How To Store Your Beans For A Better Coffee?


Ah, nothing quite wakes a person up than the unique fragrance of roasted coffee beans in the morning before rushing to work. Tea lovers might scoff at the intricate brewing process of making the perfect cup of piping hot cappuccino but coffee aficionados know that the process is just as delightful and therapeutic as sipping the final product.

Coffee Storage

And the verdict is out: Coffee is amazing. According to the Huffington Post, the world’s favourite hot drink is coffee.

But how do you store those miraculous coffee beans that are responsible for fuelling your late nights at work and jolting you back to life before heading off to work? Well, here’s how to store your coffee beans:

The Science of Coffee Beans

Before arriving at the answer, let’s take a look at coffee beans from a scientific perspective. Specifically, what is the best way to preserve its essence?

According to the National Coffee Association, coffee beans are what is known as hygroscopic. Which means, as a substance, it absorbs moisture, odours and the air surrounding it. Therefore, storing it in an open container is a big no-no since it will absorb the odour and moisture of the air surrounding it. This will also degrade its natural taste.

coffee storage beans

In fact, because it’s hygroscopic, the coffee beans’ quality disintegrates if exposed to:

  • Air
  • Moisture
  • Heat
  • Light

You can call them coffee beans’ four greatest enemies! Hence, if you’re wondering how to store coffee beans in the best way possible, it’s important to ensure that these four elements are kept at bay in order to ensure that the beans stay fresh and fragrant.

Put a Lid on it

So, what’s the best way to store coffee beans? The answer is (drumroll please) by keeping them sealed in an opaque, air-tight container in a shelf in a kitchen cabinet or cupboard away from sunlight, the oven and the microwave. Coffee experts agree that this is the single most effective way to preserve the aroma of the scintillating brew.

When you need to make a fresh cup of Americano, simply scoop the required amount from the air-tight container, ground the beans and use it. It’s important to ground the beans just before mixing them with milk or water because it releases that enticing taste you love. Pre-grounded coffee doesn’t preserve the natural flavours and most caffeine drinkers find it tasting dull compared to using whole beans.

Freezing Coffee Beans: Is it a Good Option?

What about storing coffee beans in the freezer? Lots of people do it. The problem with storing it in this manner is that they will absorb the aroma of the air in the fridge. Scott McMartin, a member of the Starbucks Green Coffee Quality group, states that the changing temperatures in the freezer creates moisture in the package which downgrades its taste. The freshness of the beans, which create that delicious taste that we’ve come to love, is lost.

coffee storage

But you can store large amounts of beans for up to a month in the freezer provided if you don’t take it out every day. However, make sure to use an air-tight container. After storing it, don’t open the lid of the container. Let the beans sit on your shelf or cabinet for some time till the beans have thawed completely before opening it and preparing the caffeine concoction.

Bottom Line

How to store coffee beans? In an air-tight canister or container on the kitchen shelf or inside a cabinet which isn’t close to a microwave or oven and away from direct sunlight. You honestly don’t need to freeze it or put it in the refrigerator. Also, most coffee retail packaging rarely is air-tight or contains a seal that keeps its four enemies at bay. So it’s a good idea to ditch the bag it came in unless it’s a resealable one.

You can also purchase a number of specially crafted bean storage containers available on Amazon or other shopping portals. Most of these containers are made of stainless steel and are fitted with a CO2 valve that sucks out all the air in the container. Needless to say, all these containers are air-tight and equipped with a special locking contraption.

So there you have it – your handy-dandy guide on how to store coffee beans in the best possible manner. There’s not much to it, really.

A word of caution before you sit to sip that perfect espresso: Don’t buy coffee beans or pre-grounded coffee that’s out in the open. Coffee beans have the maximum aroma and taste right after they’ve been roasted. Once it’s exposed to air, light and humidity, it loses its fragrance. So always buy beans or grounded coffee from a bag or container.

Okay, go ahead now. Make that cuppa you’ve been craving for while reading this. Enjoy your exquisite coffee drink, kick back and relax. Coffee is basically a hug in a mug!




Rudy Caretti has more than 15 years of experience in the coffee industry, a passion that started in Italy within the family business and brought him to found Gimoka Coffee UK and G Coffee Pod with a group of friends, who share the same passion.
Since he roasted his first batch of coffee seeds as a teenager, he was fascinated by the many ways it can be processed to get the many different distinctive flavours we all love.

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