How to Store Coffee – A Comprehensive Guide

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How to Store Coffee

Coffee is a huge part of the morning routines of many, with many coffee drinkers saying they can’t function before they have had a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning. But to get the perfect cup of coffee, you should know how to store coffee beans in the right way to maintain their freshness. 

How to store coffee? What container should I use to store whole and ground coffee beans? How long do whole and ground coffee beans stay fresh? We answer these questions in our comprehensive guide on how to store coffee, so you are well informed on the subject. Keep reading to learn more.

Ground Coffee Storage Tips

It is recommended not to store ground coffee and grind the coffee beans before you brew them. The fridge is not a good place to store ground or whole coffee beans, even if you store them in an airtight container. This is because its temperature is not cold enough to keep the beans fresh for longer. If you keep them in the fridge, coffee will absorb all the aromas in your refrigerator as it works as a deodorizer. This will have an impact on the overall taste of your coffee of Joe. If you are wondering how to store coffee grounds the right to maintain their flavour and freshness then follow the below steps:

  • Store your ground coffee in your freezer instead of the fridge; that can help it last longer.
  • Choose a dark, dry and cool place to store coffee, like your kitchen cabinet or pantry.
  • Store a smaller quantity of ground coffee in a container in a dry and cool place for daily use, and seal a larger quantity of coffee grounds in an airtight container in the freezer or cool and dark area. To reduce air exposure, open the large, tightly sealed container when you need to refill the smaller coffee container.
  • If you do not have time to grind your coffee every time you brew your cup of coffee, you can store your pre-ground coffee at room temperature in a vacuum-sealed container. But make sure that the container is made of a material that would not impart the unwater flavours of ground coffee. You can use a vacuum-sealed container that is made out of ceramic or porcelain.
  • Humidity can affect the ground coffee, which adversely affects its flavour, so don’t store ground beans for more than 7 days.

How Long Do Coffee Grounds Stay Fresh?

Coffee grounds lose their freshness and will start staling after one week, whereas whole beans start losing their freshness after one month. Once ground, coffee beans lose freshness and aroma much quicker than whole coffee beans. This is because of the grinding and oxidation processes that they undergo that speed up this process and cause it to lose its flavour at a faster rate. 

Coffee beans are extracted from the coffee cherries, and freshly milled beans are green in colour that is heated until they turn brown. When they are roasted, carbon dioxide that forms inside the beans starts to leave them, and oxygen rushes in a few days after the roasting process is over. 

That’s why coffee bean packaging has one-way valves so the coffee bag can release carbon dioxide gas without taking on new oxygen that keeps them fresh as long as possible. If carbon dioxide leaves coffee beans too quickly, this may affect the taste of beans and leave you with stale coffee.

Best Containers for Ground Coffee

Coffee storage containers help to keep your coffee grounds fresh and ready to brew. The storage containers that are used for ground coffee are often made from ceramic, stainless steel, or plastic.

Airtight storage canisters, non-reactive metal with an airtight seal and vacuum-sealed containers are commonly used to keep your speciality-grade ground coffee beans fresh. Moreover, these coffee containers also prevent your ground coffee from going stale.

If you purchase freshly ground beans, use storage canisters that can releaser the carbon dioxide because freshly roasted beans emit carbon dioxide. If you prefer using plastic or glass coffee container, keep them in a dark location.

Best Containers for Ground Coffee

Coffee Beans Storage Tips

Try not to store the beans for more than one week at a time to ensure the freshest cup of coffee possible. If this is not always practical, store your coffee beans in the freezer for their optimal freshness. If you are wondering how to store coffee beans, follow the below coffee beans storage tips:

  • The freezer is considered the safest place for long-term storage, but you should be careful about freezer burn. Storing them in the deep freezer is a good idea than storing them in your fridge’s freezer because it is dark and doesn’t get opened as often.
  • Store your whole coffee beans in an opaque and vacuum-sealed airtight container at room temperature to preserve their roasted flavour for as long as possible. 
  • Don’t store your coffee beans in the clear canister, as it will allow the light to compromise your coffee taste. 
  • Keep your coffee beans in a dry, cool and dark area. Don’t keep the container in a place that is near your stove or cabinet near the oven. Also, avoid keeping your container on the kitchen counter.
  • A cabinet near the oven is often too warm, and so is a spot on the kitchen countertop that gets hot in the sun.
  • You can freeze your beans but don’t store them in your fridge’s freezer longer than 15 days from the purchase date to ensure that they are fresh. However, you can keep them in your deep freezer for up to 2 months.
  • Never return the thawed coffee beans to the freezer, so take out only as many beans as you need to make a cup of coffee.
  • To avoid freezer burn, always put each coffee bag in its own re-sealable container or re-sealable freezer-quality bag.
  • If you want to store your coffee beans for a longer time, try not to use retail packaging. Using storage canisters that come with an airtight seal is a good option for long-term storage.
  • Don’t store your coffee in paper bags but rather store it in foil or plastic packaging with a relief valve that allows the gasses to escape. Moreover, these relief values also block the air from entering the coffee bag.
  • When coffee beans expose to air, it loses their freshness and flavour more quickly. If you want to keep them in a container that is accessible to you whenever you want to brew your favourite mocha coffee or mushroom coffee, divide your coffee supply into several larger, unused and smaller portions in the container.

