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How to properly store coffee beans⎮What to Consider

            Coffee Beans from Espresso Canada

Don't waste the considerable time you invested in sourcing the perfect beans by improper storage.  Proper storage of coffee beans is imperative to making a perfect cup of coffee.There are a few things to consider when storing coffee beans. Read on to learn how to learn about proper storage In order to get the best tasting coffee possible.

Always having the freshest coffee beans

To get the best from a coffee you want to use fresh roasted beans. This means you source out a local coffee roaster who ideally roasts coffee in small batches and freshly roasted beans are readily available.  In a perfect world you should use your beans within two weeks and in this scenario,  storing your beans for long periods would be a moot point. 

Now, if you don't have a local coffee roaster around the corner from you, enrolling in a coffee subscription is a very good idea.  You order beans at the frequency required.  That way you are ensuring you always have freshly roasted beans on hand.  The convenience of getting the quantity you need, when you need it is really an attractive option.  Again with this scenario, storage of coffee beans would be a minor point. 

What Affects Coffee Bean Freshness

The biggest enemies of coffee are air, moisture, heat and light. So to keep your beans fresher for longer periods keep them away from those things. That means storing in airtight containers in a cool, dark and dry place is the most ideal. 

Storing Coffee Beans

In order to ensure that you're brewing the best coffee you can, you might have to store some of your beans. So what’s the best way to store your beans?

Ultimately you can store your beans in whatever you have handy at home, but if you're looking for something a little more specialized in preserving your beans, a vacuum sealed storage container or a container with a tight rubber seal lid is a good choice.

However, if you are sourcing your coffee from a reputable and knowledgable roaster, chances are that the bags the roaster uses are sealable.  In this case, keeping the beans in the original bag is a good idea.  Many coffee bags  have one way valves engineered to release gases and prevent air from entering the bag which ensures freshness and optimal flavour. 

Resealable bags with one way valves are ideal for storing beans and ensuring the beans stay fresh after opening.  Beans will remain fresh in this bag for 3 to 4 weeks after opening. 

Espresso Canada coffee bag displaying one way valve and resealable features


Grind Beans Immediately Before Brewing

Grind your coffee immediately before brewing. The purpose of grinding coffee is to break open the bean and make the flavour oils available to hot water. Unfortunately breaking open the bean also makes the flavour oils available to oxygen and staling. Grinding should only occur moments before you are ready to brew.

This means getting whole beans instead of ground coffee. A good quality coffee grinder is an essential piece of equipment to having the freshest cup of coffee.  Alternately consider an espresso machinewith built in grinder. This is a feature ofsuperautomatics that ensures each cup is fresh and delicous.

Coffee that is sold preground, even if it is stored in vacuum packed tetra packs will have lost freshness and flavour.   Imported coffee has often been in transit and sitting in warehouses for months before it hits supermarket shelves.  Don't be fooled by high end brands who sell coffee at a premium prices.  Higher prices does not ensure freshness or quality.

Should Beans Be Stored in a Refrigerator?

So being cool and dark, a refrigerator seems to make sense for storage right?  Well, although some people do store their coffee in the fridge, it turns out it’s actually one of the worst places to put your beans.

Coffee beans are actually very porous so they readily absorb odours (you can actually use coffee beans to deodorize your fridge). Any particularly pungent smell in your fridge has a good chance of ending up in your beans and ruining its flavour. 

Is It Okay to Freeze My Coffee?

What about freezing beans?  The same issues that affect coffee beans stored in the fridge apply to the freezer.  In addition, freezer burn has an impact on coffee quality.  However, the most detrimental thing about freezing coffee is the condensation that occurs when it is removed from the freezer. 

The moisture and water residue wreak havoc on coffee appliances - in particular superautomatics.  The moisture from the beans will impact the functionality of the grinder and other components. This will result in machine failure over time. The freezer should definitely not be considered as a storage option for coffee beans.

What to Consider When Buying and Storing Coffee Beans- A Summary

  • Buy your coffee beans from a reputable, local roaster so you can buy what you need, when you need it, in which case storage doesn't become an issue
  • Consider a coffee subscription program if you don't have access to a nearby roaster
  • Buy coffee beans whole that are sold in resealable bags equipped with one way valves
  • Do not store coffee beans in a fridge or freezer
  • Store beans in a cool, dry place in an airtight container

We are happy to discuss your coffee needs. Contact us if you have any questions.

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