The type of coffee storage container you use will determine how long your coffee beans will stay fresh for. The best coffee canisters will keep the oxygen out and your beans tasting as good as the day they were roasted.
If you already buy coffee beans then you will know that the best way to achieve the most delicious tasting cup of coffee is to grind fresh coffee beans just before brewing,
Coffee beans beat pre-ground coffee every time because as soon as the beans are ground and oxygen gets to the ground coffee then the decay process begins and the coffee can become stale within a few days and it won’t taste as good.
Whilst coffee beans remain intact the process of the coffee becoming stale is slowed down but as soon as the bag you have bought them in is opened then the beans are exposed to oxygen and they will start to lose their flavour.
If you are buying beans in quantities that means you are using them all in about 7-10 days then you don’t need to worry too much about storing them and as long as they were vacuum sealed before you opened them you can just keep them in the bag or any container like the one you may use for sugar or tea bags.
However, it has become a lot more common to buy coffee beans in 1kg bags and if you do that then unless you drink a lot of coffee it is very unlikely that you will get through it in a week.
Buying beans in bags of 250g from the supermarket works out expensive and the quality and choice are not that great. If you buy your beans in 1kg bags then they will work out cheaper and they may well be better because you can look elsewhere outside of the supermarket shelves.
There are hundreds of small coffee roasters in the UK but it can be hard to find the hidden gems so we have done some of that work for you and created an article on how to choose coffee beans and some recommendations of proven winners:
If you want to keep the beans as fresh as they were when you opened the bag then you need to use some kind of storage device that stops oxygen getting to the beans.
Not every coffee container or canister is the same. Some will protect your beans better than others as some will only stop air getting into the container once the lid is on and others will both remove the air from the jar and also stop air from getting in.
When deciding on the type of coffee canister that is best suited to your needs we can split them up into three different types:
Airtight coffee containers
This type of storage very simply stops air from getting in but it does not evacuate the air that is already inside.
It’s definitely better than keeping your beans in the bag they came in and if you are going to be using them up within about 3 weeks then this is a perfectly acceptable way to preserve the freshness of your coffee.
These are a selection of some of the best airtight coffee containers:
Coffee Gator stainless steel airtight coffee container
We are big fans of the Coffee Gator brand as a whole. They specialise in coffee products and when all your focus goes into one thing it tends to result in great products and that is certainly the case with this stainless steel container.
Its costs a little bit more than some others but it will work out cheaper in the end because it’s made to last. It has a thick surgical steel stainless steel body that will last years and a very tight seal that ensures no air will get in once it’s closed.
There is also a date wheel on the top so that you can see at a glance how long your coffee beans have been in the container and monitor how fresh they stay as a result of the airtight conditions when the lid is closed
Easehold Airtight coffee container
This is a very stylish and excellent value for money airtight container that comes with a nice little add on of a magnetic coffee scoop that is attached to the lid.
If you are grinding your coffee beans just before you brew your coffee the scoop will come in very handy as it just magnetically clips on and off ready to be stored back inside the container when you screw the lid back on.
If you want something that looks good and well as being functional then this is a good option to consider.
Air removal coffee containers
These are different from vacuum containers because they don’t suck out the air that’s inside, they kind of push the air out often by pressing a lid down on top of the beans.
This will remove a lot of the air from the container but there will still be some in-between the beans.
This type of storage removes more air than airtight but not as much as a full vacuum seal.
These are some of the best coffee containers that remove most of the air:
Coffeevac Coffee Container
This has been a best seller for years with many thousands of happy customers and for good reason. It fulfils the two main criteria for this kind of product that seems obvious but a lot of manufacturers can’t do it. This works really well and it’s cheap.
You can easily get cheap but a lot of the time that means they don’t work very well and you can get really good but that can mean expensive. This is low cost and very good.
It’s also extremely easy to use. There is one button on the side of the container that when pressed, releases a valve and lets air in so that you can pull the top off.
To put the top back on you need to press the button again and when you push the lid on it will remove some of the air inside the container creating a partial vacuum.
It’s better than airtight because some air is removed and is ideal for storing beans up to a month and will keep them really fresh for that length of time.
Tightvac coffee container
This is available in a variety of different colours and designs and represents great value for money with a simple button that you push on the side to release the air and open the lid and the same again to close it.
It’s perfect for coffee but can be used for a whole range of other dry foods and the seal is so good that it will keep any unwanted smells inside without them lingering in the air in your kitchen.
Vacuum sealed coffee containers
These offer the best way to remove almost all of the air from the container and give your beans the best protection from the air that is the enemy when it comes to keeping your beans fresh.
They won’t provide a total vacuum with all the air gone but some come pretty close and if you are thinking of storing your beans for maybe a month or more then one of these may be the best option for you.
This is the best vacuum sealed coffee storage container:
Fellow Atmos vacuum coffee container
This one is our favourite out of all of the coffee containers we have reviewed. It’s also one of the most expensive but not so expensive that it would stop us from buying it.
It’s one of those items that you can expect to get good use out of for 5-10 years or more and so when you look at it like that then it’s not that much for a high-quality product that does a really good job of keeping your coffee fresh.
This creates an almost total vacuum with the air being removed by twisting the lid backwards and forwards until a green light is displayed and then you know the air is removed and you have a vacuum.
The vacuum will hold for about a week and then you just need to twist the lid again to remove the air but you’ll probably be opening it at least once a week anyway.
You just press the button on top to let the air back in and the lid pops off with a simple turn.
An excellent container for keeping your coffee fresh for serval months.
If you go through your coffee beans within around 7 days then you don’t need to worry too much about preserving their freshness because the very fact that you are using beans means it will stay fresher for longer anyway.
Pre-ground coffee will go stale within a few days but beans won’t so if you don’t want to keep the beans in the bag you bought them in but you will be using them relatively quickly then you can simply go for a basic but stylish coffee canister to keep them in.
This one comes in a variety of different colours and is very good value for money:
Which type of coffee canister is best?
All three of the different types discussed above have a purpose to serve.
As a general rule the longer you wish to store your coffee for then the longer you would like your coffee to not be in contact with the air because air reduces the freshness over time.
Airtight coffee containers are good for short term storage up to 7-10 days because they will stop air getting in but they won’t protect the beans from the air that’s already in the canister.
The storage jars that are not vacuum sealed but do push a lot of the air out (air removal) are good for medium-term storage up to 4 weeks because a lot (but not all) of the air will be removed keeping the beans fresher for longer.
If you want to store your beans for longer than a month then the vacuum option is probably best for your needs.
There is a little bit more work to be done every time you close the lid in order to extract all the air but you know that your beans are mostly not in contact with the air when they are in storage.
For less than 7 days storage, airtight containers are fine, 1-4 weeks then air removal containers are a good option and then for more than 1 month, vacuum-sealed coffee containers are the way to go.
It is worth noting that all of the different types will preserve the freshness of your beans more than just keeping them in the bag they came in but you are going to need to be a bit of a coffee connoisseur to be able to identify coffee that is stored in a cheap airtight container versus beans stored in an expensive vacuum-sealed container.
Coffee is best stored away from direct sunlight and cooler conditions to preserve its freshness for even longer so whichever option you go for keep it in a cool dark cupboard if possible.
If you want to keep your coffee beans for even longer than a few months then freezing them is also an option but you need to make sure you do it properly. This article explains how best to do it:
This article provides some more detailed information on how to store your coffee beans in order to make the best use our the storage container type you use:
Here is a very interesting video that explains all of the different types of coffee storage in detail. James Hoffman is a well respected coffee expert and World Barista champion so he knows a thing or two about coffee: