Now that we are staying home more I have customers who want to order a lot of coffee at once, either to save on shipping, or just to be sure they don’t run out. One question I get is “how long does coffee last or how long will it stay fresh?” Here is the short answer…
Whole beans will retain the flavor for 2-3 months if it is kept in an airtight container. For ground I would say around 3-4 weeks if left out but you could extend that a couple of weeks, again, if kept in an airtight location.
To expand on this a little bit, humidity and oxygen are the enemy of freshness when it comes to coffee. This is why most coffee you see is packaged in a sealed bag with that little slit or air release valve in the top. The flavor and even the caffeine content, basically all the good stuff, is in the moisture of the bean. If left in the open it will dry out and overtime lose it’s freshness. The same can happen when the opposite occurs. Just like the air, additional moisture will compromise the flavor of the bean. Coffee is “hygroscopic” which means “tending to absorb moisture from air”. Who wants to get coffee from a sweaty bean? Yuck!
I package all of my beans in a resealable bag with a valve to let out any excess air. Additionally, if kept at room temperature, these bags will also help prevent condensation. I would recommend just leaving the beans in the bag unless you plan on transferring them to some type of Tupperware or other sealed container.
NOTE: Do not confuse the oil from coffee beans (especially dark roast) with condensation. Ill talk about that in another post.
Coffee can also be stored in the freezer if you plan on keeping it past the recommended freshness date. The caveat to this method of storing, again, is to look out for condensation. Some tips to avoid this would be don’t store in the freezer door especially if you have a high traffic fridge. Only thaw what you will use and let it come to room temperature naturally. Because it is already sealed, you can even freeze our coffee right in the bag. Get two bags, leave one out to use and throw the other in the freezer and you will be set for a while… unless you are like me and go through coffee pretty quick!