Coffee beans being poured out of a glass jar

Store Your Coffee Properly

May 25, 2020

If you want quality coffee at home, make sure you’re taking care of your beans properly.

We’ve touched on it before, but the freshness of your coffee at home is important. Stale coffee tastes, well, stale. And chances are you’re not a fan of stale coffee, as stale coffee is mostly flavorless, highly bitter sludge - a far cry from the delicious, mildly-bitter hot bean water we all love. So please, we beg of you, store your coffee properly.

But First, How Does Coffee Go Stale?

Coffee goes stale because when roasted beans or grounds are exposed to air, the oxygen present causes the oils inside the bean to evaporate. This wouldn’t be an issue, except for the fact that the oils present in coffee beans are what give them most of their flavor. One important thing to note as well is that oxidation only speeds things up. Oils inside the bean will slowly make their way to the surface and evaporate on their own without being exposed to air, meaning your coffee is only fresh for at most two weeks after its been roasted, and ground coffee is only fresh for one hour after being exposed to air.

So How Do I Keep My Precious Beans Safe?

This part is actually relatively simple: use an air-tight container. All manner of standard household containers for things like jam, liquids, or even some food containers can and will work - including that classic mason jar. The material that the container is made of doesn’t especially matter, with stainless steel, ceramic, and glass all being popular materials for purpose-built coffee containers. Another important requirement is that whatever you’re using to hold your coffee is also waterproof and dry, but chances are if what you’re using is air tight, it will be water tight too.

Is That All?

Yes and no. Since coffee will go stale on its own over time, you can do yourself a favor and buy slightly smaller quantities of coffee more often. This will help make sure that you’re drinking coffee as close to the date it was roasted as possible, meaning a more robust flavor. Avoiding pre-ground coffee is a good idea (if you can), as pre-ground coffee is only fresh for a single hour after being exposed to air. Another helpful tip is to check the roasting date listed on any bag of beans you’re considering buying - think about how long you usually take to go through a whole bag of beans, and stock up accordingly. Alternatively, you can subscribe to our Coffee Club and get the right amount of beans delivered to you every month for maximum freshness.