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I'm checking out a local coffee shop online that was recommended to me, before deciding to go in. I noticed that the beans they sell in bins are all uncovered in photos (the photos are from Google so they're most likely taken by customers).

Is this normal for coffee shops to leave beans exposed to air like that? I was under the impression that air exposure directly affects flavour. The place has fantastic reviews and a few people told me about it IRL, so it seemed odd that they wouldn't follow what I would think is standard procedure.

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No, it is not.

As you may see in many other answers in this SE, Coffee SE site's answers will lead you that coffee is best stored when it's distant from air, odor and light.

Closed, vacuumed storage is the regular way and coffee stores are no exception. On the other hand, one may expect that a store should grind coffee when it needs it. So, it won't go stale unnecessarily.

  • Thanks for your answer. These aren't beans they use to make coffee in-house, they sell them to the public and leave them exposed. – user6902 Aug 26 '18 at 5:26
  • This really seems like a bad habit, then. I wouldn't prefer to buy their coffee. – MTSan Aug 26 '18 at 6:18
  • Nit: coffee typically isn't vacuum-sealed but sealed with a pressure release valve embedded in the packaging. Coffee will release CO2 gas for several days or weeks after roasting so the valve is necessary to keep the bags from popping open. The real enemy is oxygen and not just air and the CO2 tends to force out the oxygen (or at least reduce its concentration) through the valve. – luser droog Aug 26 '18 at 19:58

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