You open up a fresh bag of coffee and get hit with that incredible smell. You’re certain there’s no better perfume than the aroma of fresh coffee.
A week later, you open up that same bag of coffee and wonder where the aroma went. Now your coffee smells more of cardboard than the entrancing perfume it used to have. What happened?
There’s no defect with your coffee. The problem lies elsewhere – you didn’t store it properly. Never again! Here I’ll share with you my tips on storing your coffee to keep it fresh and review the best coffee storage containers on the market.
But, if you just need an immediate recommendation, here’s my top pick:
Why You Need Proper Storage For Coffee Beans
Alright, coffee lovers, why does coffee lose its aroma and flavors?
No. It’s not a trick question.
Coffee has one main enemy and a few minor ones. The main one to keep an eye on is oxygen.
Yes, that friend of our lungs is damaging to coffee beans. That shouldn’t surprise us. You’re already used to air being an enemy.
Just think of fresh bread. If you picked up a loaf of fresh bread today and left it out on your counter, uncovered, what would you find tomorrow? Would it be soft and delicious? No, it would be hard as a rock.
Oxygen has the same degrading effect on coffee. It will make coffee go stale in a heartbeat, making you lose not only aromas but flavors.
Additionally, coffee picks up any and all flavors in your kitchen. Frying fish? Chopping onions? You want to protect your coffee from those flavors (unless you like fishy coffee, that is).
Sunlight also degrades the freshness of coffee. Ideally, you want to store coffee beans in a container that lets no light through, like stainless steel or ceramic. It’s not just because those kinds of coffee canisters look beautiful on your kitchen counter. It’s because they’re necessary.
And the last main enemy of coffee we’ll talk about today is humidity. Good airtight coffee storage containers will keep the moisture out. That keeps your green beans from going moldy and your roasted beans from forming condensation.
Using the right coffee storage containers can maintain your coffee fresh even weeks after you purchase it.
Every time you open the container, you’ll be hit with the aromas, just like the first moment you opened the bag. And fresher beans mean better-tasting coffee, which sounds good to all of us.
How long will your coffee beans last? Most coffee experts will agree that after roasting, coffee is still fresh for 2-4 months. Although, it’s best enjoyed 2-3 weeks after the roast date.
What is the best container to store coffee beans in?
As we’ve seen, the ideal way to store coffee beans and keep your coffee fresh is to protect them from the environment. The best coffee canister will keep out the air, sunlight, and humidity.
There are a lot of coffee containers on the market. Some of them have simple freshness valves for degassing, while others are high-tech marvels of science.
They are each made of different materials, such as ceramic or stainless steel. There are also a couple of methods for keeping the air out, including airtight and vacuum techniques.
Which is the right coffee container for you? I check out six coffee bean canisters below (with plenty of color options), so you can pick the perfect storage option to keep your coffee fresh.
Note: If you’re a home roaster, keep in mind that these canisters also work for green (unroasted) coffee beans.
6 Best Coffee Storage Containers For Ultimate Freshness 2021
1. Airscape Coffee Storage Canister
This coffee container from Airscape is a pro at keeping the elements out. Sure, it prevents air from entering – but so do all the coffee canisters in this list.
This one, though, actually pushes out any air in the canister. That provides the best air-free environment for your coffee, which will keep your beans fresher for longer.
- Easy to use
- Creates an oxygen-free environment
- Lightweight container
- Easier to dent
- More expensive than other options
Additionally, the lid lets carbon dioxide escape. Why would you need that? Freshly roasted coffee beans let off carbon dioxide. That initial degassing process can last 2-3 days, although coffee beans continue to lose carbon dioxide after that.
If you purchase freshly roasted coffee or roast your own coffee, you need a canister that liberates that carbon dioxide.
That way, you don’t have to worry about the carbon dioxide getting trapped in the coffee canister and potentially deforming it – or even exploding it!
How does the system work? After you add your coffee, push the inner top-down and twist it closed.
The top creates a vacuum that pushes out any air from the container. You’ll hear a satisfying woosh sound as it chases the air out. You know your coffee is sealed in. Then you can place the additional plastic top on, which is basically just decorative.
Before purchasing, check which size coffee container will work well on your counter or in your cabinet. The small one will hold just 8 ounces (250 g) of coffee beans, the medium size holds 1 pound (500 g), and the large size fits 2.5 pounds (1 kg).
To put that into context of 18g espresso shots:
- Small container: approx 13 singles.
- Medium coffee pop container: approx 27 singles.
- Largest option: approx 55 singles.
