If you’re a coffee snob like us, you have probably spent a good bit of time researching the best coffee beans, different ways to brew it, and maybe even latte art.
Our readers tell us, though, that they have spent almost no time researching the best coffee bean storage containers and the best way to store your coffee beans.
This seemingly unimportant detail can make a huge difference in the taste of your coffee. Good coffee can only come from good beans and fresh beans, at that.
If you aren’t storing your coffee beans correctly, you can be inadvertently altering the taste (and experience) of drinking your morning brew.
The perfect cup of coffee is a delicate balance between using the right brewing method for the type of coffee drink you are making, water (and its temperature), and grind level. Even with all of the mentioned factors executed perfectly, if your beans are stale, you won’t achieve that coffee nirvana you are looking for.
The key to the perfect cup of coffee is keeping is coffee bean storage. Fortunately, there are tons of great options available for storage. We break down what to look for and our top choices. There’s one for every budget and decor and all will keep your beans fresh longer.
What to Consider When Choosing a Container for Coffee Bean Storage
The experts at the National Coffee Association USA recommend storing your coffee beans in an air-tight container to maintain freshness.
The biggest enemies of fresh coffee beans are light, heat, moisture, and oxygen. These are hard to avoid, especially in a home kitchen, but easy enough to solve with the right coffee bean storage container.
In this post on coffee bean storage, we’ll look at everything from the materials the coffee bean storage containers are made from to the enemies of coffee beans as mentioned above.
Coffee Bean Storage Container Materials
- Stainless steel is the best material to use for coffee bean storage as it is both durable and elegant looking. A stainless canister will last for years even with countless washes! It also has an attractive look that makes it look great in your kitchen. One drawback: it’s the most expensive of the choices of coffee bean storage containers.
- Plastic containers are cheaper, and denser plastics in a darker color can block UV rays just as well as the steel ones. It isn’t as durable, but is often lighter and you really have to drop it hard to break it.
- Glass canisters are also available if you like to see how many beans are left in your canister. It’s recommended, however, that if you choose a glass canister for storing your coffee beans that you place it in a cabinet so it isn’t subjected to UV rays. Obviously, this is the most likely canister to break if dropped.
Sealing of Your Coffee Beans
With an airtight seal, you can be confident that your coffee beans will stay fresh for longer periods.
In addition to an airtight seal, find a canister with a one-way valve that allows carbon dioxide (CO2) to escape without letting oxygen in. Freshly roasted coffee beans (such as those we offer at The Bully Bean) will continue to “off-gas” the CO2 for up to two full weeks after roasting. The one-way valve allows that gas to escape.
Oxygen and Your Coffee Beans
One of the biggest villains of coffee is oxygen. Immediately upon roasting, coffee beans begin to lose their flavor through oxidation and can lead coffee beans to become stale or sour the flavors as it “attacks” the surface of the bean.. (more on this in a bit).
This explains why ground coffee goes bad faster, as there’s more surface area for the coffee bean to oxidize.
Oxidation is the same process that causes metals to rust or fruit to brown, as well. The oxygen causes the aromatic compounds in coffee to deteriorate.
The fanciest option is to find a canister with an integrated vacuum pump, which sucks the air right out of it. This system works well and will help keep your coffee beans fresh for longer periods but does come at a higher cost.
Moisture and Your Coffee Beans
Coffee absorbs moisture very easily. The more moisture on the surface of a bean, the more its aroma and flavor will leak out.
Heat and Your Coffee Beans
Heating coffee beans too much can lead to their oils leaking out onto the surface and quickly evaporating. The oils are where the flavor and aroma come from.
The optimal storage temperature for coffee beans is room temperature, generally between 68-77 degrees Fareinheit. Store beans on a lower shelf (as hot air rises) and away from windows, stove and microwave.
