Dec 21 , 2022
For most of us, our day doesn’t start without a hot (or cold) cup of coffee! Whether you get Starbucks on your way to work or brew your coffee at home for a fresh cup, getting your coffee right can make or break your mood.
On the same note, the most important thing for a great cup of coffee is that it has to be fresh! And this brings us to the main subject of our blog- how to get a fresh and aromatic cup of coffee for every brew. As much as your methods of preparation matter, how you store your coffee also makes quite a difference in how it tastes.
It should come as no surprise that aspiring coffee connoisseurs should understand how to store coffee in a way that preserves maximum freshness for as long as possible. Coffee beans can be kept fresh for about a month after roasting if they are stored properly. After roasting, ground coffee stays good for one to two weeks.
Learning how to preserve your coffee's original flavour and freshness can help you wake up to the greatest cup of coffee, every day!
Does Coffee Ever Expire?
Technically, no. Coffee never actually expires. However, the longer they lie around or the more they are exposed to moisture, heat, light, and air, coffee beans and grounds begin to lose their flavour. Even when you are buying coffee, you most likely won’t find an expiration date on the package. But there is a “best before” or “best by” date that warns you on how long you can store and use the coffee. But don’t worry, drinking “expired” or a bad cup of coffee will never make you sick; it will just taste flavourless and have a foul smell.
Coffee beans are a shelf-stable product, which means they can remain undamaged on a shelf for years without actually going bad. Coffee doesn't go stale, but it does lose its freshness over time, just like other dry foods like uncooked rice and dry pasta.
In fact, coffee beans start to lose their freshness as soon as they are roasted. This is why it’s important to store them the right way for them to last longer.
How to Store All Types of Coffee
When it comes to storing coffee beans, you have to be mindful of four things: light, heat, moisture and air. When you store your coffee beans, you need to make sure that they are not highly exposed to any of these. So naturally, the only best option is to store your beans in an opaque, airtight container. However, if you choose to use the coffee beans from the same package as you bought them in, make sure that it is tightly sealed and you use it before 2 weeks.
Along with the container you store it in, it’s also important to know where to store it. Coffee should be kept at room temperature in a dark, cold, dry area to maintain its freshness and flavour.
While it’s understandable that you would have easy access to your coffee on your countertop near the gas stove, it’s highly recommended that you store your coffee somewhere away from heat and light. Keeping it in your kitchen cabinet is a good idea. The darker and drier the place of storage, the better.
Ground coffee is the leftover coffee powder in the coffee grinder after grinding whole coffee beans. Many grocery stores and coffee shops provide both whole and ground coffee beans for purchase and consumption.
While whole beans take almost two-three weeks to go bad, ground coffee starts to go stale after a week itself. They tend to lose their freshness and aroma more quickly than whole beans. This is partly due to the oxidation process that coffee goes through, and because grinding hastens this process, coffee grounds lose their freshness even more easily.
The maximum shelf life of ground coffee in an opaque, sealed container is two weeks. The sooner you consume it, the better. This is especially true if you're making coffee with beans you've ground yourself.
Even though ground coffee ages considerably faster than whole beans, it can be stored in the same way as coffee beans. It’s best to grind coffee beans only when you are about to make yourself a cup of coffee.
7 Useful Tips for Storing Coffee that Lasts Longer
Here are some valuable tips on how to store coffee for long-lasting freshness, smell and taste:
1. Always Avoid Storing Coffee in the Fridge
Due to their porous nature, coffee beans can quickly absorb odours. If you store them in the refrigerator, they can pick up the flavour or smell of other foods like meat, fish, and other foods in the fridge. Besides the smell, storing coffee beans in your fridge can also make them stale quickly. This is because of the cold and moist environment of your fridge. It’s advisable to always store coffee in an airtight container in a dry place.
However, if you must keep your coffee in the refrigerator, it should be consumed within a week to get maximum freshness.
2. Avoid Glass Jars
No matter how pretty coffee beans look in a glass jar, they’re absolutely a harmful decision for your coffee. The type of glass jar you use strongly impacts how you store your coffee in it. Your storage options may vary depending on whether you use an opaque glass jar or a transparent one. However, at the end of the day, you must make sure the jar is airtight, whether it is transparent or opaque.
