Fresh Roasted Coffee Beans

by Stefani Anderson
(last updated January 29, 2020)

Really good coffees always have one thing in common: they're fresh!

Although you can store your whole roasted coffee beans for a month or more, they are best within three days of roasting, and about a week later they have lost most of their flavor. To avoid brewing from flavorless beans, buy fresh-roasted coffee beans in smaller quantities more often rather than buying in bulk. Store beans in airtight containers away from moisture and light. If you buy coffee beans in bags that are lined with foil, store them in the original bags, pushing out as much air as you can each time you reseal a bag.

Also, roasted coffee beans "breathe" out carbon dioxide for a few days after being roasted, so you'll need to let any gas out of the container. Just open the lid quickly and reseal it.

You can put coffee beans in the freezer, too, if you place them in an airtight container first. But don't put them BACK in the freezer after you've defrosted them—moisture will condense on the beans and ruin the flavor.

Do not refrigerate beans—it makes them stale.

Grinding your coffee beans:

  • Grind only as many beans as you need each time you make coffee.
  • For filter pots (including automatic coffeemakers), grind beans as fine as possible.
  • For percolators, a coarse grind is best.
  • For cafetieres (French press), use a medium grind.
  • Keep your grinder spotless, brushing out any stray bits of bean after each use.
  • While electric grinders do the fastest job, old-fashioned metal or heavy ceramic mortars and pestles still gives the finest grind and will never break down or wear out. (Be prepared to work hard; the process is slow and tedious.)
  • Don't try grinding coffee beans in your blender or food processor; you'll dull the blades and possibly stall or burn out the motor.
  • When you have beans and no grinder, wrap the beans in a clean old cloth (one that can be thrown away—it probably will be unusable afterwards), and then pound them with a mallet or heavy weight.

Use your grinds as soon as you can after grinding them.

Author Bio

Stefani Anderson

Stefani is an assessment developer for an online university. She earned a degree in language, editing, and anthropology from Brigham Young University. Her favorite thing is to travel the world, chronicle her adventures, and help others celebrate memories. ...

MORE FROM STEFANI

Saving Dry Brown Sugar

How can you keep your brown sugar from drying out? And what can you do to save it if it's already dry? Find out here.

Discover More

Storing and Cooking Pasta

Are you intimidated by the thought of preparing pasta? With just a little knowledge you can cook pasta like a ...

Discover More

Making Personalized Cookbooks

Have you ever wanted to publish your own cookbook? At the very least, you can make an awesome collection to share with ...

Discover More
More Cooking Tips

Irish Coffee

Irish coffee may have started as a regional, or ethnic delicacy, but it has now become a worldwide phenomenon. If you ...

Discover More

Coffee Supplies

You can enjoy great coffee at home or work with a coffee maker. Have the necessary supplies on hand when you need to brew ...

Discover More

Coffee Service

A lot of workplaces provide a break room for employees to relax. Using a coffee service to restock and maintain coffee ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured cooking tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)