Whether you make it in a french press or have a coffee pot set to start brewing when your alarm goes off using fresh beans is the best way to give yourself the gift of a great cup.
Keep reading to learn the best way to store coffee beans at home for maximum freshness.
Journey of a Coffee Bean
It is easy to forget that a coffee bean’s life starts long before it finds itself inside your kitchen. It goes a long distance to make its way into your mug, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it only has about a week or two before the freshness wears off and you are looking at a stale cup of joe.
When thinking about the best ways to keep your brew fresh it helps to know where coffee is grown.
The majority of the coffee consumed around the world is grown in Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia. So, unless you live in one of these areas chances are the coffee beans you brew for your cup will probably spend a couple of weeks in transport before you get the chance to sip on their juices.
Factors for Safe Bean Storage
There are 4 key factors that play a role in the freshness of coffee beans. They are light, temperature, moisture, and air. Each one makes a big difference in the freshness, flavor, and aromas of coffee.
Bathing in the morning sun might be a rejuvenating experience for you, but for your coffee beans, it is one sure-fire way to speed up their aging process. Keep them in a dark cupboard or in a translucent container that won’t let the light damage them.
Storing them by the oven or other warm places where the temperature can fluctuate will also cause them harm. Keep them somewhere away from sources of heat to help them stay fresh.
Keeping them anywhere where they might come in contact with moisture, like in the refrigerator, is also a bad idea. The extra moisture in the air can dilute the flavor left in the bean, plus the beans will absorb neighboring flavors in the air, like the tuna salad that is still in the fridge from last Monday.
Lastly, make sure they are in an airtight container. Oxidization happens quickly and leaving your beans out will definitely cause them to be stale.
Don’t Freeze Them
The general consensus is that freezing your coffee beans is a practice best to avoid.
If you have an unopened bag that you want to save, keeping it in the freezer can preserve its freshness. Be warned that freezing coffee beans will alter their taste! Once it is opened up it is best to keep it out of the freezer and use it within a week or two.
Freezing the beans causes the moisture and gases inside to expand which can damage them. They are also at risk of freezer burn and additional moisture compromising their flavor and freshness.
Keep Your Beans Out of the Fridge
For almost the exact same reasons as keeping your beans out of the freezer, it is best to keep them out of the fridge. The other foods and extra moisture are a danger to the freshness of your coffee.
Buy at the Right Time
Even if you have the best standards of practice for your coffee storage it won’t do well to have beans around too long. Only purchase what you will use within about two weeks. If you are regularly pushing your beans past a month you can expect a lackluster cup of coffee.
Roast It When You’re Ready
If you have the gumption to roast your own coffee, you can buy green coffee beans and roast them at home.The beans start to deteriorate as soon as they are roasted, so doing it yourself could add a couple of weeks of freshness to the shelf life of your stash.
The Best Way to Store Coffee Beans
There are many different ways to keep coffee beans living their best life. The best way for you to store them will depend on the space you have to work with. They could be in a drawer, cupboard, or on the counter as long as you are keeping them dry, cool, closed, and dark.
In the Bag
You can store coffee in the bag that it comes in if you plan to use it quickly. Most bags of coffee beans now come with a gas release vent so their gases can escape while staying protected from the outside air, light, and moisture.
If you have more beans than you can grind within a week then you will want to move them somewhere airtight where they won’t get stale.
You can store coffee beans in mason jars with tight-fitting lids. This is an easy way to store coffee without having to buy any other solutions.
The risk of using mason jars is that light can easily penetrate the beans and accelerate their aging process, leaving you with a stale cup of morning brew. Make sure to tuck the jars away in a cool, dry, and dark cabinet so they don’t get damaged by any light or heat.
Airtight Coffee Canister
Another option is to invest in an airtight canister just for your beans. You can find a container that keeps out light and seals in freshness. In fact, we own a Soulhand Vacuum Coffee Canister and use it every day! This particular coffee canister charges via USB and is a one-touch operation for easy use.
Using a high-quality container can slow down the aging process by protecting against the four foes of fresh coffee beans, namely the stale air.
Enjoy Fresh Coffee Beans at Home
Now that you know the factors that can make or break a great cup of coffee you can store your coffee beans for maximum freshness.
Keep them in an air-tight container somewhere temperature-controlled and free of light. As long as you check those boxes you can be sure you’re doing all you can when it comes to taking care of your beans.
Now that you know the best way to store coffee beans take a look at some of our recipes, like these caramel copycat recipes, to learn how to turn them into mouthwatering drinks you will love.