How to Correctly Store Coffee Beans and Coffee Grounds

All coffee lovers know that the key to the best cup of coffee starts with the right ingredients. If you don’t store your coffee grounds and coffee beans correctly, your cup of joe just won’t turn out. Did you know that coffee is only considered to be “fresh” for up to two weeks after its roast date? And that time frame is severely shortened if the coffee is pre-ground. Keep reading for all you need to know about maintaining freshness.


Storing coffee beans

Okay, let’s start off with coffee beans’ four greatest enemies: air, moisture, heat, and light. These factors will drastically impact your beans’ ability to maintain their freshness.


  • Air: Most households will continue to use the packaging that the beans were purchased in. However, this is not ideal for long-term storage. Beans should be stored in an air-tight container.
  • Moisture: Coffee is hygroscopic. This means that it absorbs moisture and thus takes in the odor and tastes around it. As such, it should not be stored in a moist environment.
  • Heat: Avoid storing your beans in a cabinet near the oven or a spot on the kitchen counter that gets strong afternoon sun as it can affect the taste.
  • Light: While coffee beans are beautiful, avoid clear containers. Light often compromises the taste of your coffee. You’ll want to store your beans in a cool and dark location.


Storing coffee grounds

If you truly want fresh coffee (and it sounds like you do if you bothered to look up how to store your coffee correctly), your best option is to grind your own beans, however, if you don’t have your own grinder, purchasing pre-ground coffee in smaller batches that is consumed over the course of a week will ensure a fresher taste.

So, long story short, don’t store coffee grounds for more than a week or two. Grind your coffee beans yourself right before brewing for maximum flavor and grind just as much as you need (no more).


Can I freeze my beans?

Knowing that freshness is critical to a quality cup of coffee, freezing beans is a bit controversial. In general, you’ll find that the recommendation is that coffee is consumed as quickly as possible after being roasted. Furthermore, you want to eliminate any moisture that your coffee beans are exposed to, which can be difficult in a humid environment like a refrigerator or freezer. Your beans can also suffer from freezer burn if you don’t have a truly airtight container. In general, while freezing doesn’t change the basic brewing process, it’s best to avoid this practice when storing.


Final thoughts

There you have it! Storing your coffee correctly doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s all about finding the right container and the right place in your kitchen. But as long as you remember the four basic enemies of coffee beans (air, moisture, heat, and light), you’ll have fresh coffee every morning.

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