So, if you’re an espresso-a-day kind of person, the small container will be fine if you’re buying your beans every couple of weeks. Whereas, if you’re a coffee enthusiast, you’ll probably want one of the larger options.
If you prefer ground coffee, the container will hold a bit more coffee grounds than whole beans.
The container is made of galvanized steel, which is food-safe and lightweight. The dark color also makes it lightproof, keeping out coffee’s #2 enemy, UV light. The plastic top is BPA-free too.
Remember that the outer clear plastic top is just for decoration, so don’t worry about how tight it closes. Once you push down the inner plunger, your coffee is sealed in and the air sealed out.
This coffee container isn’t the least expensive on this list, but it’s the one that’s going to give you a vacuum seal on your coffee and keep those beans fresher longer.
2. Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Container
This sturdy airtight coffee container from Gator fits in on any counter and will also do the job of providing an airtight seal that keeps out UV rays and humidity.
The latch on the top locks the air out and also has a carbon dioxide release valve. Remember, the carbon dioxide release valve is essential if you roast your own coffee or you buy very fresh coffee from your roaster.
- In-built date wheel
- CO2 freshness valve
- Outstanding customer service
- Airtight – but no vacuum seal
- Design not as attractive
It will take about 3 days for your coffee to degas, and you don’t want to put it in a container that the gas can’t escape in the process. In that scenario, a container that doesn’t have a release valve could even explode. No seriously. It could!
The Coffee Gator container comes in three sizes, so make sure you get the one that matches your needs and your storage space. Get the small one (which holds 9 ounces or 260 grams of whole coffee beans) if you don’t need much coffee storage space.
The medium might be for you if you need to store 16 ounces (or 455 grams) of coffee beans at a time. If you buy larger coffee bags, you’ll need the larger canister, which holds 22 oz (or 645 grams) of beans.
This airtight coffee container weighs in at just under a pound, making it versatile as well as lightweight. You can choose the color that best goes with your decor: stainless steel silver, black, or gray. They each come with a scoop and replacement carbon dioxide filters.
The date tracker on the top is a nifty feature to track freshness. You can set the month and the day just by twisting the dials. You can either use the best by dates or the date the coffee was roasted.
This may be the best coffee container if you want to keep your coffee grounds airtight and free of humidity. However, if you’re looking for a completely oxygen-free environment, this will fall a bit short. And it’s not as attractive as other options on this list.
3. Fellow Canister Storage Integrated Airtight Seal
Fellow is one of the higher-end brands operating in the coffee space, and most of their gear is pretty high tech or pushes the boundaries somewhat. And this is no exception.
- Vacuum pump canister
- Elegant, minimalist design
- Technically ahead of the other choices
- Pumping out the air can take time and effort
- More expensive than other options
If you’re a coffee lover that also loves a premium and minimalist design, this may be the storage container for you. You can choose from clear glass, matte black, or a sleek matte white.
While other stainless steel canisters create an airtight seal, this one actually lets you pump the air out, which is interesting and adds unique functionality.
The vacuum pump is incorporated into the lid. To activate it, you twist the outer part of the lid back and forth, which gradually removes the air.
If your container is full of coffee beans, you’ll need to twist less. A nearly empty one will require quite a bit of twisting. You’ll know you twisted enough when the green vacuum lock indicator drops. With this storage container, you can get down to 0.5 atmospheres of pressure.
Basically, you have the power to keep your beans as fresh as technically possible with the Fellow – as long as you don’t go for the glass option anyway.
When you want to open the canister, just press down on the button on the lid, and the pressure within the canister equalizes. Then you can take the lid off.
The storage container comes in three sizes: small ( which holds 6 ounces of whole bean coffee), medium (10 ounces), and large (16 ounces).
Keep in mind that the clear glass containers will not protect your coffee from sunlight. Glass containers are fine if you’ll be storing your coffee inside a cabinet. If you want your coffee out on the counter, choose either the black or white stainless steel versions to protect it from UV rays.
The biggest drawback I find with these containers is the amount of effort it takes to get the vacuum seal and, of course, the price. Keep in mind that twisting the top back and forth a dozen times might feel a bit more like work than you’re ready for.
4. Airscape Ceramic Storage Canister
This glazed ceramic canister with the bamboo lid can’t be beaten for looks. But it’s more than just beautiful.
Most coffee canisters are airtight, meaning they don’t let air in. That’s a great first step for coffee bean storage. However, this vacuum canister goes a step further and forces the air out, ensuring you can obtain maximum shelf life and flavor from your beans.
