Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it and how best?

16 posts / 0 new
Last post
suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 305
Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it and how best?

I couldn't find much on this in the site search, but I"m wondering, given the incipient rise in coffee prices at the consumer level, what is the best way to store coffee to maximize shelf life? I went grocery shopping yesterday and was shocked at the increases in prices across a broad range of our household staples, and I'm wanting to step up food storage in certain areas.

Green beans seem to store in burlap for anywhere from 6 mos to 3+ years, according to some internet discussions. I'm wondering if anyone has stored coffee and whether storing green extends shelf life enough to make up for the extra work of roasting. I found some sites explaining how to roast at home with a popcorn air popper, but it looks like there's a pretty good learning curve for it, in terms of determining when it's roasted enough.

TIA for any info/experience you may have,

Sue

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2009
Posts: 1444
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...

Sue,

I've stopped posting here, but saw your post and thought I'd come out of my hiding for one post to help out.

This is what I did to stock up on coffee.  It's easy to roast after opening, and tastes excellent.  It's more expensive (now) than roasted, store bought coffee.  But in the future, it may be a lifesaver.

http://www.mredepot.com/servlet/the-366/Future-Essentials-Canned-Costa/Detail

Hope this helps!

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2244
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...

LogansRun, you're the best!  I had gone to the extreme of buying coffee plants, which are now growing on my windowsill in pots (quite beautiful plants, BTW!:).  People get a good laugh at them; "How many beans do you think you'll get; a handful?"  But it was that little ray of hope that my coffee supply wouldn't end...I also thought maybe I could barter a couple of them to someone who is better at raising plants than I, who might actually be able to something in terms of propagating them...

Sue, thanks for the post!

suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 305
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...

Logan, thanks for that link! I was interested to read what they do to the beans when they can it, because I"ve been considering storing green beans in quart canning jars using a Pump and Seal to vacuum seal them in. I see that they put dessicants in, which is interesting, because a lot of the discussion of storing green beans for more short-term use involved keeping humidity at a stable level but not low, as that dries out the beans. But it sounds like dessicant hasn't affected the taste for you. And at $8.50 a pound including estimated shipping, I think that's not a bad option at all. That's not much higher than I sometimes pay for beans in the grocery store, when I'm buying organic/fair trade beans.

I'm going to keep searching for someone who has vacuum packed their own green beans sucessfully or otherwise. If I can't get a definitive answer there, I think I'll stock up with these. Thanks again!

james_knight_chaucer's picture
james_knight_chaucer
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 21 2009
Posts: 160
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...

I had a lot of (roasted) coffee beans just in a large tupperware box in my kitchen for years. I ground some that were about five years old and the coffee tasted fine.

homestead's picture
homestead
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 16 2008
Posts: 54
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...

Hi Sue,

We're only doing 1 year supplies of foods, which we keep rotating.  My husband is the coffee person and he's quite contented drinking the instant coffee in jars for even 1 1/2 - 2 years (he bought too much of it initially).  But then he freely admits that he doesn't quibble about how his coffee should taste.  I think that there are some coffee drinkers who taste subtle differences in flavor just as much as wine aficianados do.

There's this link to an article about food storage, with the following quote being about halfway down, under In the Cupboard:http://www.att.net/s/editorial.dll?eeid=6421701&eetype=article&render=y&ck

-Dry foods - Cereals, flour, sugar, coffee, tea and cocoa will keep almost indefinitely; whole-wheat flour and other whole-grain meals, however, should be frozen or stored in the refrigerator. The oils in these products can go rancid.

Because unroasted coffee beans have oils in them, it would seem that LogansRun's supplier might be the best way to go for really longterm storage of the green coffee beans.  Another article on coffee bean storage and freshness is here:    http://www.coffee-makers-cafe.com/coffee-bean-storage-keep-fresh.html  Here's a brief clip of that one.

Coffee Freshness is determined by the time since roasting, as opposed to when the beans were harvested. In the right conditions, coffee beans will keep for years until they are roasted. Once roasted however, the flavorsome coffee oils are brought to the surface of the bean and will deteriorate and rapidly become rancid. Also after roasting, coffee beans produce coffee gasses (mostly carbon dioxide) for a little over week, with most of the gasses being released in the first 2-3 days. Once the gasses have been completely released, the coffee is stale. The method of coffee bean storage you use can delay this deterioration.

Maybe this will give you more information to go on.    Best wishes!

Nacci's picture
Nacci
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 22 2009
Posts: 194
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...

I have experience with both the canned green coffee beans that LogansRun recommended as well as the site the supplies them and am very pleased with both.  Having said that I drank four year old Folgers out of my pantry with pleasure and am sure that after a short period without I would drink coffee made from used grounds filtered through a dirty sock.   Nacci.

suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 305
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...

