If you really love coffee, then you’re probably investing a pretty penny in buying the best coffee beans. You may even look down your nose at Keurig coffee makers and pod people. Personally, we think there’s a place for both in the kitchen, and we try to use our finest coffee sparingly so that it lasts longer, but then we’re discouraged to see our favorite coffee beans beginning to lose their flavor before we’ve used them all.
Ideally, we’d love to keep coffee fresh and tasting its best longer. Coffee that’s stale and flavorless isn’t worth brewing and ends up going to waste.
Keeping coffee fresh longer is all about buying the right coffee at the right time, and then giving it proper care while in our home. Ideally, then, each and every cup will taste just as flavorful as the first cup until we’re ready to restock again.
Here’s how to keep coffee fresh for as long as possible.
To Keep Coffee Fresh, Keep It in the Original Packaging
When buying coffee, check if the coffee bag has a one way gas release valve for CO2. “This keeps coffee fresh in the bag up to six weeks before opening,” said Juanny Romero, owner of Mothership Coffee Roasters. The downside is that once opened, the coffee will start lose its freshness, so plan accordingly.
Ideally, you should store your coffee beans and only grind the amount you need before brewing. Instead of keeping your coffee beans in a cupboard, or heaven forbid, in the refrigerator, store your fresh coffee beans in the freezer when not in use.
Pro Tip: Buy Beans from a Local Roaster
Find a local roaster and ask which days are their roasting days. “This will ensure the closest date to freshly roasted coffee,” said Romero. Once you know the best day to buy coffee there, circle it on your calendar and make that coffee-buying day.
Buy the Right Amount
This is a pretty obvious tip, but one to keep in mind. If you buy too much coffee for your needs, you’ll have too much coffee. That means coffee will lose its freshness before you can fully enjoy it. Buy as much as you need, you can always buy more next week or next month.
Choose the Right Roast
It may seem like any kind of roast will have the same freshness and longevity, but that’s actually not true. Look for medium roasted coffee as they are not as roasted as long. “This allows the caffeine oils to stay inside the bean. When you see dark oily beans that means it’s been roasted too long and all the oils will oxide quickly,” said Romero.
How To Store Coffee Like a Pro
Coffee will last longer and be fresher depending on how and where it is stored. The enemies of fresh coffee are air, moisture, heat, and light. “Coffee should be stored in a cool, dark place and away from sources of heat,” said Mark Howell, Director of Green Coffee and Tea for Community Coffee, who said unopened coffee should be stored in its original packaging and once opened, coffee should be stored in an air-tight container and used within one to two weeks.
Veken Coffee Canister
This coffee canister maintains the freshness of coffee beans by keeping air out via a one-way CO2 valve and 100% BPA-free silicone rubber seal.
IZELOKAY 401 Coffee Scoop
Grind your beans as you need them and then scoop out just the right amount for the coffee you are making at the time. These are easy to store and just need a quick rinse between uses.
Fridge or Freezer?
A refrigerator is not a good place to store coffee as moisture can enter the packaging and impact freshness. “Storing coffee in the refrigerator can expose it to odors or tastes that can negatively impact the flavor,” said Howell.
Freezing coffee in its original sealed package can prolong the life of the product. However, Howell also taught us something we didn’t know. If you want to learn how to keep coffee fresh for as long as possible, follow this pro tip:
“Once opened it should not be returned to the freezer as the repeated temperature changes will cause condensation to form and the moisture will impact the freshness and flavor of the coffee,” said Howell.
Of course, we understand that not everyone can follow all of this advice to the letter. Sometimes, that morning cup of coffee is more about convenience than flavor. That being said, for premium coffee beans, this is how the professionals keep their coffee fresher for longer.
Reusable Food Storage Bags
Keep coffee in its original packaging and put that inside a resealable food storage bag in the freezer to make sure freezer odors are staying out of it and the beans themselves stay fresh for as long as possible.
Don’t Pre-Grind Your Beans!
Sure, it may seem easier to grind everything all at once and then only have to do that step once. But it’s a bad idea for coffee freshness. Keep the coffee in whole bean form and only grind it when you are ready to brew. “This will keep the aromatic compound intact for a longer period of time and there will be less surface area that is exposed to oxygen,” said Kaleena Teoh, cofounder of Coffee Project New York, a female-owned and operated coffee brand, cafe and roastery. Using just what you need, as you need it, will keep those beans fresher longer.
BLACK+DECKER Coffee Grinder One Touch Push-Button Control
Once you choose the right roast for your needs, get a small and simple-to-use grinder like this push-button option, and grind fresh each morning.