Of late, green coffee beans have become very popular. You might be considering replacing your usual roasted coffee beans. Or you have just bought your green coffee beans and can’t wait to enjoy them in the comforts of your home. Either or, it might have struck you how long you can keep these coffee beans. So how long do green coffee beans last?
Green coffee beans can last up to 1 year with proper conditions and storage. Storing them in cool, dry, and dark conditions is strongly advised to maintain their distinct flavors and aromas.
Read on to better understand the shelf life of green coffee beans and how we can store them effectively to retain their freshness. We will also give you some tips to keep them fresh longer and let you in on the secret of the popularity of this drink!
How Long Will Your Green Coffee Beans Really Last?
Coffee companies advertise that green coffee beans can last years with proper conditions and storage. Many others will advise that they are good for only six to eight months after harvesting, while some believe that beans should be roasted for greater taste and flavor.
Experts agree that you can store green coffee beans for up to a year without losing their quality, distinct flavors, and aromas. However, the catch is that you have to make sure to store it in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as the kitchen cabinet or pantry.
Too much time in storage can also lead to a distinct deterioration in the beans. Depending on the country of origin, you have to use them within eight and twelve months to avoid any quality loss.
My advice to you would be to roast your green coffee beans as soon as possible within a year of your purchase. This will give you the best quality possible from the green beans. You can do so in small batches so that you can still store the remaining unroasted beans properly.
Do green coffee beans last longer than normal roasted beans?
In general, green coffee beans last longer than your typical roasted coffee beans. Over time, roasted beans tend to lose their rich and bold flavors, become dull, insipid and acquire a bitter taste. So it is best to consume your roasted coffee beans as soon as possible.
Roasted beans can last between 10 days to 6 weeks, depending on the roasting process. Typically, dark roasted beans can last longer than light roasted ones. Light roasts usually last between 7 to 10 days, while dark roasts can retain their freshness for up to 6 weeks.
How to Store Green Coffee Beans and Keep Them Fresh For a Longer Time
Storing green coffee beans is very much similar to storing roasted whole beans. Here are some tips to keep them fresh longer.
Keep them less exposed to moisture
The first and foremost factor is moisture. The moisture to which they are exposed makes a big difference in their shelf life. You must always make sure to store your beans in a cool and dry place. A damp area can result in mold and bacteria, which will soon eat away at your beans, rendering them useless.
Even a little bit of moisture can deteriorate the coffee beans, losing flavor in the process. It is vital to check for signs of moisture or mold in your green beans to avoid any health risks. Experts optimize the humidity at about 60 percent, not more than that.
Stable and cool temperature does the job
The second factor is temperature. The optimum temperature level for the beans is 60 Fahrenheit, which is close to room temperature (between 68 to 77 Fahrenheit).
Storing the green coffee beans at room temperature will keep your coffee palatable and rich in texture. Too high a temperature will dry out your beans, and too low a temperature can ruin them, which will result in a loss of flavor.
Keep the coffee bean away from sunlight
The third factor is light or sunlight. Exposure to light over time can cause premature aging in the green coffee beans, which causes the coffee bean to lose its flavor and aroma faster than usual. Avoid putting your green beans in the open, where they can be exposed to direct sunlight.
Use proper storage containers
Another important factor is storing your beans in the right container. Storing them in an airtight container is the best way to keep them fresh and long-lasting.
Vacuum-packed bags or Ziploc containers will also do the trick. However, please do not make the mistake of storing the beans in the freezer, resulting in dryness, making the green coffee beans lose their flavor. As you defrost them, it will also result in condensation, making them moldy.
The best method is to store the beans in a sealed four-layer bag, which will offer additional protection and retain its flavor and texture. These bags have a valve, which allows the beans to breathe, protecting them from over-oxidizing.
Nevertheless, whichever containers you choose, always remember to store them in a dry, dark, and cool place.
Find out more on the best coffee storage containers in another post.