Haha. I think I fall somewhere between Nacci and Homestead's husband and these Internet writers I"ve been reading who caution about letting the green beans breathe and using them up in  just a few months. I don't have the palate to distinguish a huge amount of detail in coffee, but I do like it strong and freshly ground.  I suppose I should stock up on Folgers in case of TEOTWAWKI, but get a year or two's supply of green beans to cushion the effects of inflation, which are starting to freak me out.

Tycer's picture
Tycer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 26 2009
Posts: 610
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...

Think pinto beans on the green coffee beans. If your pintos are happy so are the coffee. 20 years +.

I buy from Sweet Marias and The Captain's Coffee and pack in Mylar. Watch for shipping specials.

I use a heat gun and dog dish to roast mine although excellent results can be had from a hot air popcorn popper.

I pay about $5 a pound shipped for a blend I love. 2:1 Huehetenango:Chiapas

EndGamePlayer's picture
EndGamePlayer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Posts: 546
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...

Yeap- tried to grow coffee plants. The trouble is they like it really warm but did ok with winter sun. And they like the soil rich and on the dry side. I planted mine in old coffee cans - HA! I bought them off of eBay and they did good for a few years but eventually the cold got them.

So, I started buying green beans from OurCoffeeBarn and tried roasting them (you can also get green beans to grow if you are interested). I like a light roast so I toast them on top of the woodstove till they turn light brown . . in a coffee can. I didn't compare prices but the prices look better than in stores from either of the web sites.

Here's to a great cup of java!

 

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 11 2009
Posts: 2237
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...
Nacci wrote:

I drank four year old Folgers out of my pantry with pleasure and am sure that after a short period without I would drink coffee made from used grounds filtered through a dirty sock.   Nacci.

Second that.  (although I'd muchly prefer real coffee from real beans filtered through a real filter...)

Or a good strong cuppa chai.  Do we have a Definitive Chai-growing thread?

Ken C's picture
Ken C
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2009
Posts: 753
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...
Nacci wrote:

I have experience with both the canned green coffee beans that LogansRun recommended as well as the site the supplies them and am very pleased with both.  Having said that I drank four year old Folgers out of my pantry with pleasure and am sure that after a short period without I would drink coffee made from used grounds filtered through a dirty sock.   Nacci.

Hmmm ......I think I see a business opportunity here. Combination laudromat and coffee house.

suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 305
Re: Long-term storage of coffee -- how long can we store it ...

I likes my chai too, Sager. Dang. Now I have to ponder growing or storing cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and tea (the coriander, at least, I  know I can do. Cilantro's practically a weed in our gardens now because I let it go to seed once.

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
regrinding

We've found that older coffee beans or ground coffee can be "refreshed" by running it through a coffee grinder We have an antique coffee grinder that used to belong to my husband's grandparents (as well as a new hand grinder and an electric one, the result of comnining three households).

TongaTebah's picture
TongaTebah
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 6 2011
Posts: 2
Coffee Packed for long term storage

I like many of you have been looking for a way to store my coffee for the long term.Thought I would save you a bit of time researching, by posting to this blog.

 I spent a lot of money over the years on my food supplies and was facing the very real prospect of having to store canned coffee. YUUK! I did a bit of reading and found that the only way to store coffee for the long term is to pack green beans in Nitrogen. Nestle did a study and found that this is the only way to store it for the long term and preserve the flavor.

Roasted beans oxidize rather quickly even if vaccum packed or packed in nitrogen. Don't freeze or refrigerate. The moisture will damage the flavor.

Freeze drying green coffee beans changes the flavor by removing all the moisture. Coffee needs about 8% moisture content.

Green beans with no packaging other than in the bag or bucket, if kept out of the sun and kept cool will last for a couple years.

But if the Unroasted beans is packed in nitrogen, it will last for MANY years, perhaps forever.If no oxygen is introduced.

This site has 10-lbs buckets of Green coffee beans. The bucket contains five mylar bags containing 2 lbs each, packed in nitrogen with oxygen absorbers. Both the bags and bucket are filled with nitrogen and include oxygen absorbers.

This coffee should last for decades or at least as long as my dehydrated and freezedried foods.

http://www.coffee-reserves.com

 

Whataworld's picture
Whataworld
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 23 2011
Posts: 6
My husband kept some green

My husband kept some green coffee beans for quite a few years and is still making excellent coffee from them. I just asked him and neither of us can remember if they were y2k supplies or ones we got after that, but we were out of the country from 2005 to 2010 and the green coffee beans were in a storage unit here in Colorado where they must have gone through quite a range of temperatures. So they are at least 6 years old now and still going strong.

They didn't come in any kind of vacuum packaging when we bought them online. Think they were organic.

We had them stored in half-gallon widemouth canning jars and I don't remember if we had used our Pump-n-Seal vacuum thing on the lids or not.

He roasts them in a popcorn popper, not an air popper but the kind that has a bit of metal that goes around in a circle. I don't think it's that hard to get them just as roasted as you like.

Then he makes cold process coffee and freezes it.

Hope this helps!

Zana

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments