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Proper coffee storage is often overlooked, and if I had to guess, many of you reading this probably roll up the bag your coffee came in and place that crumpled bag in the cupboard without a second thought. Does that sound like you?
The thing is, we tend to focus all of our efforts on buying the biggest and best grinders, machines, and other coffee brewing paraphernalia, but when it comes to keeping our prized whole coffee beans fresh, we wing it and hope for the best.
Keeping your whole bean coffee fresh and locked inside of an airtight container from the first day you open the bag is a must. It’s not until you start using a good coffee canister and taking that extra step to keep your coffee fresh will you begin to notice the difference.
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Exposing your coffee to the elements such as light, air, and moisture (more on this later) is a sure way to lose your coffee’s rich, bold flavor. It will start to become tasteless until one day, you won’t be able to palate the taste anymore.
Remember, fresh coffee is the foundation of any great-tasting cup of coffee. It doesn’t matter if you have the best coffee maker in the world if your coffee is not fresh, you can expect a bitter-tasting brew.
Why Do You Need A Coffee Canister?
Simply put – freshness. But let me elaborate. There’s more to it than that. As soon as your coffee becomes roasted, the clock starts ticking.
From that day on, and with each passing day, your coffee beans will lose a tiny bit of their freshness. The only way to slow down this degeneration is by keeping the oxygen, sunlight, and moisture away from your coffee as much as possible.
As soon as your coffee becomes exposed to any of these elements, it will start to oxidize.
This is where a good airtight coffee container will save the day by keeping your coffee away from these three nasties. Keep your coffee out of the bag and lock ten inside a purpose-made container fit for the job!
Using A Coffee Bean Storage Container is a Must!
I think I’ve already drummed home the importance of using the correct storage for coffee. But I will point out that you should also always buy coffee beans and weigh and grind them just before you brew.
As tempting as it is, don’t buy pre-ground coffee. Not only will it degrade quicker, but it will lose its freshness and flavor quicker than whole bean coffee – ground coffee actually starts to lose its freshness in roughly half an hour.
Think about it. Whole bean coffee has all of the “goodness” still locked inside of its outer shell! Combine whole coffee beans with an excellent storage canister, plus grinding just before you brew, and you’ve got yourself a winning trifactor.
Your coffee is going to taste out of this world!
7 Best Coffee Bean Storage Containers
There are many coffee storage containers available in the marketplace, but many are better than others. Some may advertise that they’re airtight or have a durable vacuum seal, only for that seal to deteriorate in under 12 months.
These are some of the best coffee storage canisters we tried and tested that are up to the job of keeping your coffee fresh.
Ankomn Turn-N-Seal Storage Container
Unlike some of the other storage options on the list, the Ankomn does things a little differently. Rather than merely pushing on a lid and calling it a day, the Ankomn utilizes a twist and lock mechanism built into the top.
With a few twists of your wrist, the air is sucked out of the container, leaving your coffee locked inside of an airtight void.
This unique twist and lock function can help your whole beans stay up to six times fresher than other food storage options.
The Turn-N-Seal container comes in a range of different sizes that have been manufactured in a way to make vertical stacking super easy.
Make sure to read my full Ankomn Turn-N-Seal review here.
EVAK Airtight Storage Container
The EVAK is one of my personal favorites for both value and functionality. The EVAK uses a smart lid design that can be pushed all the way to where your coffee beans are stored.
The lid effectively acts as a plunger; I love the whooshing sounds as the air is displaced – very satisfying!
The lid has a unique twin valve that allows the air to be released quickly while at the same time keeping your container closed from the outside nasties.
The good news is that no valves, switches, levers, gaskets, or pumps ever need replacing.
The EVAK coffee canister is made from heavy-duty borosilicate glass that doesn’t stain or retain odors, and its also dishwasher proof.
Friis Stainless Steel Coffee Vault
If you would prefer a coffee container made of stainless steel, take a look at the Friis Coffee Vault.
This durable coffee vault can hold up to 16 ounces of your favorite coffee beans. The CO2 vent valve on the coffee container’s lid does a great job of releasing the built-up gases that your freshly roasted whole beans naturally give off.
The tight seal on the clasped lid keeps the oxygen out, so your coffee is safely stored in a vacuum.
The gas release valves are replaceable, and the good news is that the Friis Coffee Vault comes with a year’s supply of replaceable filters – so that’s one less thing to worry about.
The 16-ounce size is perfect for most of you reading this. It’s not too big or small, and you don’t have to fill it entirely, but it’s nice to know you have enough space if needed.
Coffee Gator Coffee Canister
This is a good budget-friendly coffee storage container from the team over at Coffee Gator. Like the others on the list, This container can form an excellent strong airtight seal.
Once your whole coffee beans are locked inside, the Coffee Gator does a great job at locking moisture out but, at the same time, allowing CO2 to vent through the built-in escape valve, so in essence, your coffee stays fresher for longer.