Capacity of Your Cofee Bean Storage Container
The right capacity of coffee container depends on how much you and your household drink. As a rough guide, a coffee canister will keep your beans fresh for seven to fourteen days. Ideally, you shouldn’t buy more coffee than you and your family will drink within that time period.
OK, now that you know what to look for in a coffee bean storage container, are you ready for Gronk’s Choices?
7 Best Coffee Bean Storage Containers
1.Bean So Blessed Choice – Coffee Gator Storage Container
The Coffee Gator’s sturdy, attractive stainless steel canister is the perfect choice for any coffee lover who needs an airtight container and CO2 valve with a bonus calendar wheel to keep track of the age of your beans.
It is built to minimize oxidation and is available in three sizes: 22 oz, 16 oz, or 11 oz. The 22 oz version is the one I have in my own kitchen (in black!).
Why it’s Bean So Blessed Choice:
- Durable container
- Built-in CO2 valve
- Calendar wheel to track date coffee roasted
- Comes with free travel container
- Good quality rubber seal
- Excellent customer support should there be any issues
The four threats to your coffee are neutralized with this stainless steel canister, which has an easy-to use vacuum sealer. Just store it in a cool part of the kitchen and you’re good!
2. Bean So Blessed Runner Up – Friis Coffee Vault
The Friis Coffee Vault is a sleek stainless steel canister that can hold up to one pound of coffee and has a one-way CO2 valve that helps vent carbon dioxide, which may keep your coffee beans fresh longer.
However, the seal on this coffee bean storage container is not entirely air-tight. It is best for those who go through their coffee quickly. In addition the CO2 filters must be changed on a regular basis (thus, an ongoing cost). The manufacturers do send you free filters for up to a year after the canister is registered online.
It is a good value for your money though, with the exception of the purchases of replacement filters.
It is available in two size: 12 oz and 16 oz and in three great colors.
The negatives of this coffee canister are that it is quite heavy, not 100% stainless steel (thus potentially allowing for rust), the lack of 100% airtight seal and the need to purchase CO2 filters.
3. Bean So Blessed Choice for the Budget Conscious – OXO Good Grips Coffee Pop Container
OXO is known for its high-quality coffee machines. This one, made from plastic (and available in NINE different sizes and shapes) seals with a push-button airtight seal.
It is designed for easy stacking in your cabinets (where you’ll want to store it as it is clear plastic allowing for harmvul UV light to reach your coffee).
Additionally, it has rounded inside corners for easy pouring of your beans into a grinder. It is more affordable than the other choices listed here as well as dishwasher safe (bonus)!
One con, that could be a pro, depending on your preference, is that is is made from plastic and not as attractive as other choices. It is also not recommended for flavored coffee (the aromas will seep into the plastic and you could have cross-mixing of flavors). Plus, for the freshest coffee, you’ll need to store it in a cabinet to avoid light.
4. Bean So Blessed Choice for Large Capacity Canister – Planetary Design Airscape
This stainless steel coffee bean storage canister is truly airtight. The Planetary Design Airscape container has a special valve that forces air out as it locks the lid in place, allowing nothing to get in and nothing but air to get out.
Available in three sizes: 8 oz, 1.2 lbs and 2.5 lbs and with a built-in CO2 valve you can’t beat it for storing copious amounts of your delicious coffee beans. The clear lid allows you to see how many coffee beans are still in the can.
Additionally, it is available in four colors to match your kitchen decor. The two smaller sizes don’t hold many beans, the 2.5 lb version, however will hold about a pound of beans.
The two drawbacks to the Airscape coffee canister is that it is a bit more expensive that other choices and needs to be handwashed.
5. Bean So Blessed Choice for Best Value for Your Money – Tightvac Coffeevac
This is another in the plastic material category but is not- see through allowing for you to avoid UV light is the Tightvac Coffeevac. It is vacuum sealed and allows CO2 to vent out. This coffee container will hold flavor and freshness in for over 2 weeks and is an affordable option with great features for your money.
