Best Coffee Storage Containers: 7 options to keep your coffee fresh
Even if you spend hours researching the right coffee brewing method, the optimum water temperature, the perfect grinder, and the most exceptional coffee beans, it’s impossible to make a flawless cup of coffee with stale coffee beans.
That’s where coffee storage containers come in, and fortunately, there are tons of great options on the market. We’ve done the research and tracked down these top six, guaranteed to keep your precious coffee fresher for longer.
How to Choose the Best Coffee Storage Container
||Coffee Gator Storage Canister||
||Friis Coffee Vault||
||Planetary Design Airscape||
||Tightvac Coffee Vac||
||OXO Good Grips Coffee Pop Container||
||Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister||
Keeping your coffee beans fresh means keeping it away from light, heat, moisture, and oxygen — all things that are generally difficult to avoid. Hence the importance of a coffee storage container, according to the experts at the National Coffee Association USA (1).
To preserve your beans’ fresh roasted flavor as long as possible, store them in an opaque, air-tight container at room temperature.
In this buyer’s guide, we’ll look at how the design and construction of the best coffee canisters affect each of these factors, making it easy to choose the best option for your needs.
Choice of Materials
Storage containers can be stainless steel, glass, or plastic, each of which has its own set of pros and cons.
- Stainless steel is an ideal choice, because it blocks the light and is incredibly durable. A stainless canister will last forever, through countless washes. However, the trade-off is that it is the most expensive.
- Plastic is cheaper, and dense plastics in a dark color can block UV rays just as well as steel. It is a bit less durable in the long run, but if you fumble your beans in a pre-caffeinated haze, you don’t have to worry about it breaking if it hits the floor.
- Glass is an unusual choice because it is both breakable and transparent to UV rays. However, some people enjoy being able to see the contents of their canister. If you use a glass storage container, make sure you keep it in a dark cupboard when not in use.
The Importance of the Seal
The seal is what distinguishes a coffee storage container from a basic Tupperware bin — or just keeping your coffee beans in the bag they came in.
At the bare minimum, you want to make sure you get something with an airtight seal. Even better, look for a canister with a one-way valve that allows carbon dioxide out without letting oxygen in. This is important because if you buy freshly roasted coffee beans (which you should for the best flavor), they will continue to off-gas CO2 for up to two weeks after roasting (2). And that gas has to be able to escape.
The fanciest option is to find a canister with an integrated vacuum pump, which sucks the air right out of the canister, sort of like the coffee equivalent to vacuum sealing food for storage. This is a great system but does generally come at an increased cost.
Consider the Capacity
Choosing the right capacity of container comes down to how much coffee your household consumes. As a rough guideline, a coffee canister will keep your coffee fresh for one to two weeks. So you shouldn’t buy more coffee than you can drink in that timeframe.
Joe Behm, President of Behmor, which manufactures SCA-certified home roasters and smart brewers, believes coffee starts to drop off in flavor a week after roasting (3).
If you work under the premise that coffee begins to lose its flavours within seven days of being roasted, then at the eighth day you tend to lose some character in the coffee.
With this in mind, size your coffee canister to match your weekly or biweekly coffee consumption. Or buy several small canisters if you prefer to have several coffees on the go at once.
The 6 Best Coffee Storage Containers in 2022
At this point, you may be wondering where you should start in your pursuit of proper storage. What kind of coffee snob coach would I be if I didn’t offer you some options? Here are just a few options:
Every container on our list covers the bases: airtight, convenient, many of them (including the Coffee Gator) with one-way valves to vent carbon dioxide from your beans while in storage.
The Coffee Gator goes beyond that: there’s a wheel on the lid to track how long your coffee has been in the Gator. So if you’re really attentive to how long your beans have been in storage, you don’t have to remember – this container will keep track of it for you.
Its stainless steel construction prevents light from damaging your coffee beans, and the vacuum seal protects against both air and moisture. This means all you have to take care of is storing it in a cool part of your kitchen, and you’ve got all four threats – heat, moisture, oxygen, and light – neutralized.
This stainless steel canister can hold up to one pound of coffee. It has a one-way valve filter to help vent carbon dioxide, which may keep your coffee fresh longer.
