Although there are many popular misconceptions and different ideas about the storage of coffee, some facts are firm; the enemies of roasted coffee are moisture, air, light, and heat. Therefore, you must keep coffee away from them to keep it fresh longer. Overall, the best environment is an airtight container that is away from light and dampness.
Many people think that coffee will stay fresh when stored in the freezer, but this is not true. Coffee is very porous and it will absorb any moisture and smell that your freezer contains. Then, you coffee's flavor will be replaced by the flavor of whatever is in your freezer. Also, freezing coffee will break down the oils in the coffee that give it its distinct flavor, especially on dark roasted coffees and espresso. However, coffee can be frozen for up to two weeks only if it is in airtight containers. If you have large amounts of coffee in bulk, then you should split up the coffee into weekly portions and then freeze it. Make sure you seal the coffee very well! And most importantly, never refreeze the coffee; the freezer is a one-time shot.
You can store coffee in the refrigerator if it is in a good, airtight container. The following are not airtight: tins without sealers, open coffee packs, some food canisters, and some containers and jars.
Never, refrigerate coffee in a non-airtight container. The fridge is one of the absolute worst places to put coffee if it is not in a completely sealed container.
Store ground coffee in an airtight container away from light and dampness. It is advisable to use it within three weeks after grounding or opening original sealed container.
Whole bean coffee
Buy whole beans and keep them whole as long as you can. Grinding coffee breaks up the beans and their oils, exposes the beans to air, and makes the coffee go stale and loose its flavor a lot faster, no matter how you store it. This holds especially true for flavored coffees, which is filled with oils. For the best tasting coffee, buy your beans whole and store them in a sealed container in a dark place. Grind right before serving.
A quick review for storing coffee:
1. Store your coffee beans or grounded coffee in a sealed container in a dark place. 2. Try to use ground coffee within three weeks of opening the sealed container. 3. Do not refrigerate coffee. 4. Freeze coffee only if it is absolutely necessary. 5. Do not refreeze coffee. 6. Enjoy!