A coffee storage container(or a coffee canister) is a really important accessory to have to make really good coffee. Here’s why:
Imagine this: you wake up in the morning and brew a seemingly amazing cup of coffee, only to put it to your lips and find out it tastes nothing like coffee at all! The brew has lost all of its taste and you may as well have had *shudder* instant coffee.
One of the most critical aspects of brewing good coffee is using good coffee beans. The best kind of coffee to use is beans that have been roasted very recently – many craft roasters have a best by date on their packaging, which you should refer to.
The best way to ensure you have fresh tasting coffee all the time is to buy one week to ten days worth of beans and grind as necessary.
Until you grind them, store them in a coffee storage container.
Are coffee storage containers extra special? Not really, but you need to make sure that they’re airtight and prevent any moisture or light from getting in.
Why coffee needs to be as fresh as possible
Coffee grounds need to be protected from the elements and they need to be really fresh. Like we mentioned above, the best time to have coffee is within 10 days of roasting. Ideally, you want to grind as necessary. The moment you grind the beans, they begin to lose their flavor very rapidly.
When coffee beans are roasted, they start releasing carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is what causes the coffee flora, which is the crema you see on top of the coffee. It is also responsible for a lot of the coffee’s flavor. Once you grind the beans, the surface area increases exponentially and the carbon dioxide begins to escape even more rapidly.
In fact, ground coffee will start to go bad within half an hour!
The proper way to store coffee is, first and foremost, to store it as coffee beans and not as coffee grounds. Next, you need to protect coffee from the elements: contact with excess air can cause the beans to oxidize and lose their flavor. Contact with moisture or light will also contaminate the beans.
That’s why the best coffee canister is one that is vacuum sealed and therefore airtight, can keep coffee beans nice and dry(again, being airtight will do the trick), and prevents light from getting in. You also need to keep beans relatively cool. Heat can also cause things to go awry.
You can get around the light issue by storing a transparent container in a cupboard or pantry, though.
Can you store coffee in the original packaging?
You can, since most coffee packaging is quite sophisticated with air vents and proper seals. But once you break open the packaging seal, you can’t re-seal to the same consistency, so you best store it in a proper container. One way to get around this is to seal the package as best as you can, and then store that in an airtight container.
Proper coffee containers have valves to let excess carbon dioxide out, though, so they’re a lot more functional.
However, using a canister is better since it’s easier to scoop coffee out of it as well. Packaging tends to crumple up and coffee get stuck everywhere.
9 Best coffee containers available in 2019
1. Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Canister
We’re listing the Coffee Gator first because it is our very favorite coffee storage container. If there was a product that fit the bill for the ideal coffee canister, this would be it.
It’s made of stainless steel so it’s light and sturdy. There is a one-way valve that lets the carbon dioxide released by the beans escape, but doesn’t let any excess oxygen from the atmosphere get in.
There is a little dial on the top of the canister that keeps track of how long you’ve kept the coffee stored in it. So you don’t have to remember when you last topped it up – the canister can remind you 🙂
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2. LOVFEE Coffee Container
Looking for something a bit more stylish than stainless steel but still has the same functionality? Try the LOVFEE coffee canister – especially if you LOVE COFFEE, he he he.
Like the other containers listed here, the LOVFEE has a one way vent for letting carbon dioxide out, and the ceramic construction is very heat-resistant, too. The bottom of the canister has a silicone base to soften bumps. It can hold one pound of coffee.
Which brings us to the only downside of this canister: it’s made of ceramic, and can break very easily if you drop it off of a shelf.
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3. Friis Coffee Vault
The Friis Coffee Vault is a stainless steel coffee container that has a one-way valve for letting carbon dioxide out. However, the valve is not everlasting and you’ll have to replace it every now and then. If you register your purchase with the manufacturer, you’ll get a one year supply for free, so that’s not too bad.
One other drawback of the Friis is that the seal is not completely airtight, so don’t plan on storing coffee in it for extended periods of time. It’s best if you quickly go through the beans.
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4. Tightvac coffeevac
The Tightvac coffeevac, in addition to having a really catchy name also is incredibly functional. It has a vacuum seal designed to keep freshness in and moisture and air out. You can store coffee in this for at least 14 days, and it’s really easy to operate – a single button opens and closes the lid, so you don’t need to worry about tightening it down every single time.
It comes in a variety of sizes so you can choose whichever one fits on your kitchen shelves!
