If you care about your coffee beans you should store them under the right conditions. And no, the fridge is definitely not the place.
If you truly love someone, set them free. Isn’t that how the saying goes?
Well, I beg to differ. At least when it comes to coffee. My take is more like:
Put your loved ones in a tightly sealed container devoid of any oxygen and store them in a dimly lit place!
If you care about coffee beans the way I do, you want to store them the most ideal way possible. In this article, I’ll explain exactly how.
For the skimmers, here is my top recommendation for coffee canisters. For you thorough reasearchaholics, read on.
|Friis 16oz Stainless Steel...|
|Airscape Stainless Steel...|
|Tightpac America Coffeevac 1...|
As a coffee cannister made of stainless steel, this particular canister holds up to 16 ounces of your favorite whole bean coffee. Friis provides a unique CO2 vent in the lid to permit the release of the gas while maintaining an otherwise airtight seal between uses. The company includes a year’s supply of filters for the valve, so you won’t have to worry about purchasing replacements immediately. Plus, the opacity of the vault means you can keep it on the kitchen counter as long as you select a cooler area away from primary heat sources.
It’s just the right size for most coffee enthusiasts. If you use less than 16 ounces on a regular basis, there’s no harm in not filling the space completely. The vent functions efficiently and the seal is airtight.See more reviews
Alright, so it’s also great for storing beans, rice, or oatmeal. But how good is it for keeping coffee fresh? As it turns out, this canister is excellent at just that.
While there’s no CO2 valve involved, it does reduce the amount of oxygen that comes in contact with beans significantly, plus, it has a pretty impressive design.
This coffee canister is made of stainless steel but comes in a variety of enamel finishes if you want to color coordinate with your décor. However, perhaps my favorite feature was the interior lid that you push down to seal your coffee (or seeds, oatmeal, cookies, rice, whatever) away from air and light. That’s made from BPA-free plastic, as is the transparent lid that allows you to check how much coffee you have left in the canister based on where the internal lid is situated.See more reviews
Unlike the others on my little list, this container is made of plastic. That suits some, but not others, so be advised. It holds a pound of coffee and has a button on the top that expels air when you close it. Do not be confused—this is not a vacuum system in the sense that a total vacuum is created. It expels air after each use and the lid firmly seals, which mean there’s less oxygen coming into contact with your beans. It slows bean staling, which is useful for individuals who go through coffee quickly and for small businesses.
It’s also made of recyclable plastic and is customizable. That means you can integrate it as a part of your décor and make it truly unique. It holds a pound of coffee and reduces bean staling, which can significantly improve the flavor of your morning cups or afternoon pick-me-up.
Some might be disappointed that they can’t store their coffee in Outer Space, but really, my most substantial concern is that I can’t put it through the dishwasher. Those who purchase this should only hand wash it with mild soap.See more reviews
I know you love coffee as much as I do, which is why you’re reading this in the first place. So I won’t waste your time rhapsodizing about The Elixir of Life, as I call it first thing in the morning.
Instead, I’ll run through a few primary considerations that shape how coffee lovers should analyze the paraphernalia and machinery they buy to brew their beverage of choice.
One of the main things you ought to know about these magical beans is that their flavor and aroma come from volatile oils and myriad complex chemical interactions.
A coffee bean is a seed that has been dried and roasted to one degree or another to evoke these oils and organic compounds. It stands to reason that both storage method and context of these beans should matter.
First, while pre-ground coffee is the norm in the industrial food chain, storing coffee in its whole form will prolong the aromatic oils and intense flavors we love.
Industrial logic, to which many have been accustomed, dictates quantity, price, and standardization. Many daily coffee drinkers who purchase their beans pre-ground are trained to look for the highest volume for the least cost and to expect a routine, bland flavor palette that does not vary.
However, if you’re a little bit serious, you already know that buying freshly roasted whole beans in small batches is the way to go. Not only will you want to consider how much coffee to grind for each cup and the fineness of your grind, but also how much coffee you consume on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Buy only what you will drink in that time to preserve the coffee’s optimal level of flavor and freshness.
Taking that as a given there are a few additional considerations when it comes to properly storing coffee.
The key things to avoid:
When you’re shopping for coffee storage containers, you’ll want to look for items that help you avoid these factors. It should be airtight, made of opaque material, which can be stored in a cool, dry place.
Let’s talk a bit more science…
Once the coffee has been roasted, it gives off quite a bit of this harmless gas called carbon dioxide. That’s why roasters that sell whole bean coffee use special bags with a one-way valve.
The little circular valve is supposed to let out the carbon dioxide so the bag doesn’t explode from the sheer pressure that builds up inside.
However, unless you are a home roaster (or professional) you shouldn’t worry too much about having a one-way valve since the biggest release of carbon-dioxide occurs 24-48 hours after roasting.
Carbon-dioxide does not damage the freshness of a bean – that’s oxygen’s job. So even though having a canister with a one-valve might seem like ‘the right thing’ to do, you should worry more about getting rid of all oxygen. (Source)
I used to think that you ought to never under any circumstance store your beans in the freezer but my stance has somewhat changed over the last couple of years.
It’s not ideal, however, in the event that you aren’t able to finish a given bag of beans (or perhaps you have multiple) within a month or two, then the freezer is a better alternative than just keeping them in the cupboard.
Since coffee is hygroscopic—which means it draws moistness from its environment—just a tiny amount is problematic. Much like the box of baking soda lurking in the back of your refrigerator, your coffee will draw odors flavors along with moisture.
For that reason, you should only freeze whole bags and seal them carefully. You can read a more thorough explanation here.
Hello, and welcome! I'm the editor & founder of this site.
I have been a coffee geek since I started home roasting more than a decade ago. Since then, coffee has taken me on countless adventures: From ancient coffee ceremonies in Ethiopia to the volcanos of Sumatra.
My background is in journalism, and today I'm also a licensed Q Grader under the Coffee Quality Institute.