Last updated on August 19th, 2023

Can You Freeze Coffee Beans? Learn How to Keep Coffee Fresh for Months

People often wonder how long coffee lasts, what makes coffee go bad, and what are the best ways to store coffee. And to that end you might wonder, can you freeze coffee beans? Does freezing coffee beans make them last longer? And if so, how long can they last?

For your day-to-day brewing, normal coffee storage principles like using an airtight container will suffice. But in this article, you will be learning all about a method that can allow you to keep coffee beans fresh for multiple months or longer.

can you freeze coffee beans?

To give a quick answer, you can freeze coffee beans to make them last longer, but doing it correctly is crucial. Certain mistakes will age your beans even faster and ruin the taste. So let’s explore how freezing coffee beans can keep them fresh and the proper ways to do it!

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Best Way To Store Coffee Beans

Before you read too much about freezing coffee beans, know that it is not necessary for a small amount of coffee that you will be using within a week or two. It is not even worth it to freeze coffee beans if you’ll use them within a month. Especially if you grind coffee at home, whole beans can stay fresh for 2-4 weeks without any freezing when stored properly.

Basic Storage Principles Besides Freezing Coffee Beans

In short, the key principles for coffee storage are avoiding air, light, heat, and moisture. The concept is similar to keeping food from spoiling.

The idea is to keep oxygen and other elements away that would otherwise age the beans (aka steal your precious flavor!)

Our current top recommendation for coffee storage is the Coffee Gator Coffee Canister as it does a fantastic job and is affordable. Alternatively, you can go for the fancier option with the Fellow Atmos container. Whatever you choose, a container that blocks light and forms an airtight seal is the key.

Coffee Gator Coffee Canister

best way to store coffee beans is in an airtight container like this Coffee Gator canister

When Does Coffee Go Bad?

You can read our article about when coffee expires for the full considerations of when and why beans and brews go bad. But generally, you can expect fresh beans to have a fantastic flavor for the first two weeks and a really good flavor for two more weeks after that (assuming you follow the storage principles above.)

After a month, you don’t have to be a coffee connoisseur to notice that the flavors begin to mute. You can still brew with those beans for many months. But the complex flavors will disappear. And given enough time, rancid flavors will begin to develop.

When Should You Store Your Coffee Beans in the Freezer?

For longer-term storage, can putting coffee beans in the freezer make them last longer? Our personal experiments found the answer to be yes. But you can also ruin your beans when you don’t pay attention to the details.

So our advice is to only freeze coffee beans when you want to preserve coffee for more than a month. It is not worth the hassle to freeze the beans that you are currently drinking every day. But if you want to preserve a special roast that you can defrost in small batches, freezing can be a fantastic solution.

**Note: If you are a coffee lover who roasts beans at home, there is no need to freeze unroasted coffee, otherwise known as green coffee beans. A green coffee bean will maintain quality for well over a year when you store it in an airtight container in a cool and dry environment.**

Freezing Coffee Beans: How Long Do They Stay Good?

freezing coffee beans can make them last longer

Like any other perishable food, a coffee bean succumbs to aging by losing its flavor over time. And even though it takes many months for roasted coffee to go bad, oxygen will eventually deteriorate the flavors inside of a coffee bean. Ground coffee, with its extra surface area, goes bad even faster.

And while storing coffee in an airtight container helps slow the aging process, fresh coffee beans will still lose their taste over time.

But storing coffee beans in the freezer can miraculously maintain freshness and flavor.

Similar to how a freezer slows down the aging process of other perishable foods, frozen coffee beans can maintain freshness and flavor for years. While roasted beans at room temperature last a few months, frozen beans can retain their flavor for years.

The key is knowing exactly how to do it to avoid problems such as freezer burn, moisture, and other factors that can ruin a coffee bean. This method of freezing beans tends to work better with whole-bean coffee. Read more on why coffee grinding at home is much better than pre-ground coffee.

3 Considerations When You Freeze Coffee Beans

Many people in the specialty coffee world do not recommend putting coffee beans in the freezer. And you should indeed consume the best coffee beans within two weeks for the best flavors.

But even the National Coffee Association admits that when you do it correctly, coffee storage in a freezer can preserve the flavors of freshly roasted coffee. Let’s explore the right way to store coffee beans in the freezer.

1. Use an Airtight Container

Even though roasted coffee beans have almost no moisture content in them—a coffee roaster hits temperatures up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit—the environment of a fridge or freezer is filled with moisture.

So throwing a coffee bag into the freezer is a huge mistake—the beans will absorb moisture and odors and eventually taste awful. We recommend an airtight container for coffee storage at room temperature, but this factor is crucial in the freezer. When you vacuum seal coffee beans in a container that does not break its seal, you can avoid the damaging effects of moisture.

Lastly, an opaque container is ideal because it will block the damaging effects of light.

2. Freeze in Small Batches

Assuming you have the proper storage containers and vacuum sealing ability, you should also freeze coffee in small batches. The whole point of freezing coffee beans is to extend their shelf life, and you only want to defrost enough beans for 1 or 2 weeks maximum. If you think you can avoid the damaging effects of moisture by quickly resealing the container, think again.

Even a few moments of warmer air contacting the frozen beans will expose them to the damaging effects of moisture.

3. Defrost Before Opening

We’ve all seen what happens when you take something from the fridge or freezer and leave it at room temperature. Especially during the humid summer, condensation develops on the outside. You might not care about that on your orange juice container in the morning or your cold beer at night, but condensation on your frozen beans will negate all of the hard work you put in to preserve coffee quality.

So let your frozen coffee beans defrost to room temperature before you break the vacuum seal. Once the container and the beans completely thaw, you can open it and use the beans.

Freezing Coffee Beans: FAQ

Now that you have a basic idea of some of the ways to store coffee in the freezer properly, let’s answer some of the most common questions.

Does freezing coffee beans make them last longer?

You can make coffee beans last longer by freezing them, as long as you do it properly. Properly frozen coffee beans can last for years and maintain the delicious flavors of fresh beans.

How can I protect my beans from moisture if I choose to store them in the freezer?

Coffee beans in the freezer need to stay in an airtight container for protection from moisture. Additionally, it would be best if you defrosted the beans to room temperature before opening the container and exposing them to air.

How long can you freeze coffee beans?

How long you can freeze coffee beans depends on the freezer’s quality and storage. Coffee can last for years when you freeze it correctly and avoid damage from moisture and light. But since we love the freshness of new beans from a coffee roaster, we recommend freezing to extend the taste of coffee over months, rather than years.

Can you freeze ground coffee?

Freezing ground coffee will have similar effects to freezing whole beans, and you can extend the shelf life by months if it is in an airtight container. But be aware that aging happens much faster with ground coffee due to the exposed surface area. After defrosting, frozen ground coffee will lose its flavor quickly.

As a website devoted to brewing fantastic coffee at home, we recommend grinding your beans immediately before brewing. Purchasing a coffee grinder is one of the best investments to start making better coffee at home.

Can You Freeze Coffee Beans: Final Thoughts

So if you have fresh beans that you will not be able to use for the next few weeks, consider storing them in the freezer. When you do it correctly as outlined above, you can enjoy the taste of freshly roasted coffee beans years after those beans came out of the roaster!

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