How to store coffee beans in Summer

Like the rest of us, you have come to the realisation that buying coffee beans and grinding them yourself is the best way to truly get a really good home brew.  Happy days!

The next question that often springs to mind though is, how do I store the coffee beans, especially in the summer?

Keeping your coffee beans fresh for as long as possible isn’t necessarily an easy thing, especially in the summer as heat is something to definitely avoid when storing coffee beans.

The good news is, we’ve put together our top tips and things to avoid so that you can keep your beans fresh for longer.

How long do roasted coffee beans last?

Roasted coffee beans can last months if left unopened and stored correctly.   This does depend a lot on the quality of the bag they come in, but a roasted bean can have a fairly long shelf life.

A long shelf life doesn’t mean they will retain their quality over that period, however!

Roasted coffee beans are at their best and most potent for up to 2 weeks after being roasted.  After that, the quality begins to drop off and you can find your coffee starting to taste a little different, and just not quite as good.

How to properly store coffee beans once you’ve opened the bag?

Fundamentally you want to make sure you keep your coffee beans away from three key things:

  •         Heat
  •         Light
  •         Moisture

The best place to store your coffee beans is in an airtight opaque container away from light and in a cool dry pantry.  It really is as simple as that!

If your beans come in a good quality resealable bag then great, but to really keep them fresh it’s worth adding an extra layer of protection by keeping the bag in an airtight container.

In the summer this can be a bit trickier as the rise in temperature outside often raises the temperature in your kitchen or pantry too.  In summer, don’t be shy about keeping your coffee beans somewhere else. 

You basically want to find the coolest spot in your house and store your coffee beans there, no matter what time of year it is.

Should you freeze your coffee beans?

This is a debate that continues to rage online.  Some are for some are against, some say don’t freeze roasted beans but do freeze ground coffee.

For us, freezing isn’t ideal.  The only time you should consider freezing your coffee beans is before you open your bag.  But, even then, this relies on having a good quality bag that doesn’t have any seam issues and is thick enough, which is very hard to guarantee.

The thing to bear in mind when considering freezing or even refrigerating your beans is the change in temperature they go through.  If you regularly take your beans out to use some, then put them back again, that constant change in temperature is a breeding ground for moisture.  And we know we don’t want that!

Three key “don’ts” when storing your coffee beans

Here are our three key “don’ts” that will make sure you maximise the storage of your beans and keep them fresher for longer:

Don’t expose to heat – if your coffee beans are stored somewhere that is hotter than room temperature then the heat will cause the beans to release all their tasty goodness too early and become stale.

Don’t expose to air – Yes, we know you have to open the bag and expose them to air to use some of the beans, but what we’re talking about here is not exposing them for too long.  Be vigilant about opening your bag, taking out what you need quickly, and then sealing the bag again.  Extended exposure to air will allow moisture to get into the bag, especially in the summer, and this, we know, we want to avoid.

Don’t buy too much – This is actually the simplest thing you can do to make sure you are always using fresh coffee beans.  Only buy what you need for approximately two weeks and then restock.  This way you won’t need to store your coffee beans for longer or experiment with freezing them, or anything else.

One last tip!

We do have one final tip for you – don’t throw out your stale coffee beans!

If you have done your best, followed the tips above, but still find yourself with some stale beans in the summer months, all hope is not lost.

Stale coffee beans are actually ideal for making cold brews.  Using stale beans for cold brews will genuinely bring life back to the flavour, and you really won’t be able to tell the difference. 

In fact, in our opinion, it is kind of a waste to use fresh beans for a cold brew for this very reason.

If you want to put our theory to the test we have the perfect guide to making cold brew coffee.

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