Storing your coffee in a transparent glass jar will only make the coffee beans go stale quicker as it allows light to pass through the container. And remember? Light is one of the four enemies of coffee.
3 . Don’t Keep your Coffee Jar Near the Window/Stove/Oven
By now, you probably know why you shouldn’t place your coffee jar near a window, on the countertop, near an oven or a stove. As already discussed above, coffee is prone to expiration under excessive light, heat, air, and moisture. So when you store your coffee bean jar near the window or the oven, the coffee bean can get easily exposed to heat and light (both natural and artificial), causing it to go bad.
If you are storing your coffee near the window or the gas stove for easy accessibility, you know why your coffee tastes flavourless after a few brews.
4. Store in Smaller Portions
For a cup of coffee to be of exceptional quality, it must be fresh. Coffee should be consumed as soon as it is roasted, especially once the seal on the original box has been broken.
Instead of opening a pack and emptying all the content in a container, it’s better to divide small portions from your entire stock of coffee beans and use them in small batches whenever you need a cup. Your beans will be exposed to more harmful elements if a large container is frequently opened and closed. On the other hand, storing them in smaller amounts will better protect them and help them stay fresh and aromatic for longer.
5. Always use a Non-Reactive Container
If you are someone who stores their coffee in different containers other than the ones they came in, you have to make sure that these containers are opaque, airtight and made of a non-reactive material. Glass, ceramic, and other non-reactive metals like stainless steel and tin make for the finest coffee storage options.
Other fancy canisters made of different metals or plastic can interfere with the freshness and flavour of your coffee beans and make them go tasteless within just 3-4 weeks. Furthermore, coffee oils are easier to clean from glass and ceramic jars than in others.
6. Store in a Cool and Dry Place
Long-term exposure of your coffee to heat, moisture, and air is never recommended. Coffee drinkers should make every effort to keep their coffee grounds as dry as possible. The shelf life of coffee can be extended by using a sealed container when storing it at room temperature and in a dry environment. You can use your freezer and kitchen cabinets, but not your refrigerator.
Locking out moisture is a very important step in coffee storage. Make sure you find the right spot for your favourite coffee!
7. Buy Less, Buy Local
Regardless of how well-roasted the specialty coffee is or how carefully sealed the storage container might be, all coffee grounds and beans ultimately go bad after a while. To be able to enjoy the freshest and most flavorful cup, you should buy coffee in smaller amounts, more frequently. Buy just the amount of coffee you'll need during the next few weeks rather than stocking up for the entire month.
And instead of getting your coffee from a grocery store, where products can be on the shelf for weeks and months, it’s better to visit a local coffee roaster for handpicked and fresh coffee beans.
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A cup of freshly brewed coffee is enough to fix our moods and get us all worked up, and ready to get through the day. But when you don’t store your coffee properly and don’t give it enough attention and care, it can result in a relatively flavourless and bad-smelling brew. The very thought of that isn’t very appealing, right? But don’t worry, now you know how to store coffee properly and avoid that from happening!
And if you are a coffee lover who can’t resist an aromatic and fresh brew, do check out Levista collection of strong filter and instant coffee flavours.
1.Should I store coffee in the fridge?
Even in an airtight container, the fridge is not ideal for storing coffee in any form- ground or whole bean. The cold from your fridge has moisture, which can destroy the coffee's freshness. And since coffee is also a deodorizer, it can absorb all the odours in your refrigerator.
2.Is it better to keep coffee in a bag or jar?
Though store-bought coffee comes in an opaque bag, it is advisable to shift and store it in an airtight container like a mason jar. The retail packaging of coffee is not ideal for long-time storage.
3.What kind of container is best for storing coffee?
Once it is opened, keep it secured in a coffee storage container or an airtight, vacuum-sealed container to avoid further oxygen contamination. Ground coffee and whole beans will remain flavorful and fresh for longer in these containers.
4.Can you boil coffee?
No, you shouldn’t boil coffee at all. This is because boiling coffee grounds destroys its flavour and aroma and will certainly result in bitter over-extraction.
5.What is the safest coffee to drink?
The healthiest and safest way to drink your coffee is hot and black. One cup of black coffee contains almost no calories, carbs, fat, or sodium. It also contains micronutrients like potassium, magnesium, and niacin.