Like a majority of the population, you love your morning coffee.
Looking forward to that piping hot cup of joe is what motivates you to get up in the morning and start your day. However, there is one thing that coffee drinkers may not realize, and that is how to store coffee the right way, which is the key to keeping it at its finest.
Does coffee go bad? Think of it this way: coffee is perishable, so it expires like other food. Consider storing it to prevent it from becoming stale. There are some dos and don’ts of storing coffee. Read on to find out what they are.
How Long Does Coffee Last?
Expert baristas will tell you that coffee has a short shelf-life after opening, but how long is coffee good for? Coffee only lasts for about two weeks after the roast date. When you shop, check the roast date on the container and select the most recent one. Buying it in smaller portions will help it last longer.
To preserve the taste, brew your coffee within a few days after opening. The type of coffee you buy may determine how long it will last. For instance, whole coffee beans last longer than ground coffee because they contain special oils and flavor to enhance the coffee drinking experience. Consider buying whole coffee beans for that reason.
Whole Bean Coffee
Ground beans grow stale faster because they absorb too much air and don’t keep the oils and flavor the way whole beans do. Consider buying only what you think you will drink in a week. If you’re unsure how much that is, you can freeze coffee. Read on to find out how to do it correctly.
Do you dig freshly roasted coffee? Grind the coffee beans right after you roast them. The flavor will set in while they are roasted. After roasting them, wait a few days before you brew. Waiting releases the gases formed during roasting, which will enhance the flavor.
Your hot java will taste as good as it smells when it brews, thanks to those freshly roasted coffee beans. Your coffee will last for a month after roasting.
So, how long do coffee beans last? Whole coffee in sealed, non-vacuumed packages will last approximately 6-9 months in the pantry and 2-3 years in the freezer. Opened or unsealed packaging lasts about six months in the pantry and two years in the freezer. Frozen or not, they may not keep the flavor.
What about ground coffee? Ground coffee in sealed, non-vacuumed packages lasts approximately 3-5 months in the pantry and 1-2 years in the freezer. Opened or unsealed packaging lasts about 3-5 months in the pantry and the freezer. Frozen or not, they may not keep the flavor. Instant coffee lasts 2-20 years in the pantry and indefinitely in the freezer.
Now it’s time to learn how to store ground coffee and coffee beans.
How to Store Your Coffee
Here is where you learn how to keep that java delicious. This is how to store coffee:
- Protect from air and oxygen. Air and oxygen will turn the coffee stale and cause it to lose its flavor. If your coffee doesn’t come in a zipper bag, store it in an airtight coffee storage container or vacuum-packed container. You can use a vacuum-packed package in place of an airtight coffee container. Remember to burp it first to release any extra air.
- Choose a container that is not translucent so that light doesn’t enter. Light will affect the freshness of the coffee.
- Avoid storing your coffee grounds or coffee beans in places they shouldn’t be. For example, heat, moisture, and light damage the molecular composition of coffee beans. Store the coffee in dark, dry, and cool places, like a pantry.
Though there are several methods, this is the best way to store coffee beans.
Another reason to store coffee beans and ground coffee in air-tight packages is that they are absorbent. It works like a sponge around moisture and odors. Putting it around environmental aromas, like potpourri or incense, may cause it to absorb them.
Avoid storing coffee in the refrigerator as it will absorb aromas from other foods. Refrigeration will also allow moisture to reach the coffee, which can make the flavor and aroma disappear.
Now, about freezing your coffee: freezing it does not guarantee it will last forever. However, it is the best option for storing larger quantities. To properly freeze coffee, package it in small portions in vacuum-packed containers. This will preserve its flavor and freshness.
Temperature changes can cause a breakdown of the molecular makeup of coffee. Repeatedly removing it from the freezer and putting it back in can alter the taste. Avoid putting the coffee back in the freezer once it’s thawed. Doing so will destroy the flavor.
Time to Enjoy Your Fresh Coffee Beans
Now that you know how to select the best coffee and how to store coffee to keep it fresh, you can enjoy it longer.
To recap, buy the freshest coffee grounds or beans in smaller quantities. Select the coffee with the most recent roast date. Store the coffee in cool, dry, and dark places to preserve the aroma and the flavor. Make sure the containers you store the coffee in are air-tight or vacuum-packed so that your coffee can remain fresh.
Coffee does not like air and oxygen. Those factors dilute the taste and aroma, which make your coffee mediocre. Store the coffee in opaque containers to keep out the light. Grind your beans before you roast and wait a few days before brewing. The gases inside the beans need time to escape. Fresh roasted coffee beans will taste better afterward.
Whole beans last longer than ground coffee beans because the beans hold in the flavor and aroma that make your coffee taste so good. If you want to be creative with your coffee, use the leftover beans to make specialty coffees before they expire. Now you can enjoy your cup of joe for all its flavor and aroma.
So, if someone asks you, “How long does ground coffee last?” or “Can you freeze coffee,” you can proudly say you know the answer….and smile while drinking your delicious whipped coffee.
How should I store coffee?
Store coffee away from air, moisture, heat, and light. Keep it in an airtight container in a cool, dark area.
How long can I store coffee?
Coffee can be stored for up to two weeks after it has been roasted. After that time, it will start to lose its flavor.
Can I store coffee in the refrigerator or freezer?
It is not recommended to store coffee in the refrigerator or freezer as it can cause moisture to form on the beans.
Q: How should I grind my coffee?
Coffee should be ground just before brewing for maximum freshness.