How to Properly Store Coffee Beans

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storing coffee beans

Many coffee drinkers like to stock up on coffee beans so that never run out when the caffeine shakes start to kick in. But buying coffee beans in bulk or storing a lot of coffee beans around your house, may not be the optimal solution unless you’re storing your coffee beans correctly.

Can Coffee Beans Go Bad?

Coffee beans can generally last for a very long time as long as they are stored properly and away from any moisture or humidity. Since the coffee beans are roasted and dried, there is very little concern for mold or bacteria growing on the beans, however, with time coffee beans can start to lose their flavor.

If your coffee beans are in the original, unopened, package in your pantry, they should be good for up to 9 months, at least. This does not mean that the beans will go bad after 9 months, but you may notice some changes in the flavor.

If your coffee beans are in the original bag, but the bag has been opened, then the beans are going to be good for about 3-6 months, but the best flavor is still going to be within the first few weeks.

Again, this is all relative to how they were stored, what type of container they were in, where that container was placed, and so forth. Coffee beans that were stored in the pantry where it’s dark and dry will last longer than coffee beans that were stored in their open package sitting out on the countertop near a window.

In general, as long as the beans weren’t exposed to a lot of humidity and moisture, and were stored in a dry, dark place, they should last quite a long time. Keep in mind though, after a while, no matter how the beans were stored, you may start to notice some degradation in the flavor when compared to the same beans freshly roasted.

Storing Coffee Beans for Maximum Freshness

Now that we know that coffee beans can last for quite a long time when stored properly, or unopened, what is the best way to store them around the house to ensure that you get the best tasting coffee when you decide to grind and brew those beans.


As we stated above, one of the biggest enemies of freshly roasted coffee beans is oxidation which comes from oxygen and light.

If you’re coffee beans are in a sealed package and that package is opaque in color, then the packaging will prevent most of the outside light and air from reaching the beans. You can still store this bag in your pantry for an added layer of protection, but in most cases the original packaging is going to do a great job of protecting your beans.

If you’ve already opened the package, or you have a decorative jar or container that you like to store your coffee beans in, make sure that the container is not see through and it is an air-tight seal.

An opaque container with an air-tight seal around the lid is going to be the best option when it comes to storing coffee beans outside of the original package, but without having to resort to freezing or vacuum sealing.

The jar will help prevent most of the air from getting at the beans and with the opaque color of the jar, light will not be able to penetrate and begin to impact the coffee beans.


If you have your coffee beans stored in an opaque, air-tight, container, the thing you’ll want to watch out for is where that container is being stored.

While air-tight lids are great, they don’t always keep everything out and moisture or humidity can become a problem if not monitored.

Storing your coffee beans in a dark, dry location, like a pantry or cabinet, will help reduce the amount of light as well as the amount of moisture that can get at the beans.

As we stated above, freshly roasted coffee beans are dry by nature, but when you introduce an outside source of moisture, the beans can begin to develop bacteria and mold over extended periods of time. This is especially true if you are just storing your coffee beans in their original packaging, opened or not, as those packages aren’t 100% sealed.

Freezer/Vacuum Sealed

If you’re looking to get the most out of your coffee beans, and you have the space for it, vacuum sealing and freezing your beans can help them last well over a year, but they must be packaged correctly.

The freezer will keep out air as well as light, which are the two main enemies of coffee beans, so this may seem like a great place to store them for long periods of time. And you’d be right, but you still need to make sure that the packages are airtight.

Vacuum sealing or removing as much air as possible from the container, is going to ensure that no air gets trapped with the beans as they are frozen. This will give you the most longevity and best tasting beans when you take them out of the freezer.

Should You Store Coffee Long-Term?

In our opinion, as coffee enthusiasts, we recommend grinding and brewing your coffee beans within the first 3-4 weeks of purchasing. This will ensure you get the best flavor, and the flavor that was intended by the grower/roaster of the beans.

While coffee beans won’t make you sick if you drink them after an extended period of time, they will begin to lose their intended flavor profile the longer you wait to brew them.

So if you’re looking to get the most flavor out of your beans then we recommend drinking them as soon as you can after purchase, but if you’re just looking to make sure you have some coffee beans on hand at all times, storing them properly will help you maximize the flavor over time.

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