You know, I spend a lot of time here at Coffeeness talking about how to make coffee, explaining why owning a good coffee grinder is crucial and reminding you that using high-quality, freshly roasted beans is the only way to go. It's what I do!
You know, I spend a lot of time here at Coffeeness talking about how to make coffee, explaining why owning a good coffee grinder is crucial and reminding you that using high-quality, freshly roasted beans is the only way to go. It’s what I do!
I’ve even written about how to keep your coffee fresh by storing it properly.
But where exactly are you supposed to keep your wonderful coffee beans to maintain that fresh-roasted awesomeness?
Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for: a guide to the best coffee storage containers. In this article, I’ll tell you all about what to look for in a coffee storage container and which materials are best. I’ll also give you a few gentle reminders about proper storage to maximize freshness.
Table of Contents
Why You Need a Coffee Storage Container
In my article on how to store coffee beans, I talked about the environmental factors that affect coffee freshness. And one thing is for certain: from the moment fresh coffee leaves the cozy confines of the roaster, it seems like the whole world conspires against it.
The delicate beans are vulnerable to the effects of moisture, UV rays, heat and oxygen, all of which seem determined to cause as much damage as possible.
That’s why, as lovers of flavor and aroma, all good coffee-drinking citizens should do their best to protect their beans by hiding them from the cruel world in a worthy container.
There are lots of options to choose from, ranging from simple, airtight canisters to more high-tech, vacuum-sealed vaults. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money on the best coffee storage containers.
Still, no matter how much you invest, you’re prolonging the freshness and flavor of your beans.
Shouldn't I Just Store Coffee in Its Original Packaging?
Coffee packaging has come a long way in recent years — though some of my favorite beans still come packaged in an old-school Kraft paper bag with a reclosable tin tie.
These days, you’ll find most third-wave roasters sell quality coffee beans in airtight, resealable plastic bags, featuring a one-way valve that allows carbon dioxide to escape.
Once opened, this kind of packaging is resealable, but you’ll have a hard time getting it to stay airtight.
That’s why I keep my coffee beans in the bag I bought them in and store them in an airtight container. Better safe than sorry, right?
How Long Does Coffee Stay Fresh?
No matter how you decide to store your coffee beans, the fact remains that coffee is a perishable natural product, and it won’t stay fresh forever.
Factors like roast profile and varietal do play a part in determining the coffee’s shelf-life, but to maximize freshness, it’s best to buy freshly roasted beans.
Even better, you should always buy beans from a roaster who prints the roast date on the packaging. I’d be more than a little suspicious if I didn’t see one — and you should be, too.
Once your freshly roasted coffee beans have rested, you’ll have around two weeks of prime time. That’s when your coffee beans will be at peak performance and may even continue to develop in-depth and complexity.
After that, your beans will gradually start to lose aroma and flavor, eventually becoming tired and stale. That said, to keep the good times rolling for as long as possible, you’ll still have to follow the four golden rules of coffee storage:
- Keep away from oxygen. Minimize the presence of oxygen exposure to your coffee, which will slow the oxidation process and maximize freshness, so you don’t have stale beans.
- Keep away from moisture. Be sure to store your coffee in a dry environment to prevent moisture absorption, ultimately leading to moldy beans.
- Keep away from light. Forget those pretty glass jars and use an opaque coffee storage container instead to eliminate damaging UV rays from sunlight.
- Keep away from heat. Store your beans in a cool, dark cupboard, as it’s the ideal place to prevent damage from heat sources like your stove or a window.
Choosing the Best Coffee Storage Container: Airtight vs Vacuum Seal
If you spend just a few minutes researching the best coffee canisters, you’ll likely run into the most hotly debated subject in coffee storage circles: airtight vs vacuum seal containers.
An airtight coffee container won’t provide a completely oxygen-free environment, but it’ll come pretty close. Keep in mind, though, that as you begin using your coffee beans, more and more space becomes available inside. And that means there’s more room for oxygen to wreak havoc.
Vacuum seal coffee storage containers take things to the next level. Here, you can achieve an almost exclusively oxygen-free environment because it actively sucks the air out of the container. Although this dramatically slows oxidation, “What about carbon dioxide?” After all, if you’re using freshly roasted coffee in a vacuum-sealed container, the beans aren’t going to be able to degas.
Maybe the solution is to not create a vacuum for a few days while the coffee rests.
Alternatively, you could store freshly roasted beans in an airtight coffee container (preferably with a CO2 valve) for a few days, then transfer them to a vacuum-sealed container. That’s probably just for die-hard freshness fanatics, though.
The Best Plastic Coffee Storage Containers
I’m really not the biggest fan of plastic products, in general.
Sure, I make an exception for the AeroPress, but I dislike the idea of coffee and hot water mingling in a plastic pour-over dripper. That said, when it comes to the material for the best coffee storage containers, plastic does have a lot going for it:
- Easy to clean off residual coffee oils
- Usually very affordable
- Quite durable and long-lasting
OXO Good Grips Coffee Pop Container
If you’re looking for a simple, practical coffee storage container to keep your coffee fresh, OXO has you covered. It’s available on Amazon for just over $20, which isn’t too bad.
