The Coffee Geek’s Guide To Storing Beans

The Coffee Geek’s Guide To Storing Beans

We’ve previously offered some basic advice on storing coffee for a fresher, bolder-tasting cup of Joe. If you’re really into your coffee, though, a Starbucks co-founder has a seriously detailed guide for stashing your beans.

Photo by ReneS.

Jerry Baldwin agrees with Harold McGee and other foodie geeks/scientists that getting whole beans fresh from the roasters’ and holding at room temperature for a week or less is the ideal way to get a great cup. But that’s not a reality most of us grocery-buying citizens can easily slip into. So! The next best thing is to get whole beans from the freshest source possible, and then …

Use the freezer for longer storage. For example, if you bring home a pound of beans, divide it into weekly amounts to store separately. For this week’s coffee, leave it at cool room temperature or seal it and put in the refrigerator. The remaining weeks can be put into the freezer to be removed a week at a time.

Still, Baldwin can’t emphasise enough how great it can be to find a local coffee purveyor that roasts their own beans, and has honest, decent storage guidelines. And if you’re not sure just how old the beans you’re buying are, go ahead and ask.

Wanna go your own way? We’ve previously highlighted a means of rolling your own roaste involving that garage sale staple, the popcorn popper. For Better Coffee, Store Your Beans [The Atlantic Food Channel]


  • Don’t put your beans in the fridge or the freezer. Apart from the damage and subsequent loss of flavour, the condensation will also affect the grind. Store in a dark, airtight container at room temperature.
    Don’t grind your beans until you are ready to use them as they will go stale within minutes (not kidding). Roasted beans are good for a month, sometimes a little longer depending on the beans. Green beans are good for 3 years as a general rule of thumb.

  • Hmm, while homebrews sound enticing, I’m just glad that we’ve got good cafes here in Wollongong! I really don’t know what I’d do if Starbucks started popping up all over the neighbourhood and I’m actually glad they’re pulling all their “coffee” out from storage and taking it back to wherever they came from!

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