What is the Best Way to Store Coffee?

What is the Best Way to Store Coffee?


There are a few things to consider before storing coffee beans or grounds over the long-term. Coffee that is exposed to air starts to degrade quickly, and freshness will give way to a bitter taste and lower quality after just a few weeks. However, beans can still retain their caffeine and energy-boosting properties despite having poor flavor. Let’s take a look at a couple of options that can provide you with choices in terms of how to keep a steady supply of coffee on hand.


Green Coffee Beans

The optimal way to store coffee is by sealing fresh, green beans in a Mylar bag with an oxygen absorbing pad. Fresh beans can keep for years if they are completely sealed from air. You can also store them in a mason jar, however it will be next to impossible to completely remove all of the air. This will shorten the shelf life, but how long beans will keep depends on their quality as well as the ambient air that is present when they are canned.


The main limitations associated with storing green coffee beans are finding a cheap, bulk supply and roasting and grinding them. You will need a stable and hot source of heat that will bring temperatures up to near 500 degrees. You will also need a special fireplace popcorn kettle or stove top coffee roaster to produce an even roast. However, you can also take a baking sheet, punch holes throughout its surface and place beans on a single layer and bake. The cooking will not be even, but this method will get the job done. However, all of these methods may not be that practical during a SHTF or survival situation.

Roasted Beans

You can store roasted beans in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbing pads as well, but their shelf life will be less than six months under most circumstances. You can also store them in an airtight freezer bag for about a month before they will start to go stale. Storing them in mason jars in a dry and cool environment will also extend their shelf life for about two months. Keep in mind that you can store roasted beans for longer periods of time without influencing the amount of caffeine as well as certain nutritional properties, but the taste may alter and become bitter as time progresses.

Coffee_light beans in pan


The only time that you should consider storing grounds over the long-term is by purchasing commercial products that have been dehydrated and stored in airtight containers. While instant coffee products are not cheap or tasty when compared to their fresh counterparts, they will get the job done in a pinch. Grounds can be used as  facial scrub, as part of a water filtering system, and even fermented with sugar and yeast to make a bitter alcohol. Just remember that during a survival situation, chances are that you will be happy to sacrifice quality for the sake of having access to coffee.



Many people also choose to keep their coffee grounds in the refrigerator. This does not do a lot to extend their shelf life in terms of freshness because air can still penetrate the bags or containers. Dry storage is just fine as long as the grounds are rotated and used within a month or two.

Finally, consider your circumstances when storing coffee in order to establish a supply that will meet your needs. For example, you don’t want to be lugging a grinder and other equipment with you if you are bugging out. However, you may benefit from storing whole, fresh beans in a shelter in place situation. The best solution is to diversify so that you will have coffee available no matter what challenges you will face.