How to keep your coffee beans fresh

Michael Elligett

Coffee beans are the core ingredients of a café’s main menu items. Like any ingredients, coffee beans also have a shelf life and can stale quickly when storage conditions are not ideal. By practicing proper storage techniques, you’ll reduce waste and ensure the quality of your coffee drinks every time.   

Keeping your coffee beans fresh, however, is not as easy as some would think. There are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to keeping them in excellent state. Here are some tips on how you can keep your beans’ roasted flavour for as long as possible.


How to keep your coffee beans fresh


Store them properly

Coffee beans start to lose their freshness and natural aromas once they’ve been roasted.

Some coffee experts suggest that keeping your coffee beans in their original packaging is the right way to go in preserving their freshness and flavour. These original containers are designed to protect the beans and prevent them from ageing quickly. 

When exposed to oxygen, the flavours of your coffee beans start to stale. This is why most coffee roasters use packaging with gas-release valves. They allow carbon dioxide to escape the sealed bag, without exposing the coffee beans. This will also keep your coffee beans free from any bacteria or contaminants. 

You also have to consider where you keep your coffee beans. When choosing where to place them in your shop, it's important to keep them away from heat, light, air and moisture.

Choose the right container

If your beans come in a paper or bulk packaging and you want to transfer them in a canister, make sure that it’s airtight and opaque. This will protect your coffee from moisture, heat and direct sunlight. 

Many coffee shop owners prefer to store their beans in a fancy glass jar. It may look pretty and aesthetically pleasing on your counter, but it also allows light to enter that may compromise the taste of your coffee. 

If you’re really tempted to put your beans in a glass container, make sure to store it in a pantry or drawer where it won’t be exposed to sunlight. You can also use a polarised canister that will allow you to see its content while keeping the light out.

Avoid freezing the beans

To freeze or not to freeze is the question many coffee shop owners frequently ask. It’s one of the most talked-about topics in the coffee world.

Whilst there are different views about this, we recommend avoiding freezing your beans. This is because the temperature of your freezer causes the beans to condensate, which quickens the ageing process. Coffee beans also have a porous structure, which allows them to absorb aromatics. So if you have food or other ingredients in your freezer, the coffee beans will most likely absorb its smell.

However, if you can’t avoid freezing your beans, store it in an airtight bag or container before placing it in the freezer. You can store it for about a month before the quality deteriorates. 

Always remember that once you remove the beans from the freezer and thaw, don’t refreeze them again. If you do, the beans can suffer from freezer burn. Instead of putting them back, store them in a cool, dry place inside an airtight canister.

Keep them away from the sunlight

Sunlight is one of the biggest coffee killers. It can damage coffee beans and cause them to age faster. Store your coffee beans in a dark cupboard where they are hidden from sunlight and away from the heat sources such as the stove, broiler, and oven.

Also, avoid leaving them near the windows or in visible areas. You can use an opaque container if you really want to put your beans on view in the kitchen, as it doesn’t allow sunlight to pass through. Find a dark, cool and shaded location to maintain their fresh-roasted flavour.


Avoid overstocking

Some café owners tend to buy coffee beans in bulk. While it may be cost-effective, you lose a lot in terms of quality. 

Try to buy in smaller batches more frequently. The beans will stay fresh for about ten days once you have opened the pack, so it’s much better to buy enough that will last you for around two weeks. Then, you can just grind up just what you need for each day. 

It’s also advisable to have a small container for daily use and a larger container for the bulk of the coffee, which will be opened only when you need to refill the small ones. This will allow you to keep the beans longer and reduce the amount of air getting to the beans. 


If you want to save more, find a supplier that offers affordable and high-quality coffee beans. Visit The Cafe Supplier’s shop today and check out our wide range of coffee products. 

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