Transparency disclosure: We may receive a small referral fee at no extra cost to you if you purchase one of the products we recommend. This is one way to support the team behind Drinxville, and we are grateful for your help. For more information, please read our affiliate disclosure.
Have you ever asked yourself, “How long does vacuum-sealed coffee last?” After all, if you’re going to buy coffee, you want something that's going to stay fresh for a long time. Unfortunately, not all coffee is made (or packaged) equally.
Most vacuum-sealed ground coffee has a “best by” date of approximately 3 to 6 months. However, that does not mean the coffee automatically goes bad after that date.
You can use it for a little while longer, but it won't be as potent or tasteful as it was within that "best by" period.
Tips for keeping your coffee fresh
One thing to remember is that your coffee won’t remain vacuum-sealed forever.
Once it’s been opened, you can expect it to last approximately 2 weeks. This may not seem like a long time for infrequent drinkers, so you’ll want to look for ways to prolong shelf life.
Here are a couple of tips for maximizing the storage time of your coffee.
Remember, there are four main agents that impact a coffee’s shelf life: light, heat, moisture, and air, so you'll want to address these specifically.
1. Keep air out
The vacuum seal on a coffee package helps preserve it for a long time, and when you open it and expose the coffee to the air, it starts to lose its potency.
It’s difficult to replicate the vacuum seal of originally packaged coffee, but you can get pretty close with air-tight containers. The key is to remove the coffee from its original container and move it to an air-tight option as soon as possible.
When choosing a container for your coffee, it’s best to go with something glass because it is easier to clean and is less likely to stain or retain flavors.
If you decide to go with a plastic container, make sure you are not mixing with other foods, otherwise you risk residual flavor contaminating your coffee beans.
We also advise you to stay away from metal since the acidic content of coffee can have an adverse reaction.
2. Avoid moisture
It's very important to keep your coffee dry. Once moisture is introduced to the open container, it can actually accelerate the rate at which your coffee loses its flavor and potency. In fact, coffee that has been impacted by moisture can develop a sour taste.
Unless the package is sealed in an air-tight container, you want to avoid storing open coffee in a refrigerator or freezer since it can develop condensation.
It’s agreed that freezer storage doesn’t do much to prolong shelf life of coffee, but if you plan to store it in this manner, make sure you don’t place it back in the freezer.
The thawing process can induce moisture within the packaging, thus negatively impacting the coffee.
3. Keep coffee away from heat
While you don’t necessarily want to keep your coffee in the fridge or freezer, you still want to keep it cool and away from excessive heat, which can lead to a breakdown of the coffee’s potency.
Keep your coffee away from the stove, oven, or any place that can become hot over time. Store your coffee in a cool or neutral location, such as a pantry or countertop.
4. Keep coffee in the dark
Similar to the point above, you want to keep coffee out of light because it can lead to overheating. This is why you should keep your coffee in a dark spot that won’t be in direct sunlight.
Also pick an airtight container that is opaque so as not to conduct heat or absorb light. This stainless steel vacuum sealed coffee container is a great option, as is this grey one.
5. Invest in whole beans
There’s a big debate between pre-ground coffee versus whole beans.
What makes whole beans so long-lasting is because the beans themselves are excellent storage vessels for the coffee. When you grind your own coffee from whole beans, you’re breaking that storage, causing the coffee to oxidize quickly.
Pre-ground coffee has already broken that vessel, thus resulting in quicker deterioration.
6. Keep everything clean
Don’t mix older coffee beans or grounds with newer ones.
After the two weeks have passed since you first stored your original coffee, it’s a good idea to trash it and just get new coffee all together. Make sure to properly clean the container thoroughly so as to keep your coffee 100% fresh.
7. Invest in a vacuum-sealed container
If you really want to maximize the freshness and taste of your coffee, you may want to invest in a vacuum seal container.
What makes these different from regular airtight containers is that there is a mechanism that actually draws out the air or gas inside the container. That way, no oxygen is left inside, and the coffee won’t oxidize.
A vacuum seal container may be the best option for storing your coffee for a long time, and the good news is that you won't break the bank. These are for serious coffee drinkers who will find themselves storing their coffee for a long time.
Everyone deserves a fresh, clean cup of coffee in the morning to help jumpstart their day, but if you don’t take proper care and store it correctly, you’re likely to get a bitter or tasteless brew.
Follow the aforementioned steps, and you’re more likely to end up with longer lasting coffee that retains its fresh quality.
It was 3 a.m. at a roadside diner when Jack took his first sip of coffee, a bottom-of-the-carafe brew he swigged black, without sugar. At the time, he was a junior in high school trying to impress a college girl. He has long forgotten the girl, but not the coffee. He currently lives in Seattle where the rain always smells like roasted beans.