When you open a fresh bag of coffee grounds to make your morning cup, or three, or coffee, you don’t want to leave that bag open and sitting on your counter. Even a few minutes sitting open can have negative effects on your coffee grounds.
Storing your coffee grounds and coffee beans properly is the only way to ensure you’re getting a delicious and tasty cup of coffee every time. But if you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to be storing your coffee.
Many coffee grounds come in a bag that you cannot see-through, but it doesn’t completely seal once you’ve opened it. So, where can you put these coffee grounds once you’ve opened the bag?
You Can Store Your Coffee in a Plastic Container
If you have any plastic containers that have a lid floating around your kitchen, you can store your coffee grounds and coffee beans in them. But before you begin pouring your coffee into a plastic container, there are a few things you’ll want to know about storing your coffee in a plastic container to ensure you’re doing it properly.
How to Store Whole Coffee Beans and Coffee Grounds in a Plastic Container
You don’t want to grab just any plastic container to store your coffee in. You’ll want to look for one that is opaque and doesn’t let a lot or any light through. Whether from fluorescent lights or the sun, light can be harmful to the flavor of your coffee.
The second feature your plastic container needs to have is that it is airtight. Not all plastic containers are entirely airtight. This is an important feature because you don’t want your coffee grounds or beans to go stale before you have the chance to brew them.
If you’ve found an opaque and airtight plastic container, now you have to figure out where to store the container. Even if the plastic container you chose is not see-through, you won’t want to leave it sitting on your kitchen counter. This still leaves it susceptible to light and heat.
Some of the best places to store your coffee grounds and beans are in a dark space at room temperature. This can be the back of a cabinet or in your pantry. You may not want to choose a cabinet that is close to your stove because that heat can rise and affect your coffee grounds.
Lastly, you don’t want to store your coffee grounds or beans anywhere that could let moisture in. Some people say it’s okay to store coffee beans and grounds in your refrigerator or freezer, but this isn’t the best move.
Even though these are both dark, the temperature is not at room temperature, and moisture can leak into the container if it’s not as airtight as it should be.
When Should You Consume Coffee Grounds and Beans to Ensure Their Freshness
If you store your coffee grounds or beans correctly, they still have an expiration date. While you can brew coffee with them after this timeframe, the quality of the coffee is not going to be the same as it was when you first made a cup.
When working with coffee grounds, you’re going to want to use them between one and two weeks after roasting them. For whole coffee beans, you’ll want to use them within a month of them being roasted.
Where to Buy Airtight Plastic Containers
If your heart is set on using plastic containers for your coffee beans and grounds, you have to use an airtight container, or you may be wasting coffee. There are several places to purchase airtight plastic containers.
You can find a bunch of plastic containers in retail stores that may be airtight, but you’ll want to check these out in person to make sure. When searching online for plastic containers, be sure to search for airtight ones and read the product descriptions to be sure.
And finally, you’ll want to make sure these containers are opaque and not see-through. Remember, light is the enemy of coffee.
Alternatives to Storing Coffee in Plastic Containers
If you don’t have any opaque plastic containers lying around or are just searching for other options for storing your coffee, we have you covered.
Use Non-Reactive Metal Containers
Metal containers are fantastic for storing coffee. They’re a great option because they are completely opaque and not see-through. You can find metal containers that are made specifically to store coffee grounds and beans.
These specific containers come with a metal latch to ensure that no air ever seeps into your coffee. The best thing about using these containers is that you can leave them on your counter if you want because light cannot seep through. You’ll still want to keep them away from the stove and direct sunlight to avoid heat.
Use a Mason Jar
Mason jars aren’t the number one choice for storing coffee grounds and beans, but if you have one in your cupboard, it can work in a pinch. These glasses are aesthetically pleasing, but since they’re almost always transparent, you won’t want to store the coffee on your counter.
Most Mason jars are airtight as long as you still have the lid they came with. Once you’ve appropriately sealed the jar, you have to store it in a dark area so no light gets to the coffee. Mason jars tend to be very affordable options, even if they’re not the absolute best.
Use a Ceramic Container
If you’re looking for a way to store coffee in a more aesthetically pleasing way, you can use a ceramic container. Ceramic containers come in beautiful colors and patterns that you can display on your countertop. As with any container you’re using to store coffee, you’ll need to make sure that it’s an airtight product. Try to look for containers that have a metal latch to keep the lid closed. Since ceramic containers are normally opaque, you shouldn’t have any issue storing these on your counter if you want to.