You would think that storing coffee is a simple thing, which it really should be if not for the many misconceptions that surround the best way to do it. In fact, We are not exempt from having been misled into believing less than accurate facts, which we (with much apologies) unfortunately passed on as advice. But that was so 5 years ago, and now that our caffeine addiction has lead us to be more savvy in dealing with the multitude of different coffee that we’ve tried, we now know that glass containers definitely are NOT the best way to store coffee beans, whether ground or roasted.
In storing your coffee, you need to take into account the reasons that affect coffee’s freshness AND flavour. Coffee loses freshness easily when exposed to air, so this means always going for an air-tight container. Coffee also absorbs moisture easily, so this means no storing it in damp places like your freezer or fridge. Aside from absorbing moisture, it also absorbs the flavours of other food near it, again this means making sure that you get an air-tight container.
For soluble coffee (think Nescafe and Taster’s Choice), the above tips are enough to address their storage needs, since they have a very long shelf-life anyway. This means that the air-tight glass containers they come in are good enough, as long as you remember to keep the lid on tight.
When it comes to ground coffee though, you have to be extra careful about storage. Ground coffee loses flavour and spoils the fastest, which means that you should always keep it in air-tight containers that won’t let light pass through. The reason for this is that the coffee interacts with sunlight, making it lose flavour. The best containers in this case are air-tight non-reactive cans. Even if you do store ground coffee properly though, you can expect them to spoil in a week or two (if not days). So never ever try to store ground coffee in bulk.
You can store coffee beans in greater bulk than ground coffee, but again you have to make sure that they are stored away from the light. At the least, make sure your air-tight containers are stored in a cabinet or in the pantry where it is cool, dark, and dry. Do not open the container every day, but take a small amount and transfer it to a smaller coffee can to decrease the number of times you expose the stored coffee beans to the air.
If you follow the above advice, you can ensure that your coffee will give the full-bodied flavour every cup should give.
Fairmont and Main Script Coffee Storage Jar Courtesy of Coffee-Maker.org.uk