Nothing is worse than having a fresh coffee in the morning and noticing a stale taste. Something is not right; the kick, the aroma, and the flavor you love are changed. For coffee lovers, even a slight change is noticeable and irritating.
So how to store the ground coffee, and how long does the coffee ground last? If you want to ensure your cup of coffee stays fresh every time you make one, taking care of the beans, ground coffee, and storage is very important.
In this article, we will guide you on how to store the coffee grounds, how long they can stay fresh, and other related questions.
Coffee beans VS Fresh Grounds: Which One Lasts Longer?
An easy solution for many of us to save time from our daily routine is to have pre-ground coffee in advance, so it becomes ready to use. All you need to do is to put some into the espresso machine or cup, and the rest is easy.
This is where you can go wrong.
There is nothing like the aroma and flavor of freshly ground coffee; if you don't want to lose that then its important you know the basics of coffee beans and the life of ground coffee.
Keep Them as Beans Until Use
Coffee grounds do not last long. Grounding all your coffee beans may seem an easy and time-saving solution, but it has its demerits. Coffee beans, once grounded, their chemical compounds break down. That makes these grounded beans vulnerable to different factors like humidity and other environmental factors.
Unlike other food that goes bad if you leave it out in the open you may not see visible signs of coffee going bad. Like if you leave bread outside in moisture, it gets moldy. It is the same way fruits may rot if left in a heat or humid environment.
As for the coffee beans and ground coffee contains very little moisture. They don't get moldy or get any other visible sign of degradation.
The effect is more on taste and flavor. Exposure to oxygen makes the grounds react with those flavor molecules, and the oxidation process is triggered by several factors like heat, humidity, light, and air. Oxygen in the air breaks down the compounds like oil, carbohydrates, and amino acids. The result is stale coffee.
How Long Do Coffee Grounds Last on the Shelf?
Several factors play a role in preserving the quality of grounded coffee, including the storage method and place. But if everything is taken care of, grounded beans can last 1-2 weeks.
The best practice is to buy coffee pods or coffee beans and then ground a week's worth of coffee in advance so that the taste, flavor, and aroma remain exact.
How Long Coffee Beans Last On Shelf?
It depends on the type of beans as well. Coffee beans still have some chance to retain their quality and strong aroma. An unopened pack of coffee beans can last for 6-9 months if stored in a cool, dry place.
For an opened pack, you can expect it to remain fresh for up to 6 months if you seal it back tight and store it in a dry place. The roasting process also causes the coffee beans to lose their freshness early.
How to Increase the Shelf life of Coffee?
Here are a few tips to increase the shelf life of coffee
Ground in Less Quantity
Instead of grounding all your coffee, ground only as much as you need, at least for the week. Make for a couple of weeks to preserve the pleasant aroma of coffee. And always check the manufacturing date while buying a coffee package, along with the best-by date.
Choose the Right Container
The glass jar looks good but is not a proper storage method. Keep both ground coffee and beans in an airtight container that does not invite light in - ceramic works well here.
Air can start an oxidation process in coffee responsible for losing freshness, flavor, and taste. So keeping it in an airtight container is a good option.
Vacuum-sealed bags are a great option, but once opened, they need to immediately be transferred to an dark, airtight container.
Keep it in the Dark Container
Buy an opaque container or bag for the coffee beans, as exposure to sunlight can also cause the fresh beans to be stale. Those glass-made jars look beautiful in kitchen cabinets, but they expose your coffee to light. Light can pass through the coffee, so stainless steel or ceramic containers are better for retaining the flavor over time.
Buy smaller packs so you don't open them and leave a box out. And always transfer the ground beans to an airtight container, as the original packaging may not be as effective in keeping coffee beans fresh.
Don't place it near an oven, microwave, or stove where it gets plenty of heat. Also, make sure you dont place it in the open near a window from where sunlight gets in. Keep the coffee beans or ground coffee in a cool, dry place.
Buy the Right Amount
Even if you like to keep your pantry fully stocked, buying coffee in advance is not a good option. You have to be really careful about the storage; it can still lose its flavor. Even in the freezer, if not stored property, different types of odors can permeate your coffee bag, and your coffee can smell like frozen fish.
So as coffee beans begin to lose freshness right after roasting. Buy two weeks' worth of coffee. Instant coffee also has greater shelf life than roasted coffee beans. Roasting releases coffee oils that degrade in a couple of months.
How to Store Coffee Beans or Grounded Coffee?
Whether you want long-term storage of grounded coffee or coffee beans, the process remains the same. By properly storing, you can increase the shelf life of both grounded coffee and coffee beans.
Always store in vacuum-sealed coffee packs. Or an airtight container, as exposure to oxygen, can cause your coffee to go bad. It prevents moisture, air, and humidity from affecting the taste of coffee. The absence of air slows the oxidation process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let's answer some of the frequently asked questions relating to coffee beans.
Can I Keep the Coffee in Freezer?
Storing coffee in the freezer seems easy, but it may not always be great. First, coffee can still absorb moisture, smell, and oxygen from its surroundings, even in the freezer.
So even with great care, most storage containers can still allow a small amount of oxygen that can affect the taste of coffee. So the moisture content is high in the fridge and freezer, which can cause a change in the taste of coffee. The damp environment and all those odors can ruin your coffee flavor.
Can I Keep Coffee In the Fridge?
Even a fridge is not a good coffee place. First, it can be very humid. Second, it may not be cool enough. Third, coffee is an excellent deodorizer which means it will absorb all the odors from different foods.
It is important to buy in fewer amounts to enjoy the ultimate freshness of the coffee. Even with the best care, it can still lose its peak quality. You may not see any signs of mold, but its exposure to light or moisture can affect the quality of even unopened ground coffee. You can store it in good condition for 3-5 months, but the roasted bean may lose its flavor.
Whether you buy beans or grounded coffee, coffee should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place in an airtight container or bag. Exposure to air, light, or humidity may not cause a bad smell, but it certainly affects the freshness, aroma, and flavor. Buy as much as you need for a week or two and if you get gifts, make sure to store it properly.
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