Most of us who brew coffee ourselves buy preground coffee in batches and forget about it, however, you will notice after a while that the flavor and aroma of that coffee go away, and the final brew has a pretty stale taste. There is no getting around it, once the coffee is grounded it doesn’t take long for it to lose its freshness.
Grinding is one of the most crucial processes of brewing coffee, and this process changes the form of the coffee to create the highest surface area possible for coffee to react with water and release its taste and aromas properly. However, grinding also lets the coffee react to other elements and factors that are in the ambient, such as moisture, light, air and so on, this causes your coffee’s quality to go down fast.
So let’s state the obvious first if there is any possibility for the sake of your coffee don’t buy preground coffee. While we are at it invest in a good quality coffee grinder, and it doesn’t have to be expensive as tons of affordable models can perform properly, check out our article about the best coffee grinders under $100.
First of all,l buy your coffee as whole beans and keep them stored in an airtight container that will not allow light and moisture inside, also make sure to choose a dry area of your house. There are some very interesting containers specifically for coffee on the internet that will provide an airtight seal and keep your beans fresh for a long time, and be sure to check the temperature of the room that you are storing them to get the best results.
If you store it as I described it, your coffee will stay fresh for a long time even for a year or so, as long as it doesn’t get wet. Let’s state another fact while we are at it, coffee will not go bad at all unless it gets wet, it will just not taste good, even if it is ground a long time ago, it will lose its flavors and aromas, and will definitely taste stale, but it will not go bad at all.
Let’s see how long they stay fresh exactly. To be precise, we can’t determine the exact time your beans will lose their freshness, and it will depend on a large number of things. For example, whole beans will manage to stay fresh for half a month in a normal paper bag. However, if you store them in an airtight container that vents out the carbon dioxide you can double its freshness.
As I told you earlier when grounded coffee beans are exposed significantly more to the elements, thanks to the increased surface area ad they will start to lose their freshness faster. In the best-case scenario, ground beans will stay fresh for a few days, but if you don’t store them in an airtight container immediately after they are ground they will go stale in just a few hours. You can test this by placing an older grind and a few minutes old grind side by side, and you will see that even the color is not the same.