supposing you keep open your coffee bean container frequently exposing the coffee to air for long, it will lose its aroma and flavor and eventually become stale.

An alternative way to increase the shelf life of your coffee beans is to store them in small and truly airtight containers and keep them frozen.

Using poor quality containers which are not genuinely airtight will cost you your coffee beans because they will be exposed to oxygen and humidity, which kills it.

To protect the frozen coffee beans from condensation, always allow the airtight container to thaw entirely to room temperature.

How Long Do Whole Coffee Beans Stay Fresh?

Whole coffee beans will stay fresh for about seven to ten days after roasting, but it will take years before going stale with proper storage.

After roasting, they quickly get oxidized when exposed to air, losing their taste and aroma. When the coffee beans are fresh, they will show the following characteristics:

  • They have an intense aroma.
  • They leave oil traces in your hands.
  • They release carbon dioxide when put in a storage bag. 

If your coffee beans lack all the above characteristics, it is evident that they have long lost their freshness.

Although coffee beans do not necessarily go bad, it would help keep them fresh for as long as possible.

Some of the most affordable and simple ways to keep coffee beans fresh include using a valved pack and coffee vault.

But most important is to purchase freshly-roasted beans and brew what you can take within an hour or so.

Should I Vacuum Seal Coffee Beans?

Vacuum sealing your coffee beans in a plastic bag with a one-way valve is a great way to store them. It will help preserve their freshness for a year or more by preventing oxygen from entering the plastic bag and causing oxidation. 

If the proper techniques are employed, vacuum sealing can increase the shelf life of your coffee bean by two years. 

Suppose you want to store coffee beans for a few weeks before using them, then vacuum sealing them will be an excellent idea.

It would also be helpful to remember that not all plastic bags are suitable for vacuum sealing, but only those with a one-way valve. The benefits of vacuum sealing are to:

  • Save on space.
  • Retain your coffee beans’ freshness. 
  • Enable the coffee beans to be stored effectively to last longer. 

If you have a significant amount of coffee beans that require more extensive storage, you can opt for a bigger, opaque storage container to prevent light effects.

If you plan to purchase coffee beans and grind them from home, the vacuum sealing is worth trying. It will save you the disappointment of brewing flat coffee.

Can You Store Coffee Beans in a Plastic Container?

You can store coffee in a plastic container, but it should be opaque enough to prevent light from reaching the coffee beans.

In this case, any type of light is harmful to your coffee, whether fluorescence or sunlight. This serves as an alternative to ceramic or glass containers, 

The plastic container should be BPA-free and should be airtight to help keep the coffee beans fresh for a long time. Once you have put them in a plastic container, you should place them in a dark place.

Final Thoughts

Coffee storage is critical in ensuring its quality and shelf life regardless of the type of storage container. If you are a coffee fanatic, you also understand the beauty of brewing a fresh cup of coffee when and how you want it, which calls for proper storage.

In short, it is vital to ensure that coffee beans are appropriately stored for future use. Failure to adhere to storage standards might cost you money when your coffee loses its flavor and aroma.

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