Steaming veggies for dinner a week after you brought them home from the farmers’ market? Still edible, but you may as well have opened up a can for that kind of stale flavor. The bottom line is this: fresh is best when it comes to food and drink.
The same is true for coffee beans. You won’t see or smell the loss of freshness and flavor like you do with produce, but the further your beans are from their roast date, the less likely they’ll be to produce a delicious-tasting cup of coffee.
The solution? Only buy a week’s worth of beans at a time, and store them in an airtight coffee canister. We found a handful of these containers that we think not only get the job done but will also look great on your kitchen counter.
Let’s dive into our guide to the best coffee canisters:
At a Glance: Best Coffee Canister
It takes quite a while for your beans to actually go bad. (Are you picturing coffee beans with little tattoos and cigarettes dangling from their mouths spraying graffiti in your kitchen? No? Just us? OK, then.) You could store coffee beans for a year, and they’d still brew a cup of coffee that doesn’t taste spoiled, per se, but it doesn’t taste very good, either.
Coffee beans also lose their carbon dioxide content over time. The gas builds up inside the beans during the roasting process, which is actually a good thing because it’s carbon dioxide that produces the coffee bloom that is responsible for your coffee’s flavor. It’s also why you don’t want to keep coffee beans too long, as the gas gradually dissipates through a process called degassing. This means the older the beans, the less carbon dioxide and the weaker the flavor.
And if you’re spending a little extra for high-quality beans, then you really want to make sure you’re keeping them fresh and not letting their quality and flavor (and your money!) go to waste. But how does that even happen?
Coffee beans lose flavor simply by being exposed to oxygen. This process is called oxidation. This is essentially the same process that causes some metals to rust, and it starts the moment a batch of coffee beans completes the roasting process. Unfortunately, unless you live outside Earth’s atmosphere, you can’t prevent oxidation.
But oxygen isn’t coffee’s only enemy. It’s also up against light (specifically UV rays), heat, and moisture, all of which rob your coffee beans of their freshness, strength, and flavor. Freshness isn’t the only casualty, though; coffee contains antioxidants that can be good for you, and they are also lost through time and exposure to the elements. Your job as a bean keeper is to protect them so you get the highest quality taste while holding onto those health benefits.
Quick Summary: Best Coffee Canister
|FRIIS 16-OUNCE STAINLESS STEEL COFFEE VAULT||Check on Amazon →|
|COFFEE GATOR STAINLESS STEEL COFFEE CANISTER||Check on Amazon →|
|VEKEN COFFEE CANISTER||Check on Amazon →|
|EVAK GLASS AND STAINLESS AIRTIGHT COFFEE STORAGE CONTAINER||Check on Amazon →|
|OXO GOOD GRIPS AIRTIGHT COFFEE POP CONTAINER||Check on Amazon →|
|COFFEEVAC VACUUM SEALED COFFEE CONTAINER||Check on Amazon →|
|BLINKONE AIRTIGHT COFFEE CANISTER WITH MAGNETIC SCOOP||Check on Amazon →|
|FELLOW ATMOS VACUUM CANISTER||Check on Amazon →|
|HOKEKI STAINLESS STEEL COFFEE CONTAINER||Check on Amazon →|
|OGGI STAINLESS STEEL AIRTIGHT COFFEE CONTAINER||Check on Amazon →|
Now, hold on a minute, you ask, why do you need a special canister to store coffee beans when they come in their own handy little bags?
We’ll admit it: some packaging is pretty sophisticated. Coffee bags with triple-ply foil, for example, are designed to prevent air from getting in. But once the seal is broken, air comes pouring in — at that moment, a proper coffee canister would come in handy. Plus, it’s just a lot easier to scoop beans from one of these containers than from a bag that develops lots of nooks and crannies for the coffee to hide in.
