In our line of work, we have understandably strong feelings about airtight coffee containers. Coffee’s hidden secret is that it doesn’t last forever and can go bad quickly if not stored properly. Our solution is simple: keep your coffee in an inexpensive, airtight coffee container—the humble Mason jar.
Why the Need for Airtight Coffee Containers?
The shelf life of coffee depends on several factors.
Oxygen is a significant enemy in the fight against the degradation of coffee. The presence of oxygen alone can strip coffee beans or grounds of their beloved flavor and aroma.
Moisture also poses a serious threat by promoting the growth of mold on coffee. In high humidity conditions, coffee beans absorb moisture, resulting in rapid flavor loss and creating an environment suitable for mold and bacterial spoilage.
Exposure to light is another culprit that contributes to the rapid deterioration of coffee freshness.
Extreme temperatures are a double-edged sword. High temperatures speed up the aging process of coffee. This provides a breeding ground for bacteria and mold and ultimately leads to a stale brew. On the other hand, excessively low temperatures, despite slowing down the aging process, risk depleting the flavor and aroma of the coffee.
The journey from coffee bean to cup also plays a vital role in its shelf life. During the roasting process, the beans release oils and gasses, giving coffee its characteristic aroma and flavor. However, these volatile compounds can evaporate when exposed to air, accelerating the loss of these desirable qualities. Over time, roasted coffee beans become increasingly vulnerable.
When you order from Seven, our beans are roasted within one to two days of your order date (depending on the time of day that you ordered). By the time they get to your door, they might be two to five days from the roast date on the bottom of the bag.
To preserve the quality of your coffee over an extended period, store it in a cool, dry, and dark environment, away from heat, moisture, and light. An airtight coffee container can provide an additional layer of protection by expelling excess air and preventing the hastening effects of oxygen on the aging process of coffee.
Lifespan of Coffee and Coffee Beans
In the bag, whole beans from Seven should remain fresh for three to four weeks after the roast date. However, once the bag is opened, their freshness only lasts approximately one week without an airtight coffee container.
Ground coffee has a shorter lifespan. After a week or two in the bag, it will lose a lot of its flavor and begin to taste stale or bitter.
By far, our bags are the best place to keep your beans until you've opened them.
We seal the bags immediately after roasting to lock in the freshness as quickly as possible.
Light-blocking materials keep sunlight away from your beans while in transit and on your shelf.
Each bag includes a valve that releases carbon dioxide while keeping oxygen out.
Our bags were carefully chosen to balance coffee freshness with a sustainable solution. We suggest opening them with scissors.
Benefits of Using Airtight Coffee Containers
Airtight coffee containers have the power to keep your coffee fresh by protecting it from its enemies: oxygen, moisture, and light. Removing oxygen from containers prevents the degradation of your coffee. Moisture and light, which can make coffee stale, are also blocked by airtight containers.
Mason Jar Airtight Coffee Container
Various airtight containers are available in the market, each offering a unique combination of style and practicality. However, we've tried fancy canisters, and they made little difference to the freshness of our coffee after about three to four weeks.
Through trial and error, we discovered 12 ounces of coffee fits perfectly into a 32-fluid-ounce Mason jar. This is a great way to battle coffee's worst enemy, oxygen. One of the things we love about Mason jars is that their glass is non-reactive, unlike other storage solutions made of metals or plastic. This means that it won't interfere with the flavor of the coffee. As a bonus, coffee oils are much easier to clean from glass than other materials.
If you're worried about exposing your coffee to oxygen by repeatedly opening one large jar over time, consider getting sets of smaller 16-ounce jars. This ensures that half your coffee never gets exposed to oxygen until you're ready to brew it.
The Length of Time Coffee Stays Fresh in Airtight Coffee Containers
Airtight coffee containers typically keep coffee fresh for about two months. However, this freshness can vary depending on the coffee's type and the conditions in which it is stored.
As we’ve mentioned before, whole coffee beans have a longer lifespan compared to ground coffee because they’re less exposed to air. The freshness of coffee also depends on where it’s stored. The places that support the longest freshness are cool and dry areas that are shielded from light.
In addition, the coffee's specific characteristics, such as its roast level, play significant roles. Whatever the variety, the best way to preserve any coffee is to keep it in a cool and dark place, protected from moisture and light. Once the seal is broken, make sure to finish the coffee within two weeks to experience its peak freshness.
Keeping Your Brew Fresh in Airtight Coffee Containers
In addition to using an airtight Mason jar, we have a few expert tricks to share on keeping your favorite cup of joe smooth and perfect.
Keep Beans Cool and Dry: Coffee beans are quite sensitive to their surroundings. Store them in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight and heat sources.
Avoid the Fridge or Freezer: Don't let your coffee suffer in the cold! Contrary to the myth that you should keep coffee in sub-zero temperatures, storing it in the fridge or freezer can negatively impact its flavor and aroma, as the oils condense and affect the taste.
Use Small Batches: For the freshest coffee, store it in small portions. Grind only what you need for each cup to enjoy the vibrant flavors of freshly roasted beans or grounds.
By following these tips, you can turn your coffee storage into a haven of freshness, resulting in a delightful and flavorful cup every time you brew. Remember, high-quality, freshly-roasted beans or grounds are the foundation of exceptional coffee—so always prioritize quality from the beginning.
Signs of (Gulp) Coffee Gone Bad
When your beloved coffee loses its freshness, both the taste and aroma take a hit. You'll notice a flat or dull flavor, indicating it's time to say goodbye to that batch. Look out for mold or a slimy film on the beans or grounds, as these are clear signs that the coffee has spoiled. In such cases, it's best to discard the tainted brew and start fresh. Drinking stale coffee not only ruins the experience but may also upset your stomach.
What to Do With Bad Coffee Beans
Even when you use an airtight coffee container, coffee is not immune to the effects of time. However, if your coffee beans are past their prime, don't worry! Your coffee beans are still safe to consume, even though they might not be as impressive as before. There are plenty of inventive and delicious ways to use those aging coffee beans in the comfort of your own home.
Make Cold Brew
Unlike pour over coffee, which is bright and acidic, cold brew's immersion-brewing method brings out deep flavors and richness. This makes it perfect for using aged coffee beans and creating a smooth and velvety brew.
But here's the best part: when you make a strong concentrate, you can do more than just have a refreshing cold brew over ice. This powerful elixir becomes a versatile ingredient that adds an extra kick to your culinary experiments, whether it's creating cold brew cocktails or adding it to energizing protein shakes.
Experiment With Brew Methods
When trying out a new brew method, you often need to experiment and make mistakes. This can result in wasting a lot of coffee. Instead of using up your fresh beans, start with your older supply. That way, you can focus on learning the mechanics of your chosen method without feeling guilty about wasting coffee. It's a smart way to develop your skills while making the most of your resources.
Create Your Own Coffee Blend
This adventure becomes even more intriguing when you have a collection of aging coffee bags. Try blending them in different combinations and quantities. Who knows what delightful surprises await?
The Perks of Airtight Coffee Containers
The best way to ensure your coffee stays as fresh and flavorful as possible is to store it properly in an airtight container. The Mason jar offers a great convenient and affordable solution. Using an airtight coffee container like a Mason jar ensures that no matter how busy your schedule may be, you always have access to quality coffee beans whenever you need them.