How to Store Coffee So It Stays Fresh

Wake up to your best cup.

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Who out there is emotionally dependent on coffee? The hot (or iced) bean juice is a huge part of our morning routines, with many people saying they can't function, wake up, or focus before they've had their morning cup.

But your cup of coffee is only as good as the beans or grounds themselves, and stale coffee is bad coffee. Learn how to keep your coffee fresh (and delicious) for longer so you can wake up to your best potential cup.

What Is the Best Way to Store Coffee?

How to Store Coffee Beans

The general rule of thumb with coffee storage is to keep it away from light, heat, moisture, and air. An opaque, airtight container, such as this one, should do the trick, but if the bag your coffee came in has an airtight closure, such as a zip-top seal, you can use that. Squeeze any additional air out of the bag before closing the seal. Store coffee bags in a cool, dark, and dry area, like a kitchen cabinet. Keep coffee away from warm areas, such as your oven or stove.

How to Store Ground Coffee

Ground coffee requires the same storage criteria as whole beans, but ground coffee goes stale much more quickly. Pre-ground coffee lasts up to two weeks, but coffee beans you grind yourself start going stale within a few days. To keep both your beans and your grounds fresh, only grind a morning's worth of coffee at a time.

Close-Up Of Roasted Coffee Beans
Marc Mcdermott / EyeEm

Which Container Is Best for Storing Coffee?

Opaque, airtight containers are the ideal vessel for coffee. However, if you're serious about your coffee, you'll want to go with a material that doesn't absorb its aromatics. Metal and ceramic containers are non-absorbent and won't absorb your coffee's aromatics. Glass containers are the next best option. Plastic containers aren't ideal for long-term storage, but they'll do as long as you use up the coffee within two weeks.

Does Coffee Expire?

Coffee doesn't expire. However, coffee beans and grounds lose their kick the longer they sit around, or if they're exposed to moisture, heat, sunlight, and oxygen. A bad cup of coffee won't make you sick, but it will have a muted taste and aroma.

Can You Freeze Coffee?

Coffee can definitely go in the freezer, but freezing coffee isn't the a recommended method of storage. According to the National Coffee Association, it's best to consume coffee as soon as possible once the beans are roasted. Storing coffee in the freezer (or the fridge, for that matter) can also expose it to moisture, which will dull the taste.

How Long Do Coffee Beans Last?

Coffee beans will last for a month after they're roasted as long as they're stored properly. Beans that are past their prime will have a faded aroma and an oily surface.

How Long Will Ground Coffee Stay Fresh?

Ground coffee lasts two weeks maximum in an opaque, airtight container. However, the sooner you consume your ground coffee, the better. This is especially true if you're dealing with beans you've ground yourself.

Buying Tips for Fresher Coffee

  • Better beans makes for better coffee. Spending a little more at the grocery store allows for fresher, better-tasting beans.
  • When buying coffee, look for grounds in a zip-top bag rather than a vacuum-sealed one. This way, there's no need to bother with a canister. Zip-top bags are airtight, making them excellent for storage.

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