Storing Roasted Coffee Beans

Roasted coffee beans have a relatively short shelf life of only two or three weeks. Some people actually keep them for months!....not recommended. The most discerning coffee connoisseurs will insist after one week roasted beans are stale and create an “undrinkable” brew, aka "bomb". It is our recommendation that roasted coffee be kept in bags made for coffee, such as Kraft Tin Tie bags. It is beneficial to wrap a rubber band around the bag to further seal the beans from outside air. Storing in plastic bins or containers is not recommended. Roasted coffee reacts with plastic. Storing in sealed glass containers is better than plastic (roasted coffee does not react with glass), but an excess amount of air is trapped inside the container which accelerates the staling process.

Storage Tip: Do not store roasted coffee in the refrigerator. The coffee can develop food odors and the cool, moist air will tend to decay the beans faster. If you will not be able to use the coffee within two or three weeks, placing it in a sealed container in the freezer is recommended. A good analogy of freezer storage is to compare freezing beans like you would a good steak – it goes in the freezer fresh, and comes out at a later date still in good reasonably condition – but certainly not as good as before it was frozen. Freezing coffee beans has roughly the same effect.


Storing Un-roasted Green Coffee Beans

Green beans can last literally for years. When first harvested, the beans are light emerald green in color. Some varieties will vary. Also, "dry processed" coffees will tend to be more brownish and rougher looking - this is not necessarily detrimental, but characteristic of the dry-process. As the beans age they become less green and more grayish. Some beans, such as Indian Monsooned Malibar, are artificially aged creating a somewhat similar appearance of peanuts (light brown).

Storage: If you plan on using your green beans within a few months, the plastic bags they came in are fine. You can keep them on a counter top or in a cupboard at normal room temperature. For longer storage periods the beans need to “breathe”. Leaving the Ziploc bag open and occasionally shaking them up will work fine. Putting them in cotton or burlap bags and storing them at temperatures of 80 degrees or below (but not too low!) is ideal. We sell cotton coffee bags at a very reasonable price which are ideal for storage. Ideal green coffee storage conditions are 60 degrees F, and about 60% humidity. More than 60% humidity can cause dangerous mold growth within the beans. Storing them in arid conditions of, say, 20% humidity will rapidly dry the beans out after a month or two and the beans will tend to develop a "flat" taste.