Almost everyone has at least one Mason jar floating around their cupboards. These jars make nice glasses for drinking and a sturdy storage container. If you’re a coffee-lover, you know that storing your coffee in the proper container will ensure that you always have the freshest cup of coffee possible.
Storing your coffee beans or grounds properly can mean the difference between a delicious cup of coffee or a stale-tasting monstrosity.
Mason jars are an aesthetically pleasing way to store pretty much anything, and coffee beans would look very nice in those glass jars. But can you and should you be storing your coffee beans and grounds in them?
You Can Use a Mason Jar to Store Coffee
You can use Mason jars to store coffee. The biggest thing to remember when storing coffee is that you need an airtight container. Mason jars are often used for storing jams which also require an airtight container to stay fresh.
But the thing about Mason jars is that they may not be airtight enough to keep your coffee fresh for as long as it should be.
Just because you can store coffee grounds in a Mason jar doesn’t mean you necessarily should, though. Since most Mason jars are glass and therefore transparent, you’re subjecting your coffee to light. Light can make coffee beans expire faster and disrupt the flavor of your coffee.
How to Store Coffee in a Mason Jar
While storing your coffee beans or grounds in a Mason jar is not the best way to do so, you can still do it without too much trouble. If you have no other option but to store your coffee in a Mason jar, here’s how you can do it without putting your coffee at risk of going bad too quickly.
Before you even think about grabbing that Mason jar off the shelf to pour your coffee into, you’ll need to make sure it’s incredibly air tight. Some Mason jars aren’t air tight enough for storing coffee, but a brand new one that is very air tight may work. You’ll also want to make sure that it has a metal clasp at the top to lock in whatever you put in it.
Once you have the most air tight Mason jar you can find, you need to think about where you’ll store the coffee beans or grounds. When you buy a container of coffee grounds at the store, they usually come in a plastic or solid-colored container that you can easily keep on your kitchen counter or in the cabinet.
If you’re used to buying coffee from the store and keeping it in the container it comes in, you may not realize that light is the enemy of coffee beans and grounds. When storing coffee in a Mason jar, you don’t want to leave it on your counter. Leaving it on your counter leaves it subject to light, making the coffee expire much faster than it should.
You’ll need to store your Mason jar full of coffee beans in a dark place where it won’t see any light except for when you pull it out to grab some coffee. A great place to do this is in a cabinet that you don’t often open enough that light continues to be let in.
Another factor to consider is ensuring you’re storing the Mason jar in a place that is room temperature. Heat is not great for coffee beans or ground until you’re actually making coffee.
There is some evidence that you can store coffee beans in the freezer in a Mason jar, but remember, the more you open the door, the more light that is let in.
Benefits of Storing Coffee in a Mason Jar
If you’re simply going for an aesthetic look, there are nothing but benefits when it comes to storing coffee beans or grounds in a Mason jar. It will look fantastic on your coffee shelf or coffee bar.
But, for those who actually plan to brew coffee from the grounds or beans that are in the Mason jar, the benefits are average. As long as you use an air tight Mason jar and store it somewhere that light cannot seep through, you can still brew a delicious cup of coffee from coffee stored in this container.
Risks With Storing Coffee in a Mason Jar
As you’ve probably assumed, there are risks to storing your coffee in a Mason jar. If you don’t use an air tight Mason jar or it’s not air tight enough, you risk your coffee going bad well before it should. That would be a terrible morning when all you need is your morning coffee, and you sip a stale and weak cup of coffee.
It can be difficult to find a place to store your Mason jar where the light won’t affect the coffee. Even a place you think sees little to no light may see some that you’re not aware of.
How to Tell if Your Coffee in Your Mason Jar Has Gone Bad
If you’ve been storing coffee in a Mason jar and aren’t sure if it’s gone bad or not, there are a few ways to tell. First and foremost, if you pull your Mason jar from its hiding spot and notice that the beans’ color is unusual, that’s one indicator it’s spoiled. And if you can see mold on the coffee beans, you need to just go ahead and throw away the beans.
If you can’t tell based on the color and appearance and see no mold, go ahead and open the jar. If you smell something that doesn’t smell like coffee or even a little bit off, your coffee beans will probably not taste good. And finally, if you don’t see anything wrong with the coffee beans and the smell is normal, you can go ahead and brew your coffee. And when you take a sip of your coffee, if it tastes weaker than usual or a little off, light or air probably seeped into your Mason jar.