As a coffee lover, you must already feel the attraction of a steaming cup of coffee. You also know that the real lure of coffee is not in caffeine but in the flavor.

When you have a terrible cold, you taste the bitter sweet-ness of your coffee. Your nose ditches the aroma and you don’t enjoy it as much.

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So, if your coffee turns stale, the experience will leave a bad taste in the mouth, literally. What you should do is to store your coffee right. Find out more about this below.

How Long Do Coffee Beans Last?

People have the impression that coffee beans don’t go bad. This is a wrong assumption and you should treat your coffee beans just as store your nuts and dried fruits. Coffee beans have a shelf life too.

So, the question now is, how long do coffee beans last after roasting. Your freshly roasted beans will retain their flavor for one to two weeks. It will depend on the method of storing. That is what we are coming to eventually.

Coffee Beans Not Ground

Coffee beans start oxidizing as soon as you grind them. It would be stale within a few days. So, remember to shop for whole beans that are recently roasted. You may invest in a good grinder. Have freshly ground and brewed coffee every time.

Also, keep a tab on the date of roasting. Check the date before you purchase.

Buy Small and Fresh

Either you are already doing this, or you have not given it a thought. Unless the roast house is too far from your place, don’t buy in bulk.

You will not be able to utilize the full merchandise before it goes stale. You might end up with a lot of poorly stored, musty coffee beans.

Don’t throw away your old beans though. You can use them for cold-brewed coffee or for flavoring and baking. Unless you are fond of cold brews, this is not desirable purchase otherwise.

Best Storage Option

You procure your roasted beans packed in either paper bags or foil bags. The foil bags have tiny holes for the carbon-di-oxide build-up to escape. The air cannot enter through these holes quickly. So, the coffee beans stay fresh in foil-bags for long.

You must store the paper bag beans in containers immediately after you buy them. You may even need to replace the foil bags with container cups after some time.

What do we mean by containers? Air-tight or vacuum-sealed jars are ideal. The coffee jars that are made of non-reactive metal or ceramic or glass are excellent. Even opaque food-grade plastic containers cups would do as long as they are air-tight.

The storage vessel should be opaque so that sunlight cannot affect the coffee beans. Beans spoil quickly because of humidity and harsh light.

Storage Place

You need to store the beans in a cool, dark space. Cool, dark does not mean damp. The storage space has to be dry. Temperature control and low moisture level will keep the freshness intact for long.

Storing your beans near the oven, stove, or microwave is a strict no-no. The changes in the temperature will make the beans go rancid fast.

Cool Not Frozen

The fridge or freezer is not an option at all. Even if you have purchased a large number of beans, freezing them should be the last option

If you freeze your beans, you will have to thaw them before you can grind them. This changes the quality and flavor of your drink. If you absolutely need to, put them in vacuum-sealed packs. That may save you some beans but will, anyway, rob your coffee of the fresh aroma.

Coffee beans have a porous cell. Coffee beans are hygroscopic and they absorb moisture as well as other smells. Most of us store spices, onions and garlic in the fridge. So, keeping your coffee beans in there will get you an ugly spice-flavored coffee next morning.

When refrigerated, coffee beans go through condensation. This pushes out the bitter oils of the beans to the surface. This not only robs the aroma but also makes the drink too bitter.

In the End

How you love your coffee depends on your individual preference. You may like it pressed and strong. You might prefer flavorsome drip coffee.

But, storing your coffee, the precise way is essential. This often-overlooked step can mar your coffee experience.

Take the effort to buy beans against ground coffee. Store in air-tight bags or containers. Keep them away from sunlight and heat. Choose a cool, dry place for them, but never ever refrigerate the coffee beans. Make sure that you buy in manageable quantities. And use stale coffee in innovative ways.

If you love coffee, show your love towards coffee beans. Store them well and savor the fruit of your love.


Grant is the man behind Just Coffee Maker, a site dedicated to the art of brewing coffee manually! Grants's writing is unpretentious and really captures the beauty of the ritual in making great coffee.

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