It is available only in the 1 lb size but in numerous colors choices.
A few potential drawbacks: it is tall, may not fit in all cabinets and must be hand-washed.
We use this one in our RV as plastic is lighter and obviously more durable than some of the choices with breakable components.
6. Bean So Blessed Choice for the Most Advanced Coffee Canister – Fellow Atmos
In coffee expert circles, the Fellow brand is known for it’s high-quality, stylish products. Available in 3 sizes and two materials including three colors: matte black, white and clear glass (which is not recommend for coffee storage due to its breakability and allowance for UV light to enter the canister).
The Fellow Atmos vacuum canister has an integrated vacuum pump activated by twisting the canister’s lid. After several twists, a green indicator lets you know your coffee is air-free, which will keep it fresh for nearly 50% longer. The easy release button allows you push to unlock the vacuum seal.
This durable canister also has a silicon seal and is of the most durable of the coffee bean storage canisters available.
7. Bean So Blessed Choice for Best Plastic Coffee Bean Canister – Ankomn Turn-N-Seal
This easy-to-use, Ankomn Turn-N-Seal is a lightweight, vacuum airtight canister made of sturdy BPA-free plastic, which makes it ideal if you are clumsy like me or have young children at home.
Available in black and clear, only the black will keep the damaging UV light out.
To close simply place the lid, twist the knob until the button depresses. Once you do, the air is drawn out creating a vacuum inside.
Unfortunately, this canister does not have a CO2 valve and you need to reseal the vacuum lid once a day.
If the seal begins to fail, you can disassemble the lid to deep clean it and it will begin to seal properly again. For the features it does have, it is a good value for a plastic coffee bean storage container.
Bean so Blessed Overall Choice – Best in Class
After comparing all characteristics and features, Bean So Blessed chose a clear winner in the Coffee Gator Storage Canister. Its complete air-tight vacuum seal and CO2 valve, plus attractive design keep your coffee beans free from air, moisture, and light.
Take care of your beans and enjoy a fresh morning coffee by using a quality coffee canister.
Coffee Bean Storage Tips and FAQ
- Buy whole beans rather than ground coffee.
Ground coffee starts to lose its freshness far quicker than whole beans given it has a much larger surface area for oxidation. For the best tasting brew, buy only whole coffee beans and grind them when needed!
- Always grind your coffee immediately before brewing.
Ground coffee begins to lose its freshness within just a few (3-5) minutes of grinding.
- Store your coffee beans at room temperature, generally between 68-77 degrees F.
We are often asked if coffee can be stored in the freezer. Technically you can but the important thing is to only freeze and thaw it once. Temperature fluctuations are an enemy of great coffee. The Bully Bean recommends that if you choose to freeze your coffee beans, you freeze in bags just large enough for a few days of coffee at a time.
Regular thawing will result in the build up of condensation on the beans and damage the flavor, aroma and integrity of your coffee. Plus, coffee beans may absorb the flavor and smell of other items in your freezer. (Who wants fishy-tasting coffee?)
- Buy smaller quantities of coffee beans more frequently.
As mentioned above, roasted coffee beans retain their maximum flavor and aroma for about two weeks after roasting, are still relatively flavorful and fresh for 2-4 weeks. Beyond that, they begin to go stale. For the freshest coffee, its better to purchase smaller bags more often rather than large batches occasionally.
- Top up your grinder hopper regularly.
Most hoppers are not airtight.
- Don’t Store Your Coffee Beans in Mason Jars.
While mason jars will keep moisture out of your coffee, they still expose your coffee to oxygen and an UV light. There are quite a few better choices for coffee storage.
It’s important to store your coffee beans in an airtight container to keep them fresh. The best containers have a few key features, like a silicone seal and an airtight lid. We’ve rounded up our top picks for the best container for coffee beans, so you can find the perfect one for your needs. Do you have a coffee bean storage container that you love? Share it in the comments below – we would love to hear from you!