The best outcomes and the freshest coffee flavor are always obtained when coffee beans are stored in a cool, dry, and dark environment. However, if vacuum-packed coffee is carefully stored in an airtight container, it can remain unopened for up to two years.
Does ground coffee ever become stale? Does coffee that has been vacuum-packed remain fresh for a longer time? Here, we offer all the professional advice, such as how long coffee can be stored before it starts to taste rancid and how to preserve vacuum-sealed coffee after it has been opened.
How Long Do Coffee Beans Last?
Let’s talk about how long roasted coffee beans should initially last before we discuss how to make your coffee last longer. Unfortunately, coffee beans eventually go bad since they are formed of biodegradable substances that degrade with time. However, entire beans are often packaged right away after roasting, with an expiration date of around a year later.
The beans, however, will start to degrade as soon as you open the bag due to exposure to oxygen, though they typically don’t become entirely rancid until around 6 to 9 months after the container has been opened. The first 3-5 months after roasting are often when whole beans in unopened vacuum-sealed bags taste the finest, and after about 6-9 months, the flavor starts to deteriorate.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to increase that period of time and preserve your vacuum-packed beans.
Why is coffee vacuum-packed?
There is no better thrill than opening a package of freshly ground coffee and having the enticing fragrance fill the kitchen. Long-ground coffee can lose its beautiful scent, which can result in a lifeless cup that lacks any of the energizing attributes that we associate with a good cup of coffee.
Due to their greater surface area, coffee grounds are particularly susceptible to oxidation or exposure to oxygen in the environment, hence it is crucial for roasters and suppliers to minimize the likelihood of coffee coming into contact with the oxygen in the atmosphere. By ensuring that air has been removed from the box, vacuum packaging keeps fresh ground coffee from losing its flavor and becoming stale.
Roasted coffee beans are wrapped in bags with a one-way valve so that while the inherent gases created by roasted coffee beans can escape out, atmospheric air cannot get inside to tarnish the beans. While ground coffee is typically vacuum-sealed to maintain its qualities. Freshly roasted coffee beans undergo a process known as “degassing” in which the carbon dioxide they naturally contain is released into the atmosphere. This CO2 is what causes our favorite coffee to “bloom,” telling us that the coffee grounds are young and have all the properties we so adore.
How long do coffee beans last in a vacuum-sealed bag?
Vacuum-sealed coffee’s shelf life is, of course, based on a number of variables, including the quality of the coffee, the quantity of coffee grounds or beans, and the shelf life. Whole roasted coffee beans in vacuum-packed bags typically have a shelf life of about six months. After this, the flavor starts to change in a significant way. However, vacuum-packed beans’ flavor will start to diminish after just two weeks. Therefore, it is best to eat the beans as quickly as possible. Even after the coffee beans’ shelf life has passed, you can still use them for up to 6 to 9 months.
On the other hand, coffee grinds quickly lose their flavor. That’s because it has a lot more surface area than beans do. The oxidation process started as soon as the coffee beans were ground; more on this in a moment. As a result, even in a vacuum-sealed package, you should only anticipate your coffee grinds to survive 3-5 months after the expiration date. So even unopened coffee grounds lose their freshness. Simply put, it takes a while.