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5. BeanSafe Coffee Storage Solution
The BeanSafe coffee storage solution stores about one pound of coffee beans and like the others, comes with a valve that lets excess carbon dioxide out. The valve is dishwasher safe, all the parts are BPA free, and overall, the BeanSafe is pretty great value for what you’re paying.
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6. OXO Good Grips Coffee Pop Container
The simplest design of all 9 picks, the OXO Coffee Pop container is deceptively simple in its ingenuity. The lid has a pop button that you push to create a seal, and push it again to open the container. It’s that easy and that’s where the “pop” comes from – every time you open the seal, you’ll hear the sound of air rushing in to equalize the pressure.
You can store a pound of coffee in this and they’re very easily stackable, so if you need to store anything else and make the most of space, this is a great way to do it. Light can still get in, though, so you can store it in a pantry or a cupboard to prevent light from contaminating the beans.
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7. Airscape by Planetary Design
The Airscape by planetary design comes in two sizes: the smaller one capable of holding around half a pound of coffee beans and the larger size holding one pound. It’s one of the most truly airtight canisters around. When you push the lid on to the can, a valve forces all the air out, so you have the closest possible thing to a vacuum that you can achieve.
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8. EVAK Airtight Coffee Container
The EVAK is one of the most aesthetically pleasing coffee containers that we’ve got on our list. It’s made from borosilicate glass which helps keep your coffee beans nice and fresh. The lid forces all the air out when you push it on, and the beans will remain protected from most of the elements. I say most because light and heat can still get in, so if you’re going with this option, you’d best store it in a cool and shaded location like a cabinet or pantry.
I am also not a huge fan of glass, simply because you can break it very easily. Not that you’re going to play catch with your coffee canister anytime soon…
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9. OSAKA Vacuum Sealed Canister
The OSAKA canister is another canister that takes its vacuum sealing very seriously. To seal this baby, you pump the handle up, down, and twist to get all the air out of the canister. You should bear in mind that you don’t want to store grounds in this canister, only beans. The reason for this is that the sucking motion generated by the vacuum will pull some grounds into the seal as well and that can cause it to malfunction.
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How does coffee go bad?
Coffee doesn’t really spoil, but it does lose the finer flavor notes over a period of time. That’s why the golden rule of coffee is to use freshly roasted beans, grind them just before using, and only buy as much as you will use in a week or ten days.
If you buy pre-ground coffee and take a lot of time to drink it, you should try buying freshly roasted (or even freshly ground) coffee and drinking it.
The first time I had very fresh coffee, I was able to very easily drink it black, as there was just no bitterness or acidity. It was perfection in a cup.
Also, as the beans lose more and more carbon dioxide(and even more once you grind them) the flavor gets weaker and weaker as time goes on.
Finally, when you buy good quality, premium coffee beans, why not store them properly? It will help keep them fresh for as long as possible and you can enjoy proper, good coffee.
Another way coffee beans spoil is through oxidation. When coffee is exposed to oxygen, the process starts and there’s no way you can prevent it. The only thing you can do is delay it, and you can do that by storing it in an airtight container and limiting the amount of oxygen it’s exposed to.
UV rays, heat, and moisture also mount an attack on coffee and make it lose flavor and freshness. The antioxidants in coffee also dissipate with time.
Can you store coffee in the freezer?
Here’s an interesting fact about coffee: coffee is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture from the air very easily. Along with moisture, it will also absorb any aromas and flavors, too. That’s why having an airtight seal is really important!
There’s really no need to freeze coffee as such, since you’re probably going to consume it very quickly anyway, and keeping it out won’t spoil it if you’re using an airtight container like we recommended here.
Coffee goes bad by moisture and exposure to air – if you can control those two factors, the coffee will be fine. Of course, it will slowly lose carbon dioxide and thus its flavor, so you can’t really store it forever.
If you absolutely need to store it in the freezer, though, remember to use a 110% airtight container. Freezers and refrigerators often become melting pots for a variety of odors and you don’t want any raw chicken or garlic notes slipping into your coffee.
When you remove the coffee from the freezer, be as quick as possible, since the colder beans will attract condensation, another detriment to coffee.
Again, though, I’m going to stress: buy freshly roasted beans in small batches, store them outside in a coffee canister, and enjoy 🙂
Our favorite coffee storage container is the Coffee Gator. It’s the most functional and most value for money. If you are really serious about drinking good coffee, then you should definitely invest in a good coffee container.
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