One of the basic ground rules for making gourmet coffee is to grind your beans directly before brewing. If you buy pre-ground coffee, this will already be well past its best by the time you get it home. Instead, grind whole beans just before you brew up and you’ll get the very most in terms of flavor and aroma.
How do you store fresh whole coffee beans, then? The first thing you should do is remove it from the retail packaging and store it in an opaque, airtight container. Air and moisture along with light and heat all spoil coffee so your storage containers needs to take all this into account. You should look to keep your container in a cool and reasonably dark environment away from all light sources. Avoid cabinets near the oven and anywhere near windows.
Benefits of storing coffee beans correctly include:
- Allowing the carbon monoxide to escape as the coffee beans degas so your beans won’t be tainted
- Doubling the lifespan of your coffee without impairing the taste or aroma
- Guaranteeing you always have some beans on hand for grinding even if you don’t have time to get to the store
When you’re hunting for a container for storing coffee, you don’t have too much to consider. Make sure it’s completely airtight so no oxygen will make its way in and spoil the flavor. Think about buying a container made from suitable food-grade material. Ensure no BPAs or any other contaminants are present in any components. Beyond this, focus firmly on size. Make sure you have both enough capacity to store the amount of coffee you want, and also that you have enough space to house the container in your closet or on your countertop.
Top 11 Best Containers to Store Coffee Beans
1. Our #1 Pick: Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Container
When you want to store coffee, you need to make sure it stays protected from too much air and moisture. This stainless steel container ensures your precious coffee is perfectly guarded from the elements. As coffee degases, so carbon dioxide is released. This container comes with a Wicovalve CO2 release valve so those gases won’t spoil the coffee. Measuring up at 5.4 x 1.6 x 1 inches and weighing less than 1 ounce, this is a compact storage solution from a highly reputable company. You even get a travel container thrown in so there’s no excuse to go without freshly ground coffee even if you’re away from home.
2. OXO Good Grips Airtight Container
If you’re looking to grind your own coffee at home, it’s crucial to store it properly. Allow your beans to be contaminated by air or moisture and you’ll find the flavor is impaired and the oils stripped away. This opaque container from OXO gives you enough capacity for 1 pound of coffee grounds or beans. For kitchens where storage space is at a premium, these containers are easily stackable so you can make the most of what room is available. Overall dimensions are 4.5 x 6.5 x 7.75 inches so you get a fairly compact footprint despite the generous capacity.
3. Friis Stainless Steel Coffee Vault
Measuring up at 5.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches and capable of containing 16 ounces of your favorite freshly ground coffee or whole beans, this stainless steel vault from Friis would set off any modernist kitchen. Available in black, red, or raw stainless steel, this minimalist container gives you the capacity for 16oz of coffee. Thanks to the proprietary freshness valves – you get enough supplied to last a whole year – your coffee beans will remain unaffected by CO2 as the beans degas. This will keep the oils and flavor intact.
4. Coffee Vac Vacuum-Sealed Coffee Container
If you’re hunting for the best container to store coffee beans on a budget, Coffee Vac serves up a lightweight plastic gem. At 4.9 x 4.9 x 7.75 inches, you get a compact container that nevertheless has room for 16oz your preferred coffee beans. By ensuring all the carbon monoxide escapes without any oxygen penetrating the container, you’ll enjoy your beans at their freshest every time. All that remains is to fire up your grinder and get that espresso machine on the go. All materials and component are free of BPA and all other contaminants.
5. BlinkOne Coffee Canister
If you are less motivated by price, the BlinkOne coffee canister is all-stainless steel and could be used for storing sugar or spices as well as coffee. Measuring 6.8 x 5 x 5 inches, the small and squat container lets you keep a whole bag of your favorite beans safeguarded against all harmful elements.
A coffee guide is included so you can add to your knowledge of brewing methods and hopefully pick up some tips on making even better coffee at home. You even get a serving scoop chucked in. This container is not exactly cheap but it looks great on the kitchen counter.
6. Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister for Coffee
Fellow Atmos serves up this coffee canister in matte black, silver, or regular glass. We would advise against the latter as it lets too much light penetrate your coffee. The airtight silicone seal ensures the environment is ideal for storing coffee with no outside elements piercing through and interfering with the flavor and aroma.
This canister comes in small, medium, and large, so you can choose something to suit your kitchen. Easy to use despite the tech-driven seal, all you need to do is twist the lid to seal and press to release. What could be easier?
7. Old Dutch International Canister Set
If you’re searching for a bargain, scroll past this canister set from Old Dutch International. You’ll need to dig deep for this multipurpose set of containers, so what do you get for your money? With Fresh Seal technology, your coffee, spices, pasta, or whatever else you store in these containers will remain safely insulated from harmful environmental factors. The lacquered coating ensures these copper-plated pots won’t tarnish so you’ll enjoy those good looks for years to come.
