How Long Does Coffee Last? 5 Tips For Storing Coffee Beans
Second to picking the right coffee, properly storing coffee beans is one of the most important factors in making a delicious cup. Knowing the proper shelf life of coffee can help you save time, money, and frustration in the long run. In this guide, explore how freshness impacts taste and learn how to store your coffee at home to maximize flavor and freshness!
How Long Does Coffee Last?One of the largest contributions specialty coffee has made to the coffee-drinking culture around the globe is the idea that freshness and quality are inextricably linked. In other words, the sooner you can brew a coffee after it is roasted, the better. As a general rule of thumb, an opened bag coffee should be enjoyed within 2-4 weeks after roasting. At our Roasterie Cafes, we build in several days of “rest” for our coffees between roasting and brewing. “Rest” refers to the process of letting carbon dioxide escape from the coffee beans, which gets built up during the roasting process. (This is why you see a one-way valve on every Roasterie coffee bag!) Letting your coffee rest allows for even extraction during brewing (no matter your brew method), which will result in a sweeter, balanced expression of flavor in your coffee. Using this philosophy, we recommend you begin enjoying coffee 3 days after roasting for brewed coffee, and 7 days after roasting for espresso. However, many other factors affect coffee freshness. Ultimately, how long your coffee beans last depends on the state the coffee is in and how you plan on storing them once the bag is opened.
Factors that impact coffee freshnessThe main factors that impact the freshness of coffee are light, air, time, moisture, and purchasing ground coffee:
- Sunlight: Exposing your coffee to heat and UV rays can quickly deplete your beans of flavor
- Oxygen: Just like most perishable food, the organic molecules within coffee break down and lose their flavor integrity with prolonged exposure to oxygen. This process is called oxidation.
- Time: Over time, coffee will start to become less fresh. It's as simple as that.
- Moisture: As a porous substance, coffee beans absorb the flavor of things around it when exposed to moist, humid conditions.
- Purchase Ground Coffee: When coffee beans are ground before you are ready to brew, the oxidation process is accelerated. Ground coffee goes state faster than whole beans because of the greater surface area of coffee being exposed to oxygen at once.