Coffee Tips – The Shelf Life of Coffee Beans

65Cool, dark, dry storage? Refrigerator? Or Freezer? What is the best place to store and maximize the shelf life of coffee beans? Following are some tips to help improve your coffee experience and extend the shelf life of your beans.

Commercial shelf life after harvest,

  • Green coffee beans are generally stored in a dry environment and can last up to ten years or longer.
  • Stored green beans are known as “aged coffees.”
  • Aged green beans lose their acidity and gain body.

Consumer shelf life after purchase,

  • Coffee beans that have been roasted have a shelf life of two to four weeks if properly stored.
  • After two weeks, the coffee can begin to lose flavor so it is always a good idea to buy fresh coffee frequently.
  • Ideally speaking, coffee should be ground just before drinking it.
  • The best way to store the unused coffee is in the bag in which it is packaged.
  • Bags for roasted coffee are made in such a way as to keep the roasted coffee fresh without having a negative effect on the coffee’s taste.
  • Place the coffee bag inside an airtight container away from light and moisture at room temperature or cooler if possible.
  • Coffee beans are porous and absorb moisture and odors. They are also perishable and will lose aroma and flavor over time.
  • Yes, you can extend the “freshness” life of unopened bags of specialty coffee. Place them inside a freezer bag and close securely. Doing this step seems to reduce the roasted coffee beans further “out-gassing” through the one-way valve in the side of the bag. We tried it and it noticeably retains the coffee’s fresh taste and aroma.

Membership in a coffee club is an excellent way to have freshly roasted coffee beans on hand for regular consumption but not so many that shelf life becomes an issue. Buy what you will use in the next two to four weeks.

So, are you now ready to enjoy a cup of rich, bold, spicy and earthy Sumatra Mandheling specialty coffee?

Timothy (“Tim”) S. Collins, the author, is called by those who know him “The Gourmet Coffee Guy.”
He is an expert in article writing who has done extensive research online and offline in his area of expertise, coffee marketing, as well as in other areas of personal and professional interest.