Raw coffee beans

How to Store Green Coffee Beans? (Effectively)

Henry Muller

Coffee beans, like other agricultural products, have a limited period of optimum freshness before their quality begins to degrade.

The deterioration rate is accelerated without proper storage and packaging, which will have adverse effects on the final cup, such as a "flat" flavor or an unsatisfactory sensory profile.

This article will discuss how long green coffee beans can remain fresh and the best ways to store green coffee beans.

What are green coffee beans?

Green coffee beans refer to coffee beans that have not undergone roasting, thereby retaining their natural state. The flavor profile of these beverages can be described as a combination of herbal tea and coffee. Green coffee beans are alternatively known as raw coffee beans or unroasted coffee beans.

Coffee beans are not botanically classified as beans but as the seeds found within the coffee berry. Coffee beans in their unprocessed state are cultivated on arboreal plants, wherein the chloroplasts within these beans are responsible for their inherent verdant hue. In their initial development stage, coffee beans are uniformly green in color.

After the roasting process, raw coffee beans transform, losing their original green hue, resulting in three distinct color profiles: light, medium, or dark. The roasting imparts the familiar tones of brown coloration that we commonly observe.

Is it possible to store raw coffee for a longer period of time?

Yes, storing green coffee beans for an extended period is possible, but to maintain their quality, you must follow proper storage techniques. When stored correctly, green coffee beans' shelf life can range from six months to a year or even longer, depending on the beans' quality and storage conditions.

Why is it important to store unroasted coffee beans properly?

Coffee beans are immensely hygroscopic, which means they absorb any surrounding moisture, temperature, or flavors, and this is partially true for roasted beans. As a result, coffee beans lose their freshness almost immediately after roasting.

Without proper storing, your beans will stay flavourful for at most 7-10 days, while unroasted green beans may stay fresh for a little longer.

How to store green coffee beans?

Proper storage of green coffee beans is crucial to maintain their flavor and quality. Here are some tips for storing green coffee beans:

1) Use Airtight Containers

Airtight containers are quite effective in maintaining the optimal freshness of green coffee beans. The container should have a one-way valve to release the CO2 the beans produce while preventing oxygen from entering. Mason jars, resealable bags designed for coffee storage, and vacuum-sealed bags are popular choices.

2) Keep Them in a Cool Place

Temperature is a crucial factor in coffee storage. Store green coffee beans in a cool, consistent environment to prevent heat-related degradation. Avoid storing them in the freezer, as the beans can absorb moisture and odors.

3) Protect from Light

Coffee beans that are exposed to light can degrade. Avoid direct sunlight and fluorescent illumination when storing the container.

4) Control Humidity and Keep the Storage Area Dry

Moisture is the enemy of green coffee beans. Mold can develop and ruin beans if the humidity is too high. Ensure that the storage area is dry, and consider using desiccant packs to absorb any excess moisture.

5) Seal the Container Properly

Ensure that the bottle is securely sealed so that no air can get in. If you're using a resealable bag, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it.

6) Maintain Consistent Temperature

Temperature fluctuations can result in condensation, which is detrimental to coffee beans. Keep the storage area at a consistent temperature to avoid this issue.

7) Avoid Strong Odors

Coffee beans are incredibly porous, which means they can easily absorb odors from their surroundings. Keep them away from strong-smelling substances, such as spices, and avoid storing them near chemicals or cleaning supplies.

8) Do Not Expose to Direct Sunshine

In addition to humid environments, direct sunlight is detrimental to organic green coffee beans. If you want your green beans to be of the highest quality, keep them out of the sun. If you keep it in a room with windows, keep it away from the window, as the sun's beams diminish the coffee's quality.

9) Rotate Stock (Use Oldest Beans First

Practice the "first in, first out" approach to ensure you always use the freshest beans. Use the oldest beans in your stock before the newer ones.

10) Consider Vacuum Sealing

Vacuum sealing is an excellent option for long-term storage, as it removes most of the air from the container. However, it's important to use specialized bags and equipment designed for coffee storage to avoid damaging the beans.

11) Monitor Beans for Moisture, Mold, or Pests

Regularly check your green coffee beans for any signs of moisture, mold, or pests. If you see any problems, you should fix them right away to keep them from getting worse.

12) Keep Beans Elevated

Elevating the container slightly can help protect the beans from any moisture accumulating on the storage surface.

13) Label and Date Containers

To keep track of the beans' age and origin, label your containers with the date of purchase and the coffee bean's origin.

14) Buy in Small Batches

Whenever possible, buy green coffee beans in smaller quantities. This reduces the time the beans spend in storage, ensuring you're always working with the freshest beans.

How long do green coffee beans last when stored properly?

The shelf life of green coffee beans varies based on variables including bean quality, storage conditions, and initial freshness. On average, when stored properly, green coffee beans can remain fresh for six months to a year.

Some beans may even last longer. However, it's essential to note that coffee, like many products, is at its best when consumed relatively soon after purchase.

Wrapping up

Storing raw coffee beans correctly is super important if you want your coffee to taste really good. If you're into roasting coffee at home or just want to try unroasted coffee, these tips can help.

Use good containers, keep your coffee in a cool, dry place, and make sure no air gets in. Also, remember to check your beans from time to time to make sure they're still good.

When you're trying to make the best coffee, remember that how you store your coffee beans matters a lot. If you do it right, you can enjoy all the fantastic flavors that green coffee beans have to offer. So, whether you're a coffee pro or just starting out, follow these tips, and you'll have some tasty coffee in no time.


1) What is the shelf life of unroasted green coffee beans?

The shelf life of green coffee beans can vary depending on factors like bean quality and storage conditions. On average, green coffee beans can remain fresh for six months to a year when stored correctly. Some beans may last even longer, but using them relatively soon after purchase is essential for the best flavor.

2) How do you know if the raw coffee beans are good?

Good green coffee beans should have a clean and uniform appearance. They should be free from defects, such as mold, insect damage, or discoloration. Smell is another indicator; they should have a pleasant, slightly sweet aroma. Remember that the flavor can vary depending on the origin and variety of the beans, so experimentation is part of the fun.

3) Should you store unroasted coffee beans in the refrigerator?

No, it's not recommended to store green coffee beans in the refrigerator. Refrigerators can introduce moisture, and the beans can absorb odors from other foods. It's best to store them in a cool, dry place in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight and strong odors.

4) Is it good to store coffee beans in Tupperware?

Using Tupperware or similar airtight containers can be a suitable option for storing green coffee beans. Just ensure the container is airtight and free from any lingering odors from previous use. Proper sealing is key to maintaining the beans' freshness and flavor.


Henry Muller

Team TAB
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I am a barista by profession hailing from NC. My journey began in my late teens when I started working as a barista in a local coffee shop. My passion for coffee quickly became evident as I immersed myself in the art of espresso extraction, latte art ...