How To Tell If Green Coffee Beans are Bad?
You might be thinking about whether you can still consume your green coffee beans past the 1-year mark. To do that, you need to know how to identify whether your coffee beans have turned bad. Here are 4 quick steps to know if a coffee bean is bad.
Step 1. The beans are no longer greenish in color – if you observed that the beans had turned other colors than the original green, this is the first tell-tale sign that the green coffee beans have started to turn bad. At this point, you can either discard the beans or go on to Step 2.
Step 2. Mold begins to appear in your beans – look for signs of mold around the inside of the storage container’s lid and on the coffee beans. If you see any white, greyish spots, do not use the beans! However, if it is free of mold, you can go ahead to the next step.
Step 3. The beans smell different or stale – If you are like me, I’m sure you love the smell of your green coffee beans. So if you start to notice that the smell isn’t as bold or strong as it used to be, it may be time to discard the beans. Whatever your decision, it is up to you. I will still go on to the next step, which is to roast and brew them for the taste test.
Step 4. The brewed coffee tastes stale or rancid – this is the final test to see if your green coffee has indeed gone bad. The aroma and taste of coffee are an important part of what we look for in a fresh cup of joe. If your brewed coffee tastes stale, it is no longer fresh, and the time has come to say goodbye to your green coffee beans.
Why are Green Coffee Beans So Popular?
The reasons behind the popularity of green coffee beans are plentiful. They are loaded with benefits, without any compromise on their use.
Longer Shelf Life
They have a reasonably long shelf life than any other variety of coffee. For example, roasted coffee beans retain their flavor for about six weeks. On the other hand, green coffee beans stay flavorful for up to a year.
More flexibility and control
You have the ultimate control, specifically over the taste of your coffee, if you go the green coffee bean route. You can roast them up to your preferred roasting levels, whether you like it dark, medium or light.
It is definitely healthier than other forms of coffee. It has been known to help in weight loss, detoxification of the body, and increase blood circulation. In addition, the chlorogenic acid present in these beans aids in lowering cholesterol. It is also helpful in leveling glucose levels and boosts our immune system.
As you can see, there are straightforward benefits to using green coffee beans. However, if you want something more convenient, you should opt for whole beans or pre-ground coffee. I wrote another article detailing the comparison between roasted whole beans and coffee grounds, so you might want to read it to find out more.
Where can you get them?
Coffee is grown almost over the world, the largest producer being Brazil. Green coffee beans demand has grown exponentially. They can now be found in a variety of flavors and textures.
The most flavorful green coffee beans come from Brazil and Indonesia. The mild variety is generally exported from South America, while more bitter-tasting ones come from Kenya and Ethiopia. The links highlighted are from Amazon.
As to their availability, green coffee beans are mostly available from online selling platforms and specialty coffee shops. You will not find them in a regular store or coffee shop. You can also try visiting the organic stores in your city. In addition, weekend farmers’ markets are a great place to check for green coffee beans.
How to Make Unroasted Green Coffee
If you are curious whether you can drink green coffee without roasting the green coffee bean, the answer is yes. The taste of the green coffee bean extract is definitely different from the typical coffee, like herbal with a tinge of green tea.
To make your green coffee, you will need to grind two ounces of the raw coffee beans in a coffee grinder. Then, let them simmer in about 12 ounces of water for 15-20 minutes. Also, remember to steep them for about an hour before straining.
If you find the taste too bitter for your liking, you can mix it with your regular coffee before having a cup. A green coffee bean contains less caffeine than your regular freshly roasted coffee.
Final Thoughts: How Long Do Green Coffee Beans Last
Overall, green coffee beans last longer than traditional coffee and have many other advantages. This includes a variety of health benefits, not to mention taste and flavor.
As long as it is stored properly, you can enjoy this awesome drink for a long time. I very much hope this article has helped clear up your questions and initiated you into the amazing world of green coffee.