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I know it's better to use freshly ground beans and not store it ground at all, but if I have no other choice, how can I best preserve ground coffee?

This question sort of asks the same thing, but the answers focus on storing whole beans, and the answers addressing ground coffee make it pretty unclear whether a cool cabinet, the fridge, or the freezer is the best place.

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The two main issues with ground coffee are:

  1. The coffee losing its aroma. The aroma/flavor of coffee is quite volatile, and will evaporate very easily. The solution to this is an airtight container, with as little head room in it as possible.
  2. The coffee soaking up moisture from the air. This makes the coffee... unpleasant. The best solution I've found (in a hot humid climate) is to put it in the freezer. It is the nature of refrigeration to leech all of the moisture from the freezer compartment.

In summary, the best I've found is a small airtight box in the freezer.

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    Note that a freezer is good for longer-term storage, but it isn't advisable to scoop it from the freezer for day-to-day use. The frost and condensation from constantly opening a frozen container each day will be way more detrimental than just storing it at room temperature. Remove, say, a week's worth at a time for your daily consumption. – Robert Cartaino Sep 13 '13 at 16:30
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    Both airtight and little headroom, for a changing amount of contents - I guess just a zipper freezer bag? – Cascabel Sep 13 '13 at 19:12
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    Following on @RobertCartaino: divide into batches of one week's worth of coffee and store in the freezer in small air tight containers. – Itamar Sep 13 '13 at 19:51
  • Zipper freezer bag is my choice. It was a good re-use of breast-milk freezer bags, of all things. @Robert Cartaino is right, of course. Depending on how much coffee you drink, you should take out a few days worth at a time. Or you could pre-package a week's worth per bag and just take that out each time. – Carmi Sep 14 '13 at 18:06
  • Would some kind of desiccant in a sealed container aid in keeping the coffee fresh, or is it just not going to do enough to stop the problem of moisture? – BiscuitBaker May 13 '14 at 12:32

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