We get asked fairly regularly "how long coffee is good for" and "How should I store my coffee" So I'd like to address both those questions here in this post!
Before getting into it we must note that Personal taste and storage methods play huge factors that affect whether a coffee has gone ‘bad’ or not. So this post will have suggested time-frames that are based on our personal experience with coffee and you may find your personal preference differ slightly.
First, What is coffee, why is bean storage is important, and shameless plug for buying fresh roasted form us :)
What is coffee:
Coffee is a shrub. a coffee plant flowers and the pollenated flowers produce cherries. These cherries are picked and processed to get the pit (or coffee bean) out. Once this process is complete you have what is referred to as "Green Coffee" or "Greens".
Why is bean storage important:
Bean storage is important because coffee bean flavor degrades with exposure to oxygen and changing humidity levels. Even in the green stage storage is important. While humidity and oxygen exposure has a much slower effect on greens it is still important to store them properly so to prevent the degradation of quality greens. Our greens are stored in plastic bags in a dark cool room to limit their exposure to oxygen and moisture. Once coffee is roasted the bean becomes much less dense the effect of oxygen exposure is much more extreme.
Shameless plug for buying coffee from us:
At good sense coffee we take coffee quality seriously and take the following steps to ensure you get fresh super tasty coffee every time. 1. We store our greens in the best environment our facility allows. 2. We try to buy our greens in lower quantities so that we are not storing coffee for extended periods of time. 3. We buy Fresh current year coffee to ensure it has not been sitting for long periods of time in a warehouse. 4. We roast coffee and package within a couple hours and sometimes within minutes after roasting to ensure the coffee has as little exposure to oxygen as possible. 5. We roast to order. Which means we roast your coffee after you place your order. So your getting super fresh coffee every order and not receiving coffee that was stored on a shelf awaiting your order.
Okay background out of the way, Now to the real question at hand.
1. How long is coffee good for.
G.S.C's Quick rule of thumb is 6 weeks.
Remember personal taste and storage methods play a huge factors in whether a coffee has gone ‘bad’ or not.
Coffee technically has no expiration (that we are aware of). It will last, without "spoiling" for a very long time after roasting. Kept completely away from any moisture I see no reason why coffee beans couldn't be ground and brewed years after roasting. (As long as it has not been exposed to any mold or other harmful things.) The problem with this is coffee looses its flavor quickly, and stale coffee does not taste as good as fresh coffee. If you want your coffee to taste good you should pay attention to age and storage of your coffee.
After roasting coffee needs some time to "off gas" before tasting its best. This is when CO2 in the bean after roasting slowly escapes and this usually takes 24-72 hours after roasting depending on the bean and the roast. After the off gassing time the coffee will start to stale. You will get its BEST flavor for about 2-3 weeks after roasting. With proper storage you can expect great flavor for up to 6 weeks.
2. How should I store my coffee at home.
As mentioned above, the primary factor that degrades the taste of coffee is exposure to oxygen. Keeping the beans away from the air is the best way to keep them fresh. We recommend a cool/dark area in an air tight container. (on the counter or in a cupboard is great. Just don't set it on the window sill in the sun, or on that shelf above the oven.
Some things you can do to keep coffee tasting fresh:
1. Buy from a local roaster who offers Roast to Order or Fresh roasted coffee.
2. Buy whole bean coffee and grind before you brew. The increased surface contact of ground coffee will degrade faster than that of a whole bean.
3. Keep it away from Air. Don't open the bag until you are ready to use it. After using your coffee push the air out of the bag and reseal it.
4. Freeze the coffee you're not using*. The cooler environment helps slow the Staling process as the coffee becomes more dense when it's cold.
*Freezing coffee is heavily debated among coffee blogs. We ascribe to the notion that cold slows molecular movement down, with less molecular movement you should see a slower decline in coffee flavor. (We are conducting real world experiments on this and will update when we have some some tested data)
I hope this helps! I appreciate your business and am so glad you're loving the coffee!