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How Long Will Coffee Stay Fresh?

Let’s be honest. Do you really know someone who DOESN’T drink coffee? More and more people want not only to buy a cappuccino to-go but also to drink tasty coffee at home and learn how to store it properly. Let’s take a look at the two main types of coffee used for drinking, how long you can store coffee beans, and whether it is worth it to buy ground coffee.

Arabica Vs. Robusta

Single-origin Arabica coffee is more high-quality and, thus, expensive than blends with Robusta available in any supermarket. However, the taste and flavors of the single-origin or specialty coffee are worth the price.

Robusta is cheaper, bitter, and contains more caffeine, while Arabica is rich in flavors and taste. Thus, manufacturers usually retail Robusta as already pre-ground coffee because it is dark roasted and can’t boast of different flavors.

Such coffee can be stored for months in a dark, dry, and clean place in an airtight container. However, in most homes, you will find coffee left in an open bag or at least with a clip on it.

Regarding Arabica, the shelf life of coffee beans is much shorter. When it comes to grounded coffee, Arabica stays fresh for up to a week if stored properly and loses its flavor characteristics day by day. Let’s take a look at the methods that will help you to keep coffee flavors for an extended period.

Storing Ground Coffee and Whole Coffee Beans

When choosing between pre-ground and whole beans, it is better to buy the latter. Whole beans can be stored for extended periods compared to ground coffee.

The thing is, once you grind your coffee beans, the coffee starts to oxidize very fast and can lose most of its qualities within a day. This happens because the coffee surface gets more exposed to oxygen. Thus, the reaction with air happens much faster than with whole beans.

Just to compare, whole beans start to gradually lose their flavor only after ten to fourteen days after they were roasted. Thus, it is recommended to grind coffee beans right before you want to make yourself a tasty cup of coffee and process only the amount of beans needed for a single cup.

Foil-Lined Bags with One-Way Valves

According to BonAppetit, if you purchased your coffee in a special foil-lined bag with a one-way valve on it, you can store the beans inside safely. Such packaging was created to prolong the shelf life of coffee and allow almost no air trap inside the bag. An unopened package keeps coffee beans fresh for more than six months.

A sealed package of ground Arabica coffee protects its flavors for about a month or two. While ground Robusta can keep up to a year or two, we already know that it tastes not the best way. As recommended on Forbes, it is worth purchasing whole beans of Arabica coffee and not wasting money on bitter Robusta powder.

When you open the packaging to pick some coffee, make sure to close the bag tightly so that the beans won’t be left exposed to air, thus, oxidizing. Moreover, you can get rid of the air that got inside the package by squishing it a bit. The one-way valve will let the air out of the bag and won’t let it get inside.


If you bought some coffee beans in a paper bag or any packaging without a one-way valve or ziplock, it is essential to put them in a sealed container as soon as possible. You need to store whole coffee in airtight containers that prevent the damage that air causes to it.

Also, once you grind coffee beans, they start to lose their flavor characteristics promptly, leaving you with tasting a dusty and bitter cup. But using an airtight container can help you to keep your ground coffee fresh and tasty for up to a week instead of a single day.

As seen on GiftWits, a Kitchables coffee storage container with scoops could be a perfect item for keeping your ground coffee fresh for longer. Also, it is a great gift for a coffee lover in case you were looking for some ideas.

Storage Temperatures

As you have probably heard, many people recommend freezing your coffee beans to keep them fresh for longer. However, it is better not to put your coffee, whether whole or ground, in the fridge because the beans will absorb the moisture and aroma of your food on the fridge shelves really quickly. The additional smell of some leftover pizza has never contributed to the taste of coffee well.

The same goes for ground coffee, as it can absorb aromas of the place where it is stored, too. Therefore, the best decision would be to place your coffee bag or container in a dry place, for example, on the kitchen shelf. This way, you prevent oxidation of coffee, as well as the appearance of side odors.

Final Remarks

To sum up, Robusta coffee can be stored for a year or even two,  contrary to Arabica. However, it has a worse, dusty, and bitter taste, besides other cons, so most people are turning to Arabica type.

Whole Arabica coffee beans can be stored for six to nine months in a sealed package that hasn’t been opened. Once you open the coffee bag, coffee beans will stay fresh for about a month or two, gradually losing its flavor.

It is better to grind coffee right before you are about to make a cup of coffee, as ground coffee loses its characteristics much faster because of the oxidation. If you buy ground coffee, it is better to store it in a bag with a one-way valve or an airtight container and use it within ten to fourteen days.

Don’t freeze your coffee, make sure to store it in a dry place, and use proper packaging. Following these tips, you will be able to keep your coffee fresh the longest time possible and enjoy many tasty cups at home.