Storing coffee beans properly is essential to keeping your coffee tasting fresh. The three main enemies of coffee beans are air, moisture, and heat. But how long can you keep your coffee beans in the hopper before they go bad? We did the research to bring you the answer.
Typically, it's best to fill your hopper with coffee beans and use them as soon as possible. If you leave them in the hopper even for more than one or two days, they can start to get stale. If your hopper is full and you can't use all the coffee beans within 24 hours, then it's best to store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
If you love coffee, then you know stale coffee beans can ruin a good cup of coffee. In this article, we will explain why you shouldn't leave your coffee beans in a hopper for too long. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about storing coffee beans, so read on!
How Long Can Coffee Beans Be In A Hopper?
The hopper of a coffee grinder is designed to hold a few days’ worth of coffee beans at most. If you leave coffee beans in the hopper for more than a few days, they will start to go stale.
The reason being is that hoppers are not airtight. Over time, the coffee beans will begin to absorb moisture and oxygen from the air, which will cause them to go stale.
In addition, if you store your coffee grinder in a warm place, like on top of the fridge near an oven, the heat will cause the coffee beans to go stale even faster.
For these reasons, it’s best to only fill your hopper with as many coffee beans as you plan on using within a day or two. That way, you can be sure they will still be fresh when you grind them.
If you have to, you can put your grinder in a cool dark place like a cupboard, and that will help the beans stay fresh for a day or two longer. But after that, you should empty out the hopper to avoid having stale coffee.
Can You Put Coffee Beans In The Fridge?
As mentioned, you should store coffee in a cool dark place, but does that include the fridge? Not exactly; coffee beans are what is called hygroscopic, which means they absorb moisture from the air.
Putting coffee beans in the fridge might seem like a good idea because it’s nice and cool in there. However, the problem is that fridges are also full of moisture, which your coffee beans will absorb.
In addition, coffee beans can absorb the aromas in their environment. So, if you have some strong-smelling items in your fridge, like onions or garlic, your coffee beans will absorb those aromas.
We don't know about you, but coffee beans that taste like onions are not our idea of a good cup of coffee. So, it’s best to store your coffee beans in an airtight container in the pantry or cupboard instead of the fridge.
Can You Freeze Coffee Beans?
You can freeze coffee beans, but you have to do it right to avoid ruining them. First, you need to make sure the beans are in an airtight container.
Coffee beans that are exposed to air will go stale quickly, so you want to make sure they are properly sealed before putting them in the freezer. Avoid using Tupperware, as they can still let air in. Instead, use a freezer Ziploc bag or vacuum seal the beans in a bag.
Then separate the coffee beans into separate bags, about six days’ worth in each bag. This will make it easier to thaw out the coffee beans when you want to use them. When you are ready to use the beans, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature before grinding them.
How Long After Grinding Coffee Should You Use It?
Typically, ground coffee can last up to a week before it starts to go stale. However, this will depend on how you store it.
If you have leftover ground coffee, then you should still store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. However, the best thing to do is only grind as much coffee as you need for each day.
This way, you can be sure that your coffee is always fresh. Plus, coffee beans have a longer shelf life than ground coffee, so you can always grind more beans as needed.
Do Coffee Beans Expire?
When coffee beans are in their original packaging and not opened, they can last for months or even years. You will notice on most coffee bags that there won't be an expiration date per se. Instead, you will find a "best by" date.
While coffee beans won't exactly expire, they will lose their flavor after a certain amount of time. Ideally, you want to use your coffee beans within two to four weeks of the "best by" date for optimal flavor. After that, the coffee beans will start to go stale and lose their flavor.
The reason being is that coffee beans go through what is called a depressing period. This means that the coffee beans will continue to off-gas CO2 for a few weeks after they are roasted.
CO2 is what gives coffee its flavor, so the longer the beans are off-gas, the more flavor they will lose. So for the best cup of coffee, use your coffee beans as soon after the "best by" date as possible.
Of course, this is just for optimal flavor. Coffee beans that are a few weeks past their "best by" date will still be safe to consume; they just won't taste as good.
How Can You Tell If Coffee Beans Have Gone Bad?
If you are unsure whether your coffee beans have gone bad, then there are a few things you can look for.
First, check the appearance of the beans. If they are discolored or look dull, then they have probably gone bad. Next, smell the beans. If they smell sour or unpleasant, then they have probably gone bad. Finally, taste the beans. If they taste stale or flat, then they have probably gone bad.
If your coffee beans meet any of these criteria, then it is best to discard them and get fresh beans. However, you don't have to worry about old coffee making you sick. Mainly, it will just taste bad.
Can You Refresh Stale Coffee Beans?
If you left your coffee beans in the hopper for too long or air got to them and they went stale, then you might be wondering if there is any way to refresh them.
Unfortunately, once coffee beans have gone stale, there is no way to refresh them. However, there are some creative ways you can use stale coffee beans.
For example, you can use them as a natural exfoliator. Just grind up the beans and mix them with some water to create a paste. Then massage the paste into your skin in a circular motion and rinse it off.
Or you could use them as mulch in your garden. The coffee grounds will help retain moisture and deter pests. You could even use them to flavor meat. Just grind up the beans and rub them into the meat before cooking.
Lastly, do you like decor? You can make some pretty cool coffee bean art. Just glue the beans onto a piece of paper or canvas in any design you like. This is especially fun if you have kids at home that are looking for a creative outlet.
As you can see, there are many uses for stale coffee beans. So don't toss them out just yet!
Is It Better To Store Coffee In Plastic Or Glass?
Once you have opened the original packaging of your coffee beans, you will need to store them in an airtight container. This will help keep the beans fresh for longer. But what kind of container should you use? Is it better to store coffee in plastic or glass?
Not only is airtight important, but a container that keeps light out is also key. Coffee beans are very sensitive to light, so you want to make sure they are stored in a dark place.
With that being said, using something like a stainless steel container is ideal. But if you don't have one of those on hand, then using a dark-colored glass container or a plastic container that blocks out light will work just as well.
So, to answer the question, it is better to store coffee in stainless steel or a dark-colored glass container. The problem with plastic is that over time it can leach chemicals into the coffee beans, which will affect the flavor.
So if you must use plastic, make sure it is BPA free and only use it for short-term storage.
As you can see, coffee beans are kind of high maintenance. However, if you love coffee, then it is definitely worth taking the time to learn how to store them properly. By following the tips in this article, you can ensure that your coffee beans stay fresh and delicious for as long as possible.
Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:
How To Grind Coffee Beans For Iced Coffee
Can You Use Whole Coffee Beans In A Percolator?