You may be surprised to find there are plenty of things to keep in mind while seeking out a coffee storage container. Look for something airtight or even vacuum-sealed; some canisters keep oxygen out to prevent oxidation while also allowing carbon dioxide to escape. And if you keep your coffee in a sunny spot, find an opaque canister.
No matter what features are important to you, we think you won’t have any trouble finding something that complements your kitchen décor. See for yourself!
The aptly named Friis Coffee Vault has a sleek design that comes in black, red, or stainless steel. Free from lurking danger and safely stored inside the airtight chamber, your coffee will feel like a million bucks, and taste like it, too!
The vault uses a valve to vent carbon dioxide gases. Your purchase includes a one year’s supply of freshness valves, so go nuts and buy all the coffee you want…or nuts. It’d probably store nuts, too.
The stylish design brings barista-cool to your home. This product comes in a bright variety of colors, any of which will add a dash of beauty to the kitchen counter while providing a secure, airtight seal for your coffee beans.
Don’t expect carbon dioxide to fester here. The one-way valve vents it upward and onward, keeping your beans fresh.
Bonus: It comes with a free coffee scoop and coffee eBook!
If you believe freshness is everything, you and Veken are on the same page. These sleek, matte black containers boast an airtight seal that works wonders in protecting your precious coffee beans from harmful oxidation. The high-quality stainless steel canister is equipped with a one-way CO2 valve and a 100 percent BPA-free rubber seal.
Keep your coffee beans fresh by setting storage or expiration dates with the date tracker on the lid of these containers, and use the smaller size travel jar to take your favorite brew with you when you’re on the go — after all, nothing spoils a vacation faster than stale coffee!
If you love to look at your beans almost as much as you enjoy smelling and drinking them, this is your coffee jar for sure. Made from borosilicate glass, the container locks in flavor while staying stain- and odor-resistant.
Proprietary technology ensures an airtight chamber when you push down on a lid and evacuate the air. While we’re not crazy about glass canisters because they let light and heat in, you’ll get some use and aesthetic enjoyment out of this one if you keep it and its contents in a shady, cool spot in your kitchen.
Wait a minute. A see-through container? Doesn’t that pose a risk of exposure to sunlight? Well, maybe a regular canister would, but this one is tinted to block about 99 percent of UV rays. No sunburn for your beans here!
Made by Tightpac America, Inc., the Coffeevac is airtight, moisture-free, FDA-approved, and even recyclable. With its well-made design, the Coffeevac creates a vacuum seal and helps ensure your coffee stays as fresh as possible.
Another great thing we enjoy about the Coffeevac is that it comes in a wide range of colors. So there’s bound to be a color combination that suits your tastes.
For a completely stainless steel option, this airtight silicone-sealed canister will render any counter more sophisticated. Its magnetic scoop won’t get lost when you’re hosting a holiday and the counters are bombarded with the makings of a feast. The next morning, there it’ll be, dangling from the lid, awaiting its daily task.
If you ever outgrow your coffee habit (and we sincerely hope that doesn’t happen), this container can double for tea, sugar, spices, nuts, or similar storage.
Every coffee lover knows fresh beans are the key to the most delicious java, and to guarantee you’re brewing a cup worth savoring, you’ll need reliable coffee bean storage. This stainless steel vessel isn’t like your average coffee storage container that just seals the air inside. These Atmos containers have an integrated vacuum pump built into their lids that removes oxygen from the canister, guaranteeing your whole beans don’t go stale.
This pretty unique coffee storage container comes in three different sizes — small that stores six ounces of coffee beans, medium that stores 10 ounces, and large for keeping a whole pound of coffee fresh. And while Fellow designed these containers for coffee, they’re versatile enough to store other food items, too.
The Hokeki Stainless Steel container is designed for durability and will keep your coffee fresh for long amounts of time. It’s a vacuum-sealed container that comes with a flip-top lid made out of high-quality, BPA-free plastic.
