In addition to the preparation, the question of how to store the beans is asked frequently. How do I have to store coffee beans? In extreme cases, incorrect storage destroys the aroma and spoils the coffee.
If, for example, the beans are damp, they quickly start to mold. But with a few tips, it will be easier to decide on the proper storage for your coffee beans.
First of all, it is essential to know the enemies of coffee. When it comes to storing coffee beans, that’s half the battle. Contrary to expectations, it is not simply enough to put the torn coffee packaging in the corner next to the fully automatic coffee machine.
Storing coffee is not that easy. Heat, oxygen, moisture, odorous substances, and light are among the “natural enemies” of coffee. You should definitely keep this in mind when storing coffee, especially if the roaster you trust is not right around the corner and you have therefore bought a large supply of coffee.
In general, the following applies to coffee: the fresher, the better. And the warmer the storage location, the faster the aroma will evaporate. Coffee is very sensitive; external influences such as light, heat, oxygen, and moisture are poison for the coffee aroma. Therefore, coffee should always be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place.
How to store coffee beans
Without question, coffee is a sensitive natural product. If you want to store the beans properly, they need protection from the following factors:
- Exposure to oxygen, light, and sun
- Foreign odorous substances
To properly store coffee beans, you should follow these tips:
- Use an airtight coffee can to store the beans.
- It is best to put the coffee in a cupboard.
- Never store the coffee beans near spices or in the refrigerator.
- Store the coffee in a dry place and protect it from moisture.
- Only grind as much coffee as you can use shortly.
- For the flavor, it is best to grind the beans just before you use them. The shorter the interval between grinding and preparation, the more intense the taste.
How to store ground coffee
Ground coffee loses its aroma significantly faster than coffee beans. To counteract this, we recommend a coffee grinder. This can be used to grind as many beans as will be used afterward.
Ground coffee in an open package stays fresh for about seven days at room temperature. It keeps its aroma twice as long in the refrigerator and three to four times as long in the freezer. If the coffee is stored in the fridge or freezer, it must first be brought to room temperature.
Store coffee correctly – do the coffee cans and containers have to be airtight?
Naturally! Anyone who has ever smelled freshly roasted beans in a roastery knows how wonderful coffee smells. Unfortunately, its aroma is a volatile matter. If the beans are exposed to oxygen, it is lost relatively quickly. The caffeine content will remain intact.
A light and oxygen-impermeable can is best for storing coffee beans. It goes without saying that this must not be in the spice cabinet or near the cheese dome. One would recognize the place of storage in the brewed coffee by the taste.
Roasted coffee as a whole bean or as a powder is a fresh product and it should be treated that way. It is ideal if you shield it from external influences such as oxygen, moisture, heat, and light. You should therefore not leave your coffee too long after opening the packaging. But that probably won’t happen to you.
If your coffee is still exposed to oxygen for too long, the oils, fats, and waxes contained in the coffee will escape. The result: the coffee loses its aroma and even tastes rancid over time.
Can you freeze or vacuum coffee beans?
Sounds special, but it is asked just as often as storage in the refrigerator. The answer is yes and no. The beans do not change their consistency when they are frozen, but their aroma and fragrances are impaired. If they have to be frozen, then it is essential to vacuum seal them. Since coffee beans should be used within a maximum of eight weeks, storage in a coffee can is definitely preferable to freezing.
Just as important: do not open the coffee until it has been slowly thawed and brought to room temperature. Otherwise, the humidity will condense on its cold surface.
Can I store coffee in the refrigerator?
It should be stored in a cool place, but not in a refrigerator. Since very few have a pantry, unless you own a house, most of the coffee in the kitchen will be protected in a coffee can in the cupboard at room temperature. The refrigerator is not suitable for storing beans or ground coffee.
Many foods are safe in the fridge, but coffee is definitely not one of them. In whatever form, coffee is known to absorb and store the aromas and smells of the environment. So if you want to remove unpleasant odors from the refrigerator, coffee or coffee grounds are ideal for this. However, if you still want to prepare the precious powder or beans, you should choose a different storage location. After all, who would want their coffee to taste like cheese?