You get containers with the following capacities:
- 1 quart
- 5 quarts
- 2 quarts
- 4 quarts
8. Hokeki Airtight Coffee Container
A stainless steel container measuring 5.1 x 5.1 x 5.9 inches, you’ll get much more than just an airtight method of storage here. Are you meticulous about expiry dates? If so, all you need to do is take advantage of the calendar wheel on this canister and you can cut back on wastage and make certain your coffee is consumed at its very best. The food-grade liner means you can throw in your coffee with a clear conscience as there are no contaminants to worry about. Thanks to inbuilt breather valves and a silicone seal, no air will get in but any carbon monoxide from degassing can make its way out. This combines to deliver the optimum storage environment for your favorite fresh coffee beans.
9. Airscape Coffee Storage
Choose from a bewildering spread of colors with Airscape’s coffee storage solutions. Small or medium containers are modular and can be easily stacked in a cupboard or on some shelving. The medium canister is capable of holding up to 1 pound of beans so this should be enough for most reasonable purposes.
Stainless steel build free of BPA gives you the optimum way to stave off the depredations of air, moisture, and humidity so you can enjoy your morning coffee at its finest. The only reported niggle with this pricey but effective container is the amount of force required when removing the inner lid. That aside, you’re getting exceptional value and outstanding durability in a compact footprint.
10. Barnyard Design Kitchen Canister Jars
For a more rustic approach to storage containers, why not try this set of 4 varying sized jars from Barnyard Design? While this is not the most tech-driven solution to storing your coffee beans, you get a completely airtight container that will keep those fresh beans from being impaired by the elements. The only real gripe is that you can’t pop these jars in the dishwasher. Still, occasionally cleaning them by hand is not really a reason not to buy.
11. Prepara Airtight Storage Container
Prepara make some highly attractive storage containers and this compact container comes in multiple sizes and color schemes to suit everyone. Evak is the name for the patented plunging mechanism responsible for creating the perfect coffee storage environment by simply pushing down. Perfect for a range of use cases and deceptively easy to use, this is the connoisseur’s choice for storing coffee beans.
1) How quickly can coffee start degrading once it’s been ground?
Astoundingly, the effects of spoiling can kick in after as little as 30 minutes. This is why we repeatedly reference the importance of grinding your own beans. Whether you choose a manual grinder or you’d sooner invest in a great electric burr grinder, you’ll take your coffee to a new dimension by adopting this simple preliminary step.
2) What’s the problem with clear canisters?
Coffee degrades when it comes into contact with oxygen. It also spoils when it’s exposed to UV rays. An opaque container stops the coffee from exposure to sunlight which is ideal for long-term storage.
3) Is it possible to store my coffee in the freezer?
Opinions differ on this score but the LaMano view is that you’re likely to cause freezer burn unless the container is truly airtight. Since absolute freshness should be your goal, we prefer to keep our coffee stashed in a container like one of the above in a food pantry or cupboard away from light. You’re better off topping up your coffee supplies frequently rather than attempting to stockpile.
4) How about putting my coffee in the fridge?
This is entirely pointless. The environment won’t be as cold as the freezer, obviously, but you’ll expose the coffee to too much moisture and condensation so by placing it in the fridge, you’re highly likely to ruin your coffee. Don’t reinvent the wheel here. Stick to the method outlined above and your coffee will stay fresh and packed with flavor without losing any of that trademark aroma either.
5) What is oxidation?
This is the formal name for what happens when coffee beans are exposed to oxygen. This strips away the precious oils and aroma from the beans to the detriment of the finished cup of coffee. Although heat and moisture can also be damaging to coffee, oxygen is the primary enemy.
6) What materials work best for containers designed to store coffee?
What’s key is that the material is non-reactive. This means you won’t get any unwanted flavors leaching into those precious coffee beans. The last thing you want is the coffee contaminated with anything else. Ceramic and glass both work well, although it helps if the glass is opaque. Stainless steel, as long as it’s food-grade, is also effective.
7) Is it necessary to choose a container with a vacuum seal?
Absolutely not. This is purely personal preference. As long as the container is airtight, anything else is just bells and whistles. Containers for storing coffee beans are no different to any product. You can always find models packing more tech and extra features than others. For many, a basic airtight container is more than fit for purpose. Don’t feel pressured into buying one with more features than you need just because of the marketing hype. A simple container is perfectly adequate.
As with all coffee equipment, take the time before whipping out your credit card to consider storage. While in this case you’ll be storing your coffee, you also need to make sure you have space to accommodate the canister on your kitchen counter. To help with this, we’ve listed overall dimensions for all the containers so you can compare them at a glance. Follow some simple best practice by keeping your coffee at room temperature and limiting exposure to air and moisture, and you’ll guarantee gourmet coffee without needing to hit Starbucks.