With a one-way CO2 valve, the Hokeki helps prevent your coffee from going stale as a result of oxidation. It also comes with a spoon that can be easily attached to the side of the jar. However, the thing we enjoy the most about this coffee canister is the ability to set the storage date with the numerical day and month tracker.
Our next recommendation comes clearly labeled, so you’ll always know which of the containers in your pantry holds your joe. This 60-ounce brushed steel canister from Oggi has an airtight seal, keeping excess oxygen out and all the freshness in.
This product also has a flip-top acrylic lid that’s see-through, so you’ll always know when it’s time to replenish your coffee stash. Our favorite thing about Oggi’s airtight container is how easy it is to clean. When you’re ready to swap out one batch of beans for another, just use a damp cloth to carefully wipe it down before replacing its contents.
Another excellent option for keeping your coffee safe is Airscape’s coffee and food storage container. Every coffee enthusiast needs this to preserve beans once they’re removed from their original packaging. Unlike other containers that seal air inside with their contents, the Airscape’s patented lid actively works to force air out. It even keeps damaging ultra-violet light out, too!
These canisters, made from restaurant-grade brushed stainless steel, are the perfect size to fit onto any countertop without taking up too much room; the small container stands at four inches tall, while its medium-sized sibling is seven inches.
That glass jar you already own may be tempting to use for coffee storage, and it seems like everyone on the internet is using mason jars to store everything. So, do they make decent coffee storage containers too?
Yes and no. Many coffee lovers swear by using these little containers to store beans for their at-home barista-ing since they’re relatively airtight. You can use mason jars for very short-term coffee storage, but they’re probably not the best if you don’t plan on grinding and brewing your beans immediately. This is because glass won’t protect against sunlight as it spills through the window and onto the kitchen counter or heat as it radiates from a nearby oven; remember, light and heat are two of the biggest foes in the battle to get the freshest coffee possible.
This question seems to be rather controversial in the coffee brewing world. Many swear by storing coffee beans in the refrigerator until they’re ready to be poured in the grinder, while others declare it the biggest sin of coffee brewing. So, what’s the right answer here? Should coffee be refrigerated after opening?
We vote no. It’s recommended that you keep unused coffee in cool places, but when it’s put in the refrigerator, there’s a chance of condensation (a.k.a. moisture) developing, and moisture is a nemesis of a rich-tasting brew with a strong aroma. If you buy coffee in bulk, which we generally advise against, many suggest storing a portion of it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to use it, but if your choice of coffee storage containers allows even the slightest bit of moisture to leak in, your delicious-tasting fresh coffee is as good as gone. And that, quite frankly, isn’t a risk we think is worth taking.
Since coffee doesn’t quickly expire, you can technically keep your coffee beans sealed and in your cupboard for years. However, just because it won’t make you sick doesn’t mean you should drink too-old coffee. The fresher the beans, the better the taste.
Most sources say coffee that’s properly stored in airtight containers can retain its freshness for up to a month. You can, of course, use the beans after those four weeks have passed, but the cups of coffee it makes will be subpar at best.
If you’re going to store coffee that’s already been ground, the same rules as above apply: the coffee needs to be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place and kept far away from moisture.
It’s generally not recommended to keep ground coffee for more than a week or two. This is because once it’s been ground, the degassing process is sped up, which means the coffee can become stale more quickly. This is why we here at Roasty tend to prefer whole bean over pre-ground coffee; packages of pre-ground coffee are usually long past their degassing period and well on their way to falling flat.
But if you’ve accidentally ground too much coffee for one use, or you want to make the most of your pre-ground java, store it in one of the coffee canisters listed above (or something similar) and try to use it all within two weeks.
How you store your coffee beans affects their flavor, but so does the state of your brewing equipment. Remember, coffee makers should be cleaned regularly to guarantee the best flavor. Then, store your coffee beans at room temperature in an airtight canister, and you’re on your way to sipping the best coffee you’ve ever made.