But when a product has “vault” in the name, it creates some expectations about airtight seals. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case with this coffee container. Because the filter doesn’t allow for a completely air-tight seal, this canister is best for people who go through their coffee quickly. To add to that, the carbon dioxide filters need to be replaced on a regular basis and are thus an extra, ongoing cost. We do need to mention that the manufacturer sends you filters for free for up to a year after you register the canister online.
Simple solutions have a charm all their own, and the OXO Good Grips Pop Container is utterly simple. Push a button to create an airtight seal, then push it again to open.
The 1.5-quart size can store a pound of coffee, and the entire Pop Container line is designed for easy stacking and storage on shelves and in pantries. The rounded corners are designed for easy pouring; this may or may not be a benefit if you use a scoop to measure out coffee beans onto your scale, but it’s a nice feature for many other food-storage uses.
About the only negative of the container is that it’s clear, meaning light can still affect your precious beans if you keep the container in the open. The simple solution, again: store it in a pantry or cupboard where light can’t get to the beans.
Do you want to talk about airtight? The Airscape Coffee Storage Canister might just be the technology they use in the space program. This container has a special valve that forces air out as it locks the lid in place, allowing nothing in or out. The small size (32 oz.) won’t hold a lot of beans – about a half pound. So make sure you’re getting the bigger size (64 oz.), which holds about a pound of coffee beans.
Warning, putting the lid in upside down will cause issues. Don’t do this.
A vacuum sealed coffee storage solution, the Tightvac Coffeevac (Tightvac Coffeevac) coffee container takes freshness seriously! Its distinctive vacuum seal design keeps the light and air out while at the same time allowing carbon dioxide from the beans to vent out.
It’s very easy to use – one button opens and closes the lid. This coffee container will hold flavor and freshness in for 2+ weeks. The biggest downside is that it’s tall and may not fit in all cupboards. (Too tall for ours.)
Among coffee experts, Fellow is a popular brand known for quality products with great style. And their Atmos coffee canisters are no exception. These slick-looking jars are available in three sizes and two materials. You can opt for stainless steel, in either matte black or white, or a clear glass — though we wouldn’t recommend the latter for coffee.
The Fellow Atmos vacuum canister doesn’t just look cool; it stands out from the crowd for its clever design as well. An integrated vacuum pump is activated by twisting the canister’s lid. After four or five twists, a green indicator lets you know your coffee is air free, keeping it fresh for up to 50% longer. When you’re ready to brew, it’s as easy as pushing the button on top to let the air back in.
In the end, we find true air-tight vacuum seals to be the most important characteristic in a coffee storage container. That’s why the winner for us is the stainless steel Coffee Gator Storage Canister. It keeps your coffee beans safe from air, moisture, and light.
What sets the Coffee Gator apart is the design. Not only does it have a valve to release carbon dioxide and air, but it also allows you to lock the lid down to get the tightest possible seal. This extra degree of control over air exposure really sets it apart.
Don’t sell yourself or your coffee short by failing to store your beans properly. Invest in a quality coffee canister today!
Yes, you can store your coffee in a Mason jar, but it’s not the optimal solution. Mason jars keep your coffee free of moisture, but still expose it to oxygen and light. So your coffee won’t stay fresh for as long as it would in a true coffee canister.
Ideally, we recommend you grind coffee right before brewing for the most flavorful cup. But if you prefer to buy pre-ground or to grind in batches, you can store ground coffee for up to a week without a severe impact on quality.
Yes you can. Freezing coffee is an excellent way to keep it tasting fresher for longer. The important thing is to only freeze and thaw it once. Temperature cycling is the enemy of great coffee. We recommend you freeze in bags that hold just enough for a few days of coffee at a time.
- National Coffee Association USA. (n.d.). How to Store Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.ncausa.org/about-coffee/how-to-store-coffee
- Driftaway Coffee. (2015, September 2). What Is The Bloom and How Does It Affect Taste? Retrieved from https://driftaway.coffee/bloom/
- Ospina, A.K.M. (2019, January 2). Coffee Degassing: What Does It Mean for Brewers & Roasters? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2019/01/why-does-coffee-degas-what-does-it-mean-for-brewers-roasters/