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How long do they retain their qualities? In the coffee store near my home the seller told me that their coffee beans are stored for 1-3 months in their shop. But after purchase I'm also storing them for a few weeks.

  • Just to clarify, you are storing the whole roasted beans, for later grinding? – hardmath May 8 '15 at 12:12
  • @hardmath true. – gephaest May 8 '15 at 18:58
  • The best way to appreciate the quality of a freshly roasted coffee batch is to get one. Roasting your own is adventurous, so I recommend searching your area for a "micro-roaster". The price will be more because economy of scale is lost, but I think you will be able to appreciate what's lost when the roasted coffee sits in inventory for a month. – hardmath May 9 '15 at 18:38
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I assume you are storing them for a later grinding (likely just before preparing your cups of coffee).

According to some sources 1,2,3, the main point is use it within a week. For more than that, it is preferable to freeze them, and in this condition, for no more than a month.

A brief summary:

For short term use (this week's coffee):

  • Do not refrigerate your daily supply of coffee (in order to avoid moisture).
  • Keep them in air-tight glass or ceramic containers, in a dark and cool place.
  • Keep only the amount of beans you know you will quickly use.

For long term use (no more than a month):

  • If you have a large amount of beans, wrap them in small (weekly) amounts inside air-tight bags, and freeze them. Once removed from freezer, do not return them.
  • If you are making coffee in an espresso machine, let them getting room temperature for one day.

1: "How to store coffee. National Coffee Association"
2: The Coffee Geek's Guide to Storing Beans
3: For better coffee, store your beans

  • Thanks for detailed answer! But if in shop near my house coffee beans stored few month (not a week) at room temperature this is bad shop? – gephaest May 8 '15 at 19:05
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    Nicolás answered the title question. As for the example of your shop, well, they do not sell coffee that meet the answer's conditions (which I comply with). That may not be a "bad shop", but they certainly do not deal with top-class coffee, that's all. – Eric Platon May 9 '15 at 4:05
  • Interesed. What about packages of coffee beans from a supermarket like that dionlabel.com/tl_files/dion/images/Ashley's%20Blog/… ? This is absolutely bad choice? – gephaest May 9 '15 at 19:33
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    There's no question that fresher beans are better, and as beans age, their freshness declines. After a few months there will be a noticeable change in the taste, regardless of how well they are stored. Whether or not this is acceptable is up to you. I've prepared coffee a couple of months old and decided that, while not at their peak of freshness, it was still better than most restaurants would serve, so it's a matter of perspective and to what lengths you would need to go to get a better product. It's not a black and white question. – PJNoes May 12 '15 at 21:57
  • @gephaest The only whole bean coffee I buy must show the date roasted on the bag. Coffee generally is at its best with 3-4 days of roasting, and is basically stale after 14 days. Never buy ground coffee, because it starts getting stale after 15 minutes! Here are Babbie's Rules of Fifteens: coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/questions/543604 – Rick G Feb 3 '16 at 18:56
3

Coffee is fresh only for about 7 days from roast. I tried keeping in cool place, freeze and many more options but did not help too much, so I decided to get a coffee roast machine and just roast as much I need for the 1-2 days. All this is from my experience, not from books or anything else. If coffee is out for couple weeks or months than is not tasting and does not have potency as should have.

2

The problem with coffee beams is the same as with any other product that has open/direct contact with the environment:

  • oxidation (contact with oxygen): covering all the aroma under a heavily bitter taste.
  • humidity absorption: smell and taste circulating in the surrounding of the coffee will be imprinted in its taste as it will be diluted in the water vapours and absorbed from the beams. (This phenomena if especially important after the grounding, for example if the barista is smoking or heavily using deodorants etc, all of these will be imprinted in the coffee taste).
  • loosing aroma through evaporation/drying (as temperature changes during the 24 day, during the hotter hours it will dry and the rest absorb).

That is why coffee companies make everything possible to pack and isolate the beans/ powder once baked. Illy for example insert nitrogen gas to prevent oxidation, etc.

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