Hand holding a coffee bean between the fingers. Food and drink background, should coffee beans be frozen

Should Coffee Beans Be Frozen?

Coffee beans are one of the greatest investments you can make for your household. You will likely consume coffee beans every day, and making your own coffee at home can save you a fortune once you stop buying on-the-go lattes and Frappuccinos. However, storing coffee beans can be a tricky order, especially if you do not know which places coffee beans respond best to.

So should coffee beans be frozen?

Coffee beans respond well to dry areas that are protected from the air and sunlight. Therefore, coffee beans should not be stored in refrigerators or freezers, as the moisture and surrounding food products can affect and even damage your beans.

If you were banking on using your refrigerator or freezer to store your coffee beans, then you may be wondering where else in your household would make a good storage space for your precious beans. Keep reading to learn more about the optimal storage locations for coffee beans and the best ways to store coffee beans in these locations.

The Best Storage Locations for Coffee Beans

Coffee beans are an excellent investment for your household, but they can also be quite fickle to store. As coffee beans come pre-roasted, they are already very susceptible to any slight discrepancies in temperature, humidity, or other climate-related factors. Thus, you must accommodate your beans by picking out the best storage space for their needs.

To pick out the best storage space for your coffee beans, it is essential to understand how your coffee beans interact with the outside world. Here are the four most important factors to consider when storing your coffee beans:

Temperature

The temperature of a storage space can substantially affect a variety of different foods and beverages. In the case of coffee beans, a cooler storage space will be much more habitable. Heat speeds up the chemical reaction that deteriorates coffee beans, reducing their shelf life even further. However, this still does not mean refrigerators or freezers make a good storage space.

Humidity

This is due to the humidity present in both refrigerators and freezers. Coffee beans do not fair very well in humidity. Moisture causes coffee beans to freeze and expand, which will create hairline fractures in the structure of your beans. Additionally, the food and drinks present in a refrigerator or freezer can negatively affect your coffee beans’ flavor and resilience.

Light

Your coffee beans’ shelf life is also affected by the amount of light that comes into contact with your beans. Coffee beans will deteriorate faster if exposed to sunlight, so it is crucial to keep your coffee beans stored in darker areas, untainted by the sun’s harmful rays.

Oxygen

Finally, it is also essential to keep your coffee beans in areas with as little exposure to oxygen as possible. Oxygen, in addition to sunlight, moisture, and heat, will speed up the chemical reaction that causes your coffee beans to deteriorate. 

So Where Should They Go?

This may seem like a difficult task, but there are plenty of storage locations that mitigate the amount of oxygen your coffee beans will come into contact with. Here is a list of the best storage locations for your coffee beans regarding their ability to mitigate the heat, light, moisture, and oxygen contamination:

  • Pantry: The best place for you to store your coffee beans is a pantry. Pantries provide the perfect protection against all of the irritants that can reduce the shelf life of your coffee beans. Pantries are cool, dry, oxygen-sparse, and entirely unexposed to sunlight. Your coffee beans will last as long as they should when stored in a pantry.
  • Cabinet: A satisfactory substitute to a pantry is a cabinet. Cabinets make fine storage spaces for coffee beans. They are similarly dry and unexposed to sunlight. Additionally, cabinets can possess even less oxygen than pantries which is a significant bonus. However, cabinets may not be as cool as pantries.
  • Bread Box: Although this may not be a staple of every household, if you already possess a bread box in your kitchen, then it is undoubtedly worth considering its merits as a storage space for your coffee beans as well. Bread boxes protect your bread from moisture, oxygen, sunlight, and heat, so they will certainly do well to protect your coffee beans from the same dangers.
  • Shelves: Finally, you can always store your coffee beans on exposed shelves. This is obviously not the ideal storage space for your coffee beans, but there are several steps you can take to improve any storage space for your coffee beans.

The following section will detail some of the storage techniques you can employ to better serve your coffee beans.

The Best Storage Techniques for Coffee Beans

While there are certainly more ideal locations for storing your coffee beans than others, it is actually far more important how you store your coffee beans than where you store them. There are several different storage techniques that you can implement for your coffee beans.

The most obvious storage technique is simply storing your coffee beans in the bag or package in which they come in. Most coffee beans can be purchased in sealed coffee bags. Once you break the seal of these coffee bags, it is impossible to fully protect your beans when they are in the bag. 

However, you can mostly reseal the bag using the built-in clamps on the bag’s sides. Additionally, you can reseal the bag further with a binder clip or clamp, which will maintain the shelf life of your coffee beans.

Still, this is not the optimal storage technique for your coffee beans. If you genuinely wish to optimize your coffee beans’ shelf life, it is worth investing in a coffee canister for your beans. Coffee canisters will vacuum-seal your coffee beans in an airtight space that will fully protect them from oxygen, heat, moisture, and sunlight.

coffee in glass jars, should coffee beans be frozen

Some coffee canisters are transparent, so you will still have to store them away from sunlight. However, most coffee canisters are entirely effective in protecting your coffee beans from all of these elements. Let’s take a look at some of the best coffee canisters available on the market.

Le Creuset Storage Canister

The Le Creuset Storage Canister, made of cast-iron, is perfect for protecting your precious beans. The canister is dishwasher-friendly – and, at only $28, it is quite affordable.

Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister

The Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister is one of the most cutting-edge coffee canisters available on the market. The canister can provide an airtight seal by twisting the lid back and forth, and it features an indicator light that glows bright green once oxygen has been completely blocked from entering the canister.

Planetary Design Airscape Kilo Coffee Canister

The Planetary Design Airscape Kilo Coffee Canister is the perfect canister option if you are looking for a way to store your coffee beans in bulk. At $35, this coffee canister is affordably priced as well.

Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Canister

The Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Canister is the perfect coffee canister if you are a buyer of ground coffee instead of beans. This canister also features a CO2 valve which de-gases your coffee beans while protecting them from oxygen.

Final Thoughts

By the end of this article, it should be clear you should know the optimal storage locations and techniques for coffee beans. Ultimately, as long as you protect your coffee beans from oxygen, heat, moisture, and sunlight, your coffee beans should stay fresh for a long time. 

Be sure to keep an eye on your beans though, because no matter how you store them, coffee beans will always be perishable.