The Coffee Pop Container has a 1.7-quart capacity, which is just enough for a pound of whole bean coffee. There’s also a “push” button on top of the lid that’s pretty cool and activates an airtight silicone seal.
But best of all, the BPA-free plastic has a UV-blocking tint, so you won’t have to worry about sunlight damaging your beans.
Prepara Evak Fresh Saver
The Prepara Evak is a nifty little coffee storage container, starting with the simplicity of the design, which I love: you push the lid down to meet your beans, creating a partial vacuum. This means you can eliminate oxygen in the container no matter how few beans you have left.
It’s available in a few different sizes, but the 1.8-quart capacity version is best for storing a pound of beans. And best of all, it’ll only set you back $13.99 on Amazon. The only real drawback is the lack of UV tinting.
You’ll also have to keep the Evak away from sunlight for it to be effective.
The Coffeevac is another example of simple, elegant design: you create a vacuum inside this coffee storage container by pressing a button on the side of the lid.
I really like the fact that the Coffeevac has a wide mouth, which makes cleaning the thing a breeze.
Plus, the Coffeevac comes in a variety of sizes and colors, including a 1-pound capacity container that costs $14.99 on Amazon. I recommend the opaque black version — for obvious reasons.
The Best Ceramic Coffee Storage Containers
Though you’ll pay more for a ceramic coffee storage container, this material certainly has benefits.
Ceramic is lightproof and also fairly heat-resistant. Plus, unlike plastic, which often absorbs odors, ceramic tends to stay neutral and is easy to clean.
Airscape Ceramic Coffee Storage Container
The Airscape coffee storage container is also available in stainless steel, but I recommend spending a little more on the ceramic version. You can buy the medium-sized version on Amazon for $34.
I have to say this glazed container in Obsidian Black looks pretty darn sexy. Even the company logo on the side is strangely attractive, too.
As far as functionality, the Airscape Coffee Storage Container works very much like the Evak — you press down the inner lid to create a vacuum with a satisfying swoosh.
Just for good measure, though, there’s an additional bamboo lid. It serves no practical purpose, but it does look mighty pretty.
Le Creuset Coffee Storage Jar
If you’re one of those folks who have to have Le Creuset everything in your kitchen, you’ll think nothing of spending $94.95 on Amazon for this ceramic coffee storage container.
The lid has a silicone gasket seal that keeps things nice and airtight inside, and the nonporous enamel finish means no odors and no staining. Plus, the thing does look pretty nice, so it’ll go great with your Le Creuset mugs, egg cups, salt and pepper shakers and butter dish.
The Best Stainless Steel Coffee Storage Containers
There’s a strong case one could make for stainless steel being the ultimate material for a coffee storage container.
Not only is a stainless steel container opaque and pretty much indestructible, but the material is also nonporous. Meaning you won’t have to worry about coffee oils staining the container and leaving odors. Not to mention, if you’re going for the modern minimalist look, a stainless steel container will look great in your kitchen, too.
Coffee Gator Canister
The medium-sized Coffee Gator Canister holds around a pound of whole bean coffee and costs $23.99 on Amazon.
This snazzy-looking coffee storage container is really popular, and I can see why. It’s made from surgical-grade stainless steel and features a satisfying bail clasp that activates the airtight seal.
Best of all, there’s a freshness valve that releases carbon dioxide as your beans degas.
And if you need to track how long your beans have been in storage, there’s a nifty calendar wheel on the lid. That wouldn’t be a concern for me — coffee beans don’t last very long in my kitchen.
Veken Coffee Canister
The Veken Coffee Canister is pretty similar to the Coffee Gator in that it’s built from high-grade stainless steel, has a CO2 valve and features a date tracker on the lid. It even comes with a handy coffee scoop which sits nicely in its holder on the side of the canister.
The 16-ounce capacity Veken costs $22.99 on Amazon and comes in a variety of colors. And although I prefer the gray version, I’m also quite partial to the mint-green canister — I guess I can still surprise myself from time to time.
Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister
I must admit to having a bit of a crush on Fellow products.
This company makes beautiful vacuum-insulated stainless steel travel mugs, as well as a gooseneck kettle and an awesome French press. Their Atmos Vacuum Canister is available in Clear or White, but Matte Black is the way to go.
With its minimalist design and clean lines, the Atmos looks like some kind of alien technology that just happens to be in your kitchen.
Using the thing couldn’t be easier, though. You simply create a vacuum inside the Atmos simply by twisting the lid back and forth.
There are three sizes available, the largest of which holds a pound of whole bean coffee and costs $35 on Amazon.
I hope you’ve found this article on the best coffee storage containers helpful. How do you store your precious coffee beans at home? Is there a container you love that I need to try? Leave your questions and comments below! Thanks for reading!