- Nifty colors
- Attractive design
- Vacuum seal eliminates oxygen
The Airscape lid pushes the gas out of the canister with a rather satisfying whoosh sound. And it keeps the air out. The top also has an integrated CO2 valve that lets the carbon dioxide escape.
You don’t need batteries or extra equipment to activate the vacuum effect either. Just push the inner top-down and then flip the handle. Boom! You know your coffee is safe from the three devils – humidity, sunlight, and air.
The bamboo top is for decoration and plays no role in keeping the coffee airtight. Even if it pops up, the freshness of your coffee won’t be affected.
Regardless if you’re a coffee fiend or not, there’s an airtight coffee container fitting for you here with 3 size options available.
The small 4-inch container holds 8 ounces or 250 grams. The medium 7 inch one holds 1 pound or 500gr, and the large 8 inch one holds 2.5 pounds or 1.1 kilos of coffee beans.
Expect to fit in a bit more if you store ground coffee. And ceramic does an admirable job of protecting coffee grounds from UV rays.
While this ceramic container is a beauty on your counter, keep in mind that it weighs almost 3 pounds. That’s when it’s empty, making this the heavyweight on this list.
Add a pound or two of coffee to it, and you may feel like you’re lifting weights just to make your morning brew. Also, the ceramic could crack with mishandling.
So before buying, consider how much you’ll need to lift the container to access your coffee!
5. BlinkOne Coffee Canister Airtight Container
The BlinkOne airtight coffee canister is a sleek-looking, sturdy, stainless steel beauty that keeps out heat, light, and moisture. The brushed aluminum finish and screw-on top give it an elegant look.
- Attractive appearance
- Large size – stores 18 ounces of coffee beans
- Screw-on lid (if you don’t like clasp type closure)
- Lid may be difficult to screw off
- Scoop doesn’t stay in place
The stainless steel body ensures that air, sunlight, and humidity – as well as kitchen heat and smells – are kept outside. A small scoop attaches to the inside of the lid, keeping it out of sight but handy when not in use. This coffee bean storage container can hold up to 18 ounces of coffee.
The lid screws on and off, which may be uncomfortable for people with small hands or that have trouble grasping large items. Additionally, coffee grinds can get stuck inside the top seal, which is something to consider if you plan on storing ground coffee.
Keep in mind that something being airtight is different from it being vacuum sealed.
An airtight coffee container, like this one, still allows air inside – and when your coffee levels are running low, there could be a lot of air hanging around. For that reason, an airtight container is not going to keep your beans as fresh as something vacuum sealed.
Also, annoyingly, the magnetic scoop that sticks to the inside of the top can get in the way of closing the top and sometimes falls down into the coffee grounds.
If these issues don’t bother you, it might be the perfect one for you.
6. Veken Coffee Canister
This inexpensive and attractive coffee storage container keeps the air out and the flavor in. It also does a good job of keeping out UV rays and humidity.
- Date tracker
- Variety of colors
- Airtight, not a vacuum seal
Made of durable stainless steel, you get an impressive array of color options: green, black, silver, yellow, gray, silver matte, or stainless-steel silver. You can choose the small one (holds 16 ounces of coffee beans) or the large one that holds 22 ounces.
The locking system is easy to use, and the lid has a CO2 valve to let the carbon dioxide out without letting extra oxygen in. It also comes with replacement valves.
This coffee storage container helps you track the day and month you stored your beans. Simply twist the dial on the lid to set the date, and you won’t forget how long your coffee has been in the canister.
Inside these storage containers, there’s a line that measures how much coffee you have left, which can help you plan your next coffee purchase. A coffee scoop – also stainless steel – conveniently attaches to the outside.
Keep in mind that this container is airtight but does not provide a seal via a vacuum.
The Final Verdict: Best Coffee Canister
My top picks for the best coffee storage containers are the ones that provide a vacuum seal.
Because sealing via a vacuum will keep your coffee beans the freshest possible while protecting them from elements like sunlight, temperature changes, and humidity.
More specifically, my top pick is the stainless steel Airscape Coffee Storage Canister because it’s a lightweight vacuum-sealed option coupled with an attractive design.
If you will be simply leaving the container on your kitchen counter and don’t mind the extra heft, the Airscape ceramic canister is also an elegant option.
Alternatively, If you drink your coffee so fast you feel you don’t need a vacuum seal, the Gator Stainless Steel Container provides airtight containers that keep out sunlight and humidity.
The latch on the lid locks the air out and also has a carbon dioxide release valve. Also, the coffee storage container weighs in at just under a pound, which is good if you’ll store it in a cabinet and need to move it around every time you brew coffee.