Storing Your Coffee

Canyon Coffee Roasters

How to Store Your Coffee

Storing your fresh coffee is as integral as buying freshly roasted beans. Without proper storage, coffee will quickly lose its freshness, eliminating your favorite nuances, leaving you with a stale start to your day. In order to appropriately store your beans, keep them away from excessive air, moisture, heat, and light. While having coffee on display can be an attractive centerpiece of any kitchen, it is best to store them in a cool, dry location in an opaque container to eliminate excessive light.

Keep whole bean coffee away from excessive air, moisture, heat, and light to preserve freshness.

The goal is to preserve the delicate cellular structure of a roasted coffee bean. While refrigeration or freezing are popular recommendations, neither are a good storage methods. The constant temperature and related moisture shifts associated with these storage places, especially the refrigerator, cause cellular structure changes associated with lackluster flavor when finally brewed. It is better to invest in airtight glass or ceramic containers for storage in a cool, convenient cabinet. Additionally, many packages in which coffee is sold are not appropriate for long term storage. Opaque, airtight bags with a one-way valve (used to let CO2 out of the bag but not let oxygen in) are best, but often are left unsealed after opening. If you are using a bag like this, be sure to seal the bag tightly after opening. If the bag is not airtight, be sure to find another storage place for your coffee.

What have I heard about freezing coffee?

Freezing coffee can help you maintain a relative freshness for an extended period of time, up to one month. While this is not the best method for coffee storage and eventual consumption (if you want maximum flavor and freshness, buy in smaller batches and store in the aforementioned ways), it can be done if you take care to avoid any moisture. It is important to note that frozen coffee should be consumed within one week of being thawed because the cellular structure changes will happen at a faster rate than in properly stored fresh coffee. Store in the small amounts you want to consume, and thaw them individually. Additionally, coffee is porous, meaning it will absorb flavor. This is another reason to make sure coffee is stored appropriately, especially in the freezer.

How long can I store my coffee before I lose flavor?

Technically, a coffee bean begins to lose freshness immediately after the roast. Flavor maximizes 8-24 hours after the completion of the roasting process, then continually decreases. In order to get the best out of your coffee, properly store the beans and buy in smaller batches, amounts that you will consume within 1-2 weeks. Store whole bean, then grind only enough for the amount you want to brew.