How Long Do Coffee Beans Stay Fresh?

There is no expiry date for coffee beans. They usually don’t expire the way other beverages and foods do. When you buy the coffee beans, remember to look for their expiration date on the coffee bag, where you may find the ‘best before’ or ‘best by data. You will not get a fresh cup of coffee if make coffee using beans that are beyond the ‘best by date. 

Coffee beans can last on a shelf longer in their original packaging without expiring, so you can say that they are a shelf-stable good. They don’t go bad over time like other dry goods, but they don’t stay fresh forever. In short, they don’t expire, but they lose their freshness over time. Coffee beans start losing their freshness as soon as they are roasted.

How Long Do Coffee Beans Stay Fresh

Best Containers for Coffee Beans

When storing coffee beans, bear in mind that coffee beans don’t like moisture, light, air and heat. So use airtight and opaque coffee containers to avoid all these four elements and keep them fresh as long as possible. Airtight containers don’t only keep your whole coffee beans in the best conditions but also brew a flavorful and strong cup of coffee. Moreover, it keeps the coffee from tasting stale and keeps the moisture away from your coffee beans.

Airtight containers keep your beans fresh for about one month. Some other container options for storing beans are glass, ceramic, tin and stainless steel. Tin and stainless steel are non-reactive metals, and these containers come with an airtight gasket seal.

If you are more serious about your coffee storage, choose the material that doesn’t absorb the aroma of coffee beans, like ceramic and metal containers. If you want to store your coffee beans for a longer time, don’t use plastic containers. 

Beans vs. Ground

Ground coffee beans lose their freshness more quickly than whole coffee beans due to their higher proportion of surface area exposed. So it is recommended to grind your beans every time you want to have a cup of coffee. It takes energy, time and, of course, equipment. So if you do not have time to grind your own beans, you can still enjoy fresh coffee if you use ground beans within 15 days of roasting. Whole coffee beans stay fresh longer, and you can use them within 30 days of roasting.

General Storage Tips

There is nothing like freshly brewed coffee, but you need fresh coffee beans to make the best possible cup. There are some general storage tips that help you maintain freshness after you have ground coffee beans or store whole coffee beans in a way that lets you enjoy the most spectacular cup of Joe every time.

Store the ground in an airtight container:

Whole beans can be stored better than ground beans, but you can store ground beans in an airtight container to enjoy a fresh and delicious cup of Joe.

The coffee container that has vacuum-sealed packaging is used for storing ground beans. You can also use the sealed bag, canister and mason jar for coffee storage. Whatever you choose to store ground coffee, make sure you seal them as tightly as possible.

Keep Beans and Grounds in the Dark

If you want to enjoy the most delicious coffee, it is best to keep coffee grounds in the dark. When you store ground coffee in a dry place, it will extend its shelf life. You can keep the sealed container in the kitchen cabinets and freezer but avoid keeping it in the refrigerator.

Divide Your Coffee

Divide your coffee amounts to ensure the freshness of your coffee. For instance, if you want to have a cup of coffee before going to work to give an energetic start to your morning, grind coffee beans in the grinder or leave coffee grounds on the kitchen counter where they’ll be available to you when you want to brew your cup of coffee. 

Use the grounds within 30 days:

Coffee beans don’t go bad, but they smell a bit off after some time, whether you store them in an airtight container or how well your coffee beans are roasted. As a general rule of thumb, try to use the whole coffee beans you buy within 30 days. If you use ground coffee beans, use them within 7 days.

Don’t keep them in the refrigerator:

If you want to keep ground coffee beans at their freshest, try not to keep them in the refrigerator or in the dampest places. If there is any place in your kitchen with lots of moisture, you should avoid storing your ground coffee beans in this place. Humidity can cause the moisture of coffee grounds to evaporate, which changes the flavour of coffee and leaves you with stale coffee.

Store whole beans:

Try to buy whole coffee beans and grind them when you are close to using them. Whole coffee beans last much longer than ground beans. So wait to grind them and prefer to store whole beans to enjoy the most flavorful cup of coffee.

Freeze the coffee grounds:

If you do not have a coffee grinder and you buy ground coffee beans, freezing them in the freezer can help them last longer. The freezer is the best place when it comes to long-term storage. However, defrost the grounds for one day before use, even if you are going to make iced coffee.

Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!