How Long Do Roasted Coffee Beans Last?

Many things can affect the taste of coffee. The flavour, roasting and brewing methods, and grinder that you use can all influence the outcome. Yet nothing is more important than the freshness of the ground beans themselves, and many people wonder how long do coffee beans last for, and what can be done to retain their fresh taste? 

What is the best way to store coffee beans?

When you buy freshly roasted coffee beans, you need to make sure that you store them correctly so that they retain their fresh flavour. You should keep them in an airtight container since too much exposure over time to moisture, air, and oxygen can severely affect their quality and may make your coffee taste stale. 

If you buy coffee beans that come in a resealable bag like ours, then you can store them here. Try to avoid leaving them in exposed areas in transparent containers, since light can cause changes to the beans' flavour.

You should put your coffee beans in a cool, dark place in your home, like a cupboard. The further away from heat sources such as ovens, the better, as there is less risk of your beans getting damaged and they'll have longer-lasting freshness.

Storing your beans in a closed container will ensure they stay fresh-tasting for at least one month. However, even home storage containers can still let in small amounts of air, so it's better to use up these coffee beans quickly, and not leave them sitting around for too long! 

You can invest in a Vacuum sealed Coffee Storage container, such as the Espresso Gear Vacuum Storage Can or Fellow Atmos Glass Coffee Canister

Is it possible for coffee beans to go bad?

We've all had a cup of coffee that hasn't tasted or smelled good, and this can be down to a number of reasons, like flavour, incorrect brewing method, wrong grind.

If you look after your coffee beans properly, then there is no reason why they should go bad. However, failing to store coffee beans correctly, can result in their freshness being drastically affected.

Some telltale signs of stale coffee beans are if they look bad, or smell different. If they start to develop a bit of a mouldy or putrid scent, then it's best to throw them in the bin and get yourself a new bag. When coffee beans are roasted, gases, like carbon dioxide form inside of them, and then start to leave the beans a few days after the roasting process is finished. When carbon dioxide leaves beans too quickly, this may affect their taste, and make them stale.

If you accidentally drink some coffee that you think might have been made with expired beans, don't panic! Although the flavour will be a little disappointing, you won't get sick from drinking coffee made with out-of-date beans.

Can you freeze coffee beans?

Freezing your coffee beans is a good way to extend their shelf life by several months. This is because it reduces the amount of oxygen that they are exposed to. Putting your whole beans in small, airtight freezer bags will ensure that they last and don't go stale. If you store them in the freezer then, you need to ensure that they aren't exposed to air or light for too long when taken out of storage.

It's important to know that you should only remove a small number of beans every few days, and keep the rest in the freezer, to avoid any moisture forming on them. However, this may cause some changes to the beans' flavours since their freshness will be reduced.

If you want to enjoy a fresh coffee that tastes as good as an Italian espresso, then it's best to not freeze your roasted coffee beans, since this depletes the flavour. 

How long do coffee beans stay fresh for?

On average, coffee beans will keep fresh for around two to four weeks, if not placed in an airtight container which conserves their freshness and flavour. This is why it's a good idea to buy coffee beans directly from the roaster like us and ideally roasted to order. 

When kept in a closed container, your coffee beans will stay fresh for a couple of months. 

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