My coffee is normally used up within 1 week and is of unknown age on purchase, do I need to do anything extra to make it last a week?

3 Answers 3


If you use your whole beans within a week it's probably not worth storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. Coffee beans should be stored in a cool, dry place. They can last 1-3 weeks in your pantry. Ideally you should store them in an airtight opaque container. They degrade quickly in the presence of light, heat, or oxygen.

If you want to store them longer, then they will last 3-4 month in the freezer.



  • So if I'm keeping mine in the transparent hopper of my Rancilio Rocky grinder for a week or so, would I be better off blacking out the hopper to keep the light out?
    – lukecyca
    Commented Aug 12, 2010 at 18:54
  • 1
    @lukecyca: It would technically be better, but for only a week I'd say it's a negligible improvement, unless the grinder gets direct sunlight.
    – hobodave
    Commented Aug 12, 2010 at 19:11

I have typically seen most rules of thumb for this being along the lines of buy only the coffee you will use within 1 week (kept at room-temp). freezing coffee breaks down the oils that make it flavorful, refrigerating it traps it with a bunch of other smells. storage of coffee is like that of produce, just have the right amount on hand; especially for high quality.

Basically, buy 1) appropriate portions and 2) keep it in a vacuum sealed container.

*note: if you buy locally roasted coffee/coffee with a roast date the peak flavor is typically within the first two days of roasting, and some (myself included) prefer the brown bag the coffee comes in to allow for the coffee to breathe during this period

  • 1
    I've never heard of freezing breaking down flavorful oils in coffee, and my experience of having done this countless times indicates otherwise as well.
    – hobodave
    Commented Aug 9, 2010 at 16:34
  • From my coffee house training: It's not so much the cold that breaks down coffee beans' essential oils as it is the condensation that refrigerated or frozen coffee beans develop and absorb when they're removed from cold storage; moisture contributes to the decay of coffee beans' essential oils. Coffee beans can be placed in cold storage to preserve their freshness if they're sealed in an airtight container and aren't repeatedly removed from and returned to cold storage; for best results, coffee beans, once removed from cold storage, should never be returned to it.
    – Iuls
    Commented Aug 9, 2010 at 17:58
  • I would say the taste of beans ground from out of the freezer is compressed, but i can only give a subjective answer, and based on the coffee shop down the street, they store theirs unrefrigerated; that may be also because they have a master roaster who roasts on site monday & wednesdays and they go through their beans pretty quickly. i think that we could find a bunch of links supporting and debunking our claims so i think if you notice the difference then do(n't) freeze.
    – mfg
    Commented Aug 10, 2010 at 15:15
  • Peak flavor 3-4 days after roasting is what my local roaster told me here, plus I tend to read the same often on the big coffee forums.
    – jontyc
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 3:09
  • @jontyc Sorry if the wording seems confusing: 'peak' being, for my practice, hold off the fresh coffee just roasted for the first one-two days, use within the week (i.e. 3rd-7th days, sweet spot being therein based on conditions of environment)
    – mfg
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 5:59

Do not store coffee in a refrigerator for daily use. The repeated opening and closing of the container at lower than room temperatures will cause condensation on the inside of the can and on the beans themselves, degrading the flavor. I echo the other responses about using an air tight lid at room temperature. This should keep whole beans fresh for longer than a week.

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