How to Store Roasted Coffee

To get the most out of your coffee you’ll need to keep it as fresh as possible. Here are the 3 most common storing methods and my take on each one.

The refrigerator


Lots of people think that storing coffee in the refrigerator is a great idea since it’s a cool, dark place. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Coffee is porous, so it tends to absorb the tastes and smells of any substances around it. So, if you store coffee in the fridge along with the leftover pizza and asparagus, the beans will more than likely start tasting like leftover pizza and asparagus. Who wants that?


The freezer


Technically, you can store coffee in the freezer. The only way this method of storage somewhat works is if you place your coffee in the freezer, in a vacuum sealed bag, and you only place it there and defrost it once. Repeatedly taking frozen coffee out of the freezer, for instance removing them daily to defrost some beans and placing the rest back in the freezer, is really bad as it exposes the beans to moisture that can degrade both the beans you put back in the freezer and the beans you’re trying to defrost. I don’t recommend this method at all, but if you choose to freeze your beans, never put the same beans back in the freezer twice. Avoid this method if you can. It just does not work very well any way you do it.


Airtight containers


Using an airtight container at room temperature is a great way to store coffee. Oxygen is the enemy of coffee and keeping it airtight keeps air from contacting the beans (except, of course, when you repeatedly open it for brewing). The other part of this is where to store the coffee in the airtight container. I recommend storing in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cabinet in the kitchen. Since you will be opening the container daily to scoop out beans, air will start coming into contact with your coffee and will start causing problems. This is why I recommend you buy just enough coffee to use in a few weeks.


Remember to store your coffee as whole beans (not grounds) and grind it just seconds before brewing. Coffee stays fresh for approximately 21 days after it is roasted, so don’t buy more coffee than you can use within a few weeks. It’s better to buy more often, in smaller batches than to buy coffee in bulk and store it.


The hack


One thing you can do if you often find yourself with more roasted coffee than you can go through in a week is to use a vacuum sealer. The one I’ve been using for years is the FoodSaver and was less than $100. Assuming the extra coffee you have has already completed degassing, it should be fine to vacuum seal. I would place any coffee you will use in the next few days in an airtight container and break up any remaining coffee you have in proportions that can be used weekly. Ideally you would not have more than 2 weeks’ worth to vacuum seal. Store the sealed coffee bricks in a cool, dark place like a pantry.


This is what a vacuum-packed brick of roasted coffee looks like:


brick-of-roasted-coffee

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