Can coffee go bad?
Yes—even the best coffee will stale and degrade in quality if steps aren’t taken to store it properly.
Can coffee go bad is one of the most frequent questions guests ask us on The Roasterie Factory tours. And it’s a very good question because the four biggest culprits that can compromise the quality and taste of coffee are oxygen, light, moisture, and heat. Learn more about what makes coffee go bad here.
After roasting, the beans are weighed and placed in The Roasterie’s specially designed foil bags which offer protection from oxygen, light, moisture, and heat; the bags are then nitrogen flushed and heat sealed to displace any oxygen from the bag.
In the first few days after roasting, the coffee degasses as carbon dioxide (a natural byproduct of the roasting process) exits the beans. A small one-way valve on the front of the bag allows for the gas to exit the bag, which prevents a build-up of pressure which would otherwise break the bag’s seal. Gas is allowed to exit from the inside while preventing any oxygen from outside the bag to enter, keeping your coffee fresher for up to six months past the “roasted on” date printed on the back of the bag.
Once the bag is opened, however, the coffee is exposed to oxygen and will begin to lose its freshness. We recommend you consume your coffee within 2-3 weeks after opening the bag. Following the storage suggestions below will help you ensure you achieve the best coffee experience, every time!
How to properly store coffee:
After opening coffee for the first time, keep it in its bag with the air squeezed out and tightly tied, in a dark and cool place. An even better option is to store your coffee in an airtight, opaque container like The Roasterie's Airscape Can that solves all the elements that can reduce your coffee’s flavor. The patented valve forces the air from the container before locking the lid in place. The lid is clear, so you can easily see the coffee level inside, but it doesn’t let ultra-violet light penetrate and degrade the coffee’s quality. And the durable exterior construction resists staining as well as odor and taste transfer.
When coffee is opened, it’s exposed to oxygen in the air, which allows oxidization to occur, stripping much of the aromatics qualities of the coffee within days. In fact, our testing has shown that whole bean coffee is negatively affected within two-three weeks while pre-ground coffee degrades in flavor quality in just a couple of days. We recommend grinding only what you’ll be brewing, immediately before brewing. to maximize the taste of your coffee.
Should you refrigerate or freeze your coffee beans?
There are differing opinions out there, but our answer is simple: No, you should not put your coffee in the fridge or freezer! The primary reason is that every time the fridge or freezer door opens, the temperature fluctuates inside the bag, causing condensation that creates moisture and deteriorates the beans or coffee.
In addition to oxygen, light, moisture, and heat, strong odors can also affect the integrity of your precious beans. Coffee is like a sponge; it will absorb smells that are around it. It stands to reason—if you keep your coffee around onions it will actually start to taste and smell like onions.
Call us at 816-931-4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any coffee storage concerns you have. Or stop by any one of our Roasterie Café locations and talk to a friendly barista. Our goal is to help you enjoy some of the best coffee on the planet!