If you are a coffee enthusiast that loves to brew coffee at home, I’m sure you must have struggled with keeping your coffee beans fresh, especially when you buy beans in bulk.
Now, there are actually numerous ways to prolong a coffee bean’s shelf life while maintaining its original flavour. If you want to know how to keep your coffee fresh all the time, keep reading because this article will contain all the information you need to know how you can end up with perfect cups of coffee every time.
How Long Does Coffee Last?
So how long do coffee beans actually last? A coffee bean’s shelf life can actually be affected by numerous factors including its form, preparation method, storage method, temperature, humidity, and more.
But, as a rule of thumb, an unopened bag or can of ground coffee last for 3 up to 5 months in the pantry, and up to 2 years in the freezer. Whole beans that are still in their sealed containers, on the other hand, can last from 6 up to 9 months in the pantry and 2 up to 3 years in the freezer.
As for opened bags of ground coffee, they will be able to last for 3 up to 5 months whether it’s frozen or stored in the pantry. Whole coffee beans, on the other hand, can last for 6 months in the pantry and 2 years in the freezer.
How To Tell If Your Coffee Has Gone Bad
Telling whether a coffee bean is still fresh or not can be quite a difficult task especially if you’re no coffee expert.
To find out whether your coffee beans has gone bad, the first thing you should do is trust your sense of smell. A coffee bean that has gone bad will no longer possess the normal aroma that a fresh coffee bean has. Have you ever noticed the smell of the ground when it rains after a hot day? That’s pretty close to what bad coffee beans would smell like.
Another thing you can try is to look at the coffee bean’s colour. A bad coffee bean will have a flushed colour, unlike fresh ones that have a medium to dark brown hue.
If your sense of smell and site isn’t that developed, you can always try to brew the coffee beans and taste them with your tongue. Brewing and drinking bad coffee beans don’t really have a negative effect on one’s health. It will just taste bad or dull.
I have actually tried brewing bad coffee beans in one of the best coffee makers, but even the best one in the world can’t bring out the flavours of coffee from a bad bean.
The last thing you can rely on when determining the freshness of coffee beans is the expiry label that comes with the package.
How To Properly Store Coffee Beans
When it comes to prolonging your coffee bean’s shelf life, there are a couple of things you can try.
If you like to keep your coffee beans whole, the best way to store them would be in an airtight container, away from sunlight, and at room temperature so that the beans will retain the optimal moisture content to make them fresh.
Another way you can prolong your coffee beans is by grinding them and storing them in an airtight container. However, if you choose to do this method of storing, do keep in mind that you will be sacrificing the aromas and flavours that usually comes with freshly ground coffee beans.
The last thing you can try (but I personally don’t recommend) is storing the coffee beans, whole or ground, in the freezer. Freezing coffee beans and grounds can help you retain their freshness for up to 2 years. Also, take note that you don’t have to defrost the coffee beans before grinding or brewing if you put them in the freezer because the beans don’t actually get frozen.
Why I Don’t Recommend Freezing Coffee Beans
Even though coffee beans can have a longer shelf life when frozen, I personally think that freezing them is not a good idea and that it’s a common misconception.
When I tried brewing frozen coffee beans with my Keurig K55, I have found that my coffee didn’t taste as well as those stored at room temperature. After doing a little bit of research, I found out that freezing coffee beans can significantly alter the moisture content of each bean, which is a key determining factor when it comes to the coffee’s flavour.
A Quick Recap
Coffee is a great drink that can power you through your day or provide you comfort during those lazy days at home. If you are the type of person who loves buying coffee beans or grounds by the bulk, remember that the best way to keep them fresh is by storing them in an airtight container away from heat and sunlight at room temperature.
Properly storing your coffee beans and grounds will not only help you get fresh coffee beans all the time but will also help you retain is natural aromas and flavours.
If you have any questions about the article above, please do not be shy to leave us a word below. I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can. Thank you and happy grinding!