Fresh ground coffee, when stored correctly, should last you from several months to a few years and still maintain its freshness and flavor. Ground coffee performs best in an airtight container, but if you’re going to take out some coffee grounds every now and then, you will have to apply the best practices to keep it fresh till you completely empty the jar.
In this piece, you will find the best tips on how to store fresh ground coffee.
How Long Does Fresh Ground Coffee Last in Storage?
Ground coffee should last several months when stored properly. You should be able to get up to 5 months out of it before it comes stale. Unlike coffee beans, ground coffee attracts moisture quicker. They also oxidize quickly due to their wide surface area. When storing ground coffee, you would get up to 5 months if you keep it sealed. Once opened, it can only last for a month or two. This storage time only applies to storing it in the pantry or cabinet.
If you prefer to store it in the freezer, then you’d get more out of it. Ground coffee stored in a sealed container in the freezer can last up to a year. Depending on how sealed the container is and how well you can handle the coffee grounds, it could go as long as 2 years and still remain fresh. Still, you won’t want to store coffee grounds for that long. Storing it in the pantry is the best choice if you’re going to use it regularly. If not, then you can go ahead and keep it in the freezer.
How to Store Fresh Ground Coffee
Store Under the Right Temperature
If you’re storing it in the pantry or cabinet, ensure it is cool, dark, and dry. It is important to consider the temperature of the place you are going to use for storage since this can affect the flavor of the coffee. If it is stored in cabinets near the stovetop, it could make it too warm and if you leave it at the countertop, the exposure to sunlight could dilute its flavor.
When picking an area to store your coffee, avoid warm spots such as near the oven or cabinets that get warm due to exposure to heating elements such as the sun or cooking equipment.
Use Airtight Containers
Storing the ground coffee on a counter is not the best option, but you can actually go with this if you can get the right container. Opaque and airtight containers are the best picks. You can go for mason jars and repurposed bottles which shouldn’t be hard to come by. These containers are airtight, but you should always ensure you place them away from direct sunlight.
Storing in the Freezer
If you plan on storing coffee grounds for the long-term and you’d still want to maintain the same level of freshness, then you should keep it in the freezer. As said earlier, you can store from 1 to 2 years and the grounds will still maintain their authentic flavor and remain fresh.
When storing fresh ground coffee in the freezer, you won’t want to leave it open. Storing the coffee grounds openly in the freezer would not only make it age faster but would also affect its taste. If you have a large quantity and you want to place it in storage, stock some up on several smaller bags and place them in the pantry. They should stay fresh for a few months so you can always take them out and use them anytime you need a cup of coffee. The remaining coffee grounds could go into the freezer.
Always go for sealed airtight containers when storing in the freezer as this ensures minimum exposure to oxygen. Note that once you take ground coffee out of the freezer, it should be brewed immediately. Any remaining grounds should not be placed back in the freezer since they will lose their flavor due to repeated temperature changes.
Ground Coffee vs. Whole Beans
It is a known fact that storing whole beans is way better than ground coffee. Not only will they last longer, but there is a lesser chance that their flavor will be comprised during storage. For most people, it is all about the effort involved in grinding whole beans once you take them out of storage, but if you can get around the stress and you’ve got the right equipment, then go for coffee beans by all means.
When stored in the pantry, whole beans can last for up to 6 months or go as long as 9 months. Placing it in the freezer, you get up to 3 years of storage.
It is usually best to use freshly ground coffee every time, but if you don’t always have the time to purchase them, then you can go ahead and store the excess ground coffee. When storing ground coffee, you must limit the air exposure so it lasts longer and doesn’t stale quickly.
Get two containers – a large and a small one. The small container would serve for daily use. You should open the larger container only when you want to refill the smaller container. This will reduce air exposure and keep the coffee fresh.