14

I came across this question, which seeks the optimal method for storing whole beans. In that same vein, I'd like to know the best way to store ground coffee to preserve freshness. Should ambient temperature and humidity be considered?

  • This is a dupe. I don't know why didn't you anticipate an answer on that and asked your own question with reference to that one. – therewillbecoffee Feb 1 '15 at 16:42
  • @therewillbecoffee: It's not a duplicate because I'm not asking about whole beans. Ground beans don't necessarily have to be stored the same way as whole beans. It's a reasonable thing to ask. – Alex A. Feb 2 '15 at 3:27
  • Okay, you pass. – therewillbecoffee Feb 2 '15 at 4:10
11

In general, it's best to not store ground coffee. If quality really matters, then the real answer is to back up. Try to grind only enough coffee for what you're using immediately to brew with. If you're buying preground coffee, then storage and optimal quality become somewhat trivial.

Once the surface area of the coffee is increased (by grinding it), the majority of the coffee is exposed to air, accelerates the decomposition of the coffee, meaning it likely isn't going to stay fresh for long anyway. Think of it like opening a dry, red wine. Since it's been opened, it's going to turn faster than it being left in the bottle because it's been exposed to atmosphere.

So in short, if flavor and freshness really matter, try not to store ground coffee if at all possible.

EDIT

If you really must store ground coffee, keep it sealed airtight. The exposure to atmosphere is going to be the strongest catalyst in making your coffee less than fresh.

  • Thanks for the answer. But if for some reason I had to store ground coffee, what could I do to keep it as fresh as possible? – Alex A. Jan 27 '15 at 21:10
  • Keep it sealed and airtight. Exposure to atmosphere is going to be your biggest enemy – Kyle Macey Jan 27 '15 at 21:11
  • Okay, cool. What about sunlight, temperature, etc? – Alex A. Jan 27 '15 at 21:14
  • 2
    @Alex like I said, anything else is going to be trivial. Worry more about that sort of stuff with whole bean coffee. What I can tell you is don't put it in the fridge/freezer like some people will tell you. Coffee is porous, so it will just absorb all of the odors from the icebox. – Kyle Macey Jan 27 '15 at 21:17
  • @Alex keep in mind that it changes flavour very quickly. For me it starts losing a lot of flavour at about 3 days and gets really noticeable at about 1 week, at which point it's not the same coffee to me anymore – Stefan Dorunga Jan 27 '15 at 22:42
0

To answer the exact question asked, I use one of these Starbucks cookie jars where the coffee has been purchased in a ground state. It seals well, is easily transportable and looks good as a bonus.

The other answers are correct, you're never going to get to keep that "just ground smell/taste" for very long (i.e. it won't "preserve freshness" for very long because no storage method really will), but this is what works for me with ground coffee for as long as you could reasonably expect.

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