How To Store Coffee (For Maximum Freshness)

Coffee is a very complex drink. It has a lot of things going on all at that the same time. The aroma and flavor of coffee are so mesmerizing that everyone loves it. But how do you store your favorite coffee in a way that retains its maximum freshness? 

Short Answer: For maximum freshness store your coffee in an airtight container that is opaque and not transparent at room temperature. This will preserve the coffee for maximum freshness.

In this article, we’ll learn everything about how to store coffee so that it retains its maximum amount of freshness. And also learn if you haven’t been storing coffee the right way.

So, let’s jump in.

What Is The Best Way To Store Coffee?

a cup of coffee with a latte art and a bag of spilled coffee beans

The best way to store coffee is by in an airtight container that is not transparent and is kept away from sunlight.

It’s believed that coffee should be consumed immediately after it’s been roasted. Because that’s when you can really taste the freshness and flavors that coffee has to offer.

But it might be possible that you’ve got a big bag of your favorite coffee beans and you want to store them in the best way possible. One thing to keep in mind while storing coffee beans is that air, heat, light, and moisture are the worst enemy possible. If coffee beans are exposed to any of these, they go stale and get moldy.

You can read in my other article how coffee becomes stale here.

Keeping your beans at room temperature and in an opaque, airtight container will preserve their fresh-roasted flavor. Decorative coffee beans are appealing, but avoid clear canisters, as light can compromise coffee’s taste. Beans should be kept in a dark and cool place.

Near the oven and on the kitchen counter is typically too hot, as well as near a window that gets strong afternoon sun. Long-term storage of coffee is not ideal in the retail packaging used for it. Consider investing in airtight storage canisters.

Plus, if we talk about instant coffee, it doesn’t really have any rules for storing. So, you can store it in your kitchen cabinet in the jar that it comes in.

Should I Keep Coffee In The Fridge?

Keeping coffee in the fridge isn’t a great idea. If you store coffee in the fridge it will absorb moisture thus making it stale. It’s advised to store coffee only for a week in an airtight container in the freezer. Not more than that.

First of all, coffee is not supposed to be stored for a long time. The quality of your cup of coffee depends on the freshness of the beans. And if you do store it for a long time, it will lose its freshness.

Once the original packaging seal has been broken, coffee should be consumed as soon as possible after it has been roasted.

Ground coffee and whole beans cannot be stored in the refrigerator, even in airtight containers. It is too warm for your coffee to stay fresh, and because coffee deodorizes, that means all the smells in the fridge will be absorbed.

A cup of coffee with this taste will definitely be unpleasant as a result. Also, you should keep in mind that coffee absorbs moisture, smells, and tastes from the air around it because it is hygroscopic.

a opened bag of coffee beans in a person's hand

There is still some oxygen present in most home storage containers, which explains why food stored for a long period of time in the freezer can still go bad.

Be sure to use an airtight container if you are refrigerating or freezing your beans. It is best to use up your frozen coffee within a week at a time, and then return the rest to the freezer before any condensation forms.

How Do You Keep Coffee Fresh After Opening?

Coffee is advised to be used within a week of opening. Therefore, the best way to keep coffee fresh after opening is to keep it in an airtight container in a cool dark place where there isn’t any moisture.

It can be a daunting task of storing coffee after it’s open. Plus, sometimes, you can’t resist and buy a big batch of coffee beans that are freshly roasted from your local roaster. In that case, what are you supposed to do?

So, in that case, if you’re looking to store freshly roasted coffee beans, keep this list in mind.

  • Don’t store them in a transparent container.
  • Use an airtight container.
  • Completely avoid any heat near the container
  • Keep them away from any stoves or cookers.
  • Avoid keeping them near a source of water in order to omit a moisture around it.
  • Try and use your coffee beans within 72 hours of being roasted.

If you’re looking to store ground coffee, it’s not recommended to do so. Always grind coffee fresh and use it at that time. Plus, brewed coffee is also not supposed to be stored. Always drink freshly brewed coffee each time you make it.

Storage Tips 101

If you decide to store your coffee beans in the freezer, below are the things to follow in order to keep them from freezer burning.

  • Take out the beans as many as you need. Thawed coffee beans are not recommended to be returned back into the freezer. They will get stale and eventually moldy.
  • To ensure the maximum freshness of your coffee beans, don’t freeze them for more than two weeks. Though, many people believe that you can store them for up to two months. But that’s not what I would recommend.
  • Don’t use any paper to store your coffee. This way any flavor or taste from the paper can get transferred into the beans. Use plastic or foil or the original packaging that it came in. And if you use an airtight container a ceramic one works the best.

Are Mason Jars Good For Storing Coffee?

Coffee is recommended to be stored in a tightly screwed jar. And mason jars have that lid so yes mason jars are good for storing coffee. Plus, the glass doesn’t transfer any unwanted flavors if washed properly.

a mason jar with roasted coffee beans stored.

Coffee isn’t that hard to be stored. But it’s not recommended to store it for more than a week. This way, it loses its freshness and depletes its aroma and taste. Also, coffee is a deodorizer by nature. So, if you store it in a container that can transfer a lot of flavors, it can destroy the flavor profile of the coffee beans. So, what are the most feasible kind of jars?

A mason jar can work the best in this condition. Mason jars are glass jars that are tightly screwed with a rubber and screw-like striations that make them airtight.

You see, you need to treat coffee like a perishable item like donuts or cakes. It cannot last for too long. So in this case, a mason jar can work the best for storing coffee. Another thing that you can do here is paint the jars black. This way no light will hit the coffee beans and the chances of coffee getting stale will decrease more.

You can watch this video where they talk about coffee storage.

fantastic tips

What Happens If You Don’t Properly Store Your Coffee?

Coffee if not stored properly, will start getting bacteria inside of it. Then eventually it will get moldy.

If you’re brewing your coffee at home you need to store coffee beans properly. Imagine, the next day you get up after filling up your jar with the freshly roasted coffee ground to make a delicious brew in the morning, and all your coffee has gone bad! A true nightmare.

Therefore, you really need to be mindful about how to store your coffee properly at home.

If you don’t the first thing that would happen is that the coffee will start absorbing moisture from its surroundings. This will then lead to coffee oils going bad. And then, within a couple of hours mold will start appearing in the beans. Yuck! And if they don’t get thrown out immediately, they will become a breeding source of mold. And I am sure you don’t want that.

So, it’s better to always store coffee in the best way possible.

Below is the table of effects that happen to the coffee grounds going bad within a week.

Effects1 Day1 Week
Bacteria 35%100%
Moisture Absorbed60%100%
Coffee Oils Gone Bad70%100%
Smell FunkyYesCompletely
Mold25%100%

Final Thoughts

Coffee should be treated as a perishable item just like any fruit or bread. Though most people would not recommend getting a big batch of roasted coffee beans, because it loses its crisp flavor and aroma.

But if you’ve brought a big batch you can ideally store it in an airtight container. A mason jar can serve this purpose very well but just keep it away from the light or any heat source. You can paint it black to get the most out of it.  

And for some reason, if you haven’t stored your coffee properly, it can go bad within hours of storing it. Since its hygroscopic, it retains moisture and can become moldy very easily.

So, in order to enjoy the maximum freshness, you need to keep everything that we discussed in this article in mind.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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