The most important tip for storing coffee beans is to keep them away from air, heat, moisture and light. These elements will destroy the flavor of coffee and cause the taste to become flat.
Buying green coffee beans and roasting them yourself at home is the best way to ensure a fresh cup of coffee, and green coffee beans will keep for years. However, because the roasting process is a bit time consuming and it takes practice to get the beans roasted just right, purchasing coffee beans that are already roasted is much more convenient.
While buying roasted coffee beans is much fresher than buying coffee already ground, they must be stored properly in order to preserve the taste. Roasted coffee beans start to loose some of their flavor immediately after roasting, and can become flat in a week or more, even sooner if not stored properly. With this in mind, it is important to buy only enough to last for a week or two, and to follow the tips below for storing coffee beans in order to keep them from going stale and losing flavor.
Contrary to what most people believe, keeping coffee beans in the refrigerator does not keep them fresh. In fact, when coffee beans are exposed to dampness, it causes the beans to act like a sponge, and retain moisture. This causes the coffee to weaken and lose its flavor. Coffee beans stored in the refrigerator can also absorb the flavors of other foods in much the same way as baking soda. Therefore, coffee beans should not be stored in the refrigerator.
The same goes for the freezer, while this may prolong the process of the beans absorbing moisture, it will not stop it. Even storing coffee beans in a deep freezer will cause the oil in the beans to break open and loose their flavor.
The best tips for storing coffee beans are to store them in an airtight container, and ceramic containers are best. If you use glass containers, the darker they are the better, as this will keep light from filtering in.
Do not store coffee near a window, or in any other place where there is direct sunlight. It is also important to keep coffee beans away from the oven, or anywhere near heat.
Storing coffee beans in a cool and dark place is best, such as a pantry or kitchen cabinet that is away from light, heat and moisture. A vacuum-sealed container or bag is an even better way to store coffee beans.
Many places sell containers just for storing coffee beans. It would probably be a good investment to purchase these types of containers that will help keep coffee beans fresh, as there is nothing like that first cup of coffee in the morning to start the day off right.