Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How to Store Your Coffee

Whether you roast your coffee or buy it at the store chances are you have more than one serving on hand at a time. This means you are going to have to store your coffee. Which also, means you have to know how to store your coffee. Bad news, there is a lot of bad information on coffee storage. The good news, coffee storage is a simple process and the trick is there really is no trick.
So how should you store your coffee? You want to store your coffee in a cool dry place and out of direct sun light. You want to use an airtight container preferably one with a one-way exhaust valve.
Coffee lets off carbon dioxide after roasting until the moment it cupped. Drinks like espresso actually give off carbon dioxide during and after being brewed. That is what the crème on top of the espresso is, but I digress. You can purchase coffee storage containers that have these built in or you can built one yourself with a Tupperware type container, an Exacto knife, a straw, a balloon, and a hot glue gun. I’ll provide the basic directions on how to make a cheap coffee storage container, but you’ll have to find and arts and crafts blog for tips on decorating it.
Okay so you have your storage container purchased or improvised. You have placed your coffee beans in a safe cool dry environment. How long will they stay fresh? The important thing to remember is that coffee is an art not a science (although there is actually a lot of science surrounding it). I have heard experts say you can store whole bean coffee any from a month to six. I do not recommend buying more than a week’s worth of coffee at one time. This is mainly because the coffee you buy at the store has already been sitting on the shelf for a weak and it might have been sitting in storage at the roaster for a month before that. If you roast your own coffee, I would not recommend roasting more than a week’s worth either but you can wait to start the clock until the beans flavor has matured. This is anywhere from 12 hours to 2 days depending on the blend and roast profile. If you are storing ground coffee, don’t, but if you must I would not keep it more than 15 minutes in open air or maybe a day if stored properly. Ground coffee has more surface area exposed which makes it a much better medium for brewing, but also means it goes stale much faster.


  1. Okay - so I love the idea of making my own special tupperware container with the one way valve for the coffee - but where are the rest of my instructions, please?
    please don't tell me you were pulling my leg - I am already very capable of making the outside pretty

  2. I wouldn't think of pulling your leg Lady P. The new parts for my Sonofresco roaster came in and I've been distracted with that project. I will try to post the coffee storage container.
    Thanks for reading and let me know if there are any coffee topics you'd like me to cover.