A smart feature with the Coffee Gator is the expiry date setting on the canister’s lid, which allows you to specify exactly when your coffee expires or, as I prefer, select the roast date.
The Coffee Gator is made from stainless steel with is not only durable, but it also prevents light from damaging your coffee beans – you’ve got moisture, heat, light, and oxygen – neutralized, and your coffee is happy!
Planetary Design Airscape Canister
The Planetary Design Airscape Canister is another airtight coffee storage container that genuinely excels at keeping your coffee beans fresh and away from unwanted elements.
A lot of other coffee canisters lock the air inside with your coffee when the lid is closed. This obviously means that the coffee is still in contact with oxygen. So, you’re setting yourself up to fail, and your coffee will deteriorate a lot faster.
This is where the Planetary Design Airscape Coffee Bean Canister excels.
It utilizes a special built-in one-way valve that forces the air out once the lid is pushed down into the stainless-steel canister. The smart thing about the lid is it pushes all the way down to the level of coffee beans stored inside – thus, removing any excess voids – brilliant!!
The BlinkOne is a completely stainless-steel option that provides excellent coffee bean storage. The BlinkOne may not have the most extravagant locking mechanism like some of the others.
Still, its durable, airtight silicone seal effectively keeps the outside elements out while at the same time locking in the rich aromas of your coffee.
The seal is better than I expected and you can rest assured that your beans are locked in safe and sound; it keeps the outside elements out while locking in the rich aromas of your coffee.
I like the smart magnetic scoop that comes with the BlinkOne – I have lost count of how many times I’ve lost coffee scoops, but not anymore! You’ll always find it dangling from the lid the next morning.
OXO Good Grips Airtight Coffee POP Container
Even though the OXO Good Grips Coffee canister is transparent, it can still block those harmful UV rays from reaching your beloved coffee thanks to OXO’s UV-blocking technology.
The stainless-steel lid forms an impressive airtight seal when the “POP button” is pressed down – this button also doubles up as a handle.
This particular canister we reviewed can store one pound of whole coffee beans. We liked the round corners that make pouring coffee easy-peasy if you don’t have a measuring scoop, and the main plastic body of the container is also BPA-free, which is another plus.
What to Look for in a Good Coffee Storage Container?
Now that you understand the importance of storing your coffee correctly, we need to find canisters fit for the purpose.
Trust me, they are not all made equal, and some are downright garbage.
When choosing the best coffee canister, there are three critical components that you need to look out for:
- A good airtight seal: Just because the storage container looks complicated, don’t assume that it has an impenetrable seal. Sometimes a simple locking mechanism will serve you better. If it requires a Ph.D. to get it unlocked, it’s probably best to move on and look for simpler alternatives.
- Dry beans are happy beans: The seal on the storage canisters needs to be not only airtight, but it shouldn’t let any moisture seep inside.
- Darkness, my old friend: Finally, try to avoid glass or clear storage jars unless you plan on keeping that canister inside of a dark kitchen cupboard. Your coffee needs to be kept away from direct sunlight as much as possible, so I recommend opting for a non-transparent coffee container or one that has UV protection.
A Word on Coffee Canister Materials
Ideally, the best coffee canister will completely block the light, as UV rays quickly sap your coffee of freshness and flavor. However, we have included some options on our list of recommendations that are manufactured from durable transparent BPA-free materials and others from borosilicate glass.
This isn’t an issue. As long as you keep your canister away from direct sunlight or kept inside of a dark cupboard, there is no reason why you can’t use a transparent container, and the ones on our list are excellent examples.
Even though we haven’t included any ceramic coffee storage options on our list, it doesn’t mean that ceramic isn’t a good material for keeping your coffee fresh.
However, we found that some of the ceramic coffee canisters we tested for this round-up were very porous and were absorbing odors from the stored coffee. If you’re like me and regularly swap and change your coffee from one week to the next, you don’t want any lingering smells from other coffees hanging around.
Should You Store Coffee in the Fridge or Freezer?
I have always held firm in my opinion that you shouldn’t store coffee in the freezer. However, in recent years my stance on this age-old conundrum has somewhat changed.
Keeping coffee in the freezer still isn’t the most optimal. For most of you, me included, who gets through bags of whole coffee beans every week without a second thought, there’s no need to freeze.
The only time it makes sense is if you have multiple bags of whole bean coffee that you know you can’t get through in a month or two.
The freezer is going to be a better option than keeping them in your kitchen cupboard.
However, since coffee is hygroscopic (1), it tends to absorb moisture from the air around it and any odors and tastes in the air.
So, if you decide to go down the route of freezing your coffee, you need to make sure that you seal your unopened bags of coffee beans inside freezer bags.
Once you decide to defrost your coffee, do not re-freeze it – you’re just asking for trouble if you do. The chemical compounds inside the coffee will start to break down, and you also increase the risk of freezer burn and mold.
I still think that freezing your coffee should only be done as a last resort. As long as you buy just enough and use one of the recommended coffee canisters above, your coffee is going to not only taste fantastic, but it will stay tasting fresh for weeks.