Shelf life: how long can you store coffee beans?
When buying your coffee, pay attention to the packaging. If you want to store coffee after roasting, it must be able to outgas. Our coffee is therefore sent in special protective packaging for the aromas. The background: The CO2 produced in the roasting process escapes from the roasted coffee beans for up to 10-14 days (depending on the degree of roasting and type of coffee). The coffee practically “gasses”.
CO2 can escape through the aroma valve on the coffee package, but no oxygen from the air can get into the valve bag from the outside. The small pressure relief valve prevents the coffee bag from bursting. During this time, further nuances of taste develop. The industrially roasted coffees in vacuum packaging are also at a disadvantage in this respect.
As a fresh product, roasted coffee automatically loses its aroma over time. With ideal storage, the coffee can also be drunk after a period of 12 months. However, if you are looking for quality, you should consider that a freshly roasted coffee develops its best aroma approx. 5 days after roasting, which lasts for a maximum of 6-8 weeks.
How long does ground coffee stay fresh?
It depends on how you define this. Is the coffee freshly roasted or freshly ground? When the coffee beans come out of the roast, they are full of aromas. However, they taste best only after 4-5 days. Then they are outgassed and their aromas have fully developed.
If stored in a suitable coffee can, this aroma will last up to six weeks. We, therefore, do not recommend ordering large supplies. Less is more with coffee too! If you buy less coffee but more regularly, you will definitely enjoy every single cup more. Therefore, our recommendation is to use the opened coffee within 4 to 6 weeks.
Freshly ground coffee, on the other hand, loses its aromas relatively quickly, even in a suitable can. Since the surface of the powder particles is much larger than that of whole coffee beans, the oxidation of the oils and fats contained in the coffee powder is faster. You can clearly taste the loss after 2-3 weeks.
How to store green coffee
Since green coffee or green coffee beans have not yet been roasted, they have a longer shelf life. However, the expert opinions differ quite a bit when it comes to shelf life. Your details are between three and five years.
After all, this is significantly longer than with roasted coffee or ground coffee. While you can store coffee beans for 2-3 months without serious problems, ground coffee should be drunk after a few weeks.
Green coffee is best stored in the dark at a constant temperature of up to a maximum of 20 degrees and a stable, balanced air humidity that is neither too dry nor too humid. Containers made of porcelain, ceramic, and glass are ideal.
Can coffee beans go bad?
Yes, it can, and in several ways. Here are our tips on the causes if the coffee no longer tastes good:
- If stored incorrectly, the beans will go rancid. They oxidize and their fats go rancid.
- The coffee tastes too bitter. It was ground too finely and too many bitter substances were dissolved out as a result.
- Does it taste sour? Then maybe the grind was too coarse, it was roasted too lightly or the brewing temperature was too low.
- If the coffee looks flat or musty, it is simply too old.
- With industrial roasting, the inside of the coffee is not fully roasted, but the outside is already very dark. Such beans are often bitter and sour in taste.
What’s better to store: ground coffee or coffee beans?
If you have a choice of whether to buy coffee powder or coffee beans, you definitely choose the coffee beans. There are two reasons for this: First, coffee beans stay fresh longer, because ground coffee quickly loses its taste. Already two weeks can be enough and the powder no longer gives off its full-bodied aroma.
Second, it is definitely beneficial for freshness and taste to freshly ground coffee beans for each cup in a fully automatic coffee machine. Because the countless different aromas are only released during the grinding process. Therefore, no coffee is fresher than that from a fully automatic coffee machine, which freshly grinds whole beans just before they are consumed.
What kind of packaging is best for storing coffee?
It is best to store the coffee in the original packaging and put it in a light and airtight can that you store in a cool place. This means that the valuable beans are protected twice in terms of their aroma.
With these tips, nothing stands in the way of optimal storage of coffee beans!
Conclusion: How to store coffee
- Store coffee as a whole bean to preserve the aroma.
- Do not keep coffee in the refrigerator as it absorbs the smells of other foods.
- Shield coffee from light, heat, and moisture. Too much oxygen can also make coffee rancid.
- Store in a cool, dark, and dry place: It is best to use a special coffee storage jar.