How To Store Green Coffee Beans Like A Pro: Tips & Tricks

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Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of BrewCoffeeHome.com. With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe. You can reach him at [email protected].


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If you are a coffee connoisseur, the chances are you’ll love the fresh, rich aroma and flavor of a beautiful cup of coffee. However, you will also be aware that the key to perfectly brewed coffee begins with fresh green coffee beans.

One of the pleasures of domestic brewing is the process, and roasting and brewing are important elements. If you purchase unroasted green beans, they must be stored correctly for maximum freshness, otherwise, they can lose their freshness and aroma.

This article will offer every tip and trick to ensure your green beans remain fresh and ready to roast. So, without further ado, let’s examine how to store green coffee beans like a pro, so you can have the best chance of using them to make a perfectly brewed cup of coffee.

Quick Takeaways

  • The optimal storage environment for green coffee beans is a dark place without direct sunlight, between 60-77°F with a relative humidity of around 60%.
  • Freezing green coffee beans is not recommended due to their porous structure and sensitivity to temperature fluctuations.
  • High barrier plastic bags, vacuum sealed containers, airtight containers or glass jars, and cool dark places are recommended storage methods.
  • Permeable woven bags and plastic bags should not be used for bulk storage of green coffee beans.

Factors to Consider When Storing Green Coffee Beans

Green coffee beans have a porous structure. This means they both absorb moisture and retain it like a sponge. That can be an issue because it means they are adept at absorbing the unwanted aromas and flavors of their surroundings. You may need to take more measures to ensure they are properly stored. Here are some of the most important things to consider when storing coffee beans for longer.

green-coffee-storage
Now many coffee producers use plastic bags inside the jute bags

Moisture Levels

The moisture content in the green coffee storage is one of the key elements to consider. The ideal moisture level for unroasted beans is approximately 10-12% [1]. Therefore, you will need to store coffee beans in a stable humidity of around 60%.

As green coffee beans easily absorb moisture, humidity higher than that will cause mold to grow on the beans.

However, the beans will dry out and lose flavor if the humidity is too low. Moisture levels are one of the most important quality control considerations, so they should not be ignored.

measure-mositure-of-green-coffee

Temperature

Green bean coffee is also highly sensitive to temperature changes, which can impact their freshness and flavor, too.

Temperature levels are pivotal in determining the moisture levels because warmer air holds more water molecules. That increases humidity levels and subsequent scope for mold growth. Conversely, cooler air reduces humidity levels leaving the opportunity for beans to dry out.

Because of this, experts recommend storing green bean coffee at room temperature between 60F and 77F (15C to 25C).

This leads to another question…

Can You Freeze Green Coffee Beans?

Previously we discussed about freezing freshly roasted coffee beans, can we also freeze green coffee for longer freshness?

Unfortunately, freezing unroasted green beans is not recommended because those porous coffee beans readily absorb aromas and flavors. Not only that, but extreme temperatures fluctuation can damage the beans. Finally, once you remove the beans from the freezer, condensation will increase the moisture content, which hinders the roasting process.

Light

Another issue to consider is the light level. Once harvested, coffee cherries are typically dried beneath the sun, reducing the moisture levels from 50% to around 11%.

Unfortunately, additional exposure to direct sunlight leads to the beans drying out, negatively impacting their flavor and aroma. To avoid this, experts suggest storing green coffee beans in either a dark place or an opaque container, which protects them from too much light damage.

High Barrier Plastic Bags

One of the most efficient ways to store green coffee beans is to use high-barrier plastic bags.

The bags are made from a combination of materials designed to seal off air and moisture – the main culprits of the beans losing their flavor and aroma over time.

Ecotact has vacuum-packageable coffee bags with nine specially designed layers. That means you can store your premium specialty beans for long periods while retaining freshness. Keep in mind that if you have bulk coffee storage, they are not suitable as they only come in 0.45 lbs and 1.1 lbs sizes. However, the most coffee lovers, they will be ideal. Meanwhile, the packaging bags are durable and can be reused. You can also use these bags to store freshly roasted coffee beans.

When you buy green coffee beans online, some suppliers, such as Sweet Maria’s, already use Ecotact bags for packaging.

Vacuum Sealed Containers

Vacuum sealing is an excellent way to store green coffee beans. It removes the air from the storage container, which helps retain the beans’ flavor and aroma.

This is one of the best options for bulk storage as it allows you to store a lot of beans efficiently, ensuring they retain their freshness and aroma over time.

Storing In Airtight Containers Or Glass Jars

Another good storage method is airtight coffee containers, which prevent air from getting in or out. If you don’t have an airtight container glass jar is a good alternative, especially if you fill the beans to the top. It’d be better to use opaque containers to block out the light.

store-green-beans-in-airtight-container

Storing In A Cool, Dark Place

it’s important to keep the beans in a cool and dark place to help preserve the flavor and aroma. Also, keep them in a neutral-smelling environment. If you follow those steps, the beans should retain their flavor and aroma over time.

Should You Store Green Beans In Permeable Woven Bags?

For bulk storage of coffee beans, permeable bags like burlap or jute bags seem like a natural fit, but they can lead to moisture content issues leading to them going stale.

Similarly, using plastic bags can also lead to problems. That’s because the bags contract moisture, leading to condensation and moldy beans.

coffee-jute-bags

How to Tell if Your Green Coffee Beans Have Gone Bad

There is nothing more frustrating than carefully roasting your coffee beans only to discover that they have gone bad. But how can you tell whether your beans are still fresh beforehand? There are several options.

green-coffee-on-the-table

First, smell the beans. Fresh green beans should have a strong, grassy aroma. If they smell musty and moldy, they have gone bad.

Next, feel them. A green coffee bean should feel firm with a consistent texture. If they are too soft to the touch, it’s another sign they are past their prime.

Finally, taste test. We don’t mean tasting the raw beans. Instead, roast some green coffee samples and see if they’d still taste good and have a pleasant aroma. If the coffee tastes bland or has a bad smell, it’s a sure sign your beans have gone bad.

In general, unroasted coffee beans should look and smell fresh and feel firm. If they possess neither of these qualities, it’s time to cut your losses and buy new ones.

Conclusion

Roasting fresh green coffee beans for brewing fresh coffee is one of the most satisfying ways to enjoy making coffee at home.

As well as an enjoyable process, you can expect the results to be a perfectly brewed cup of coffee. However, storing green beans correctly is important as they can rapidly lose their flavors and aromas in several ways.

While the steps to protect the beans are not difficult to implement, they are easy to overlook. Therefore, it’s always recommended that once in possession of the beans, unless you intend to roast them immediately, you should ensure you have the correct storage equipment and environment.

As long as you follow the steps outlined in this article, there should not be a problem. Now all that’s left to do is enjoy the delicious flavor and aroma of freshly brewed coffee using green beans.

References:

[1] Roaster Guide: Why Is Green Bean Moisture Content Important – https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/08/roaster-guide-why-is-green-bean-moisture-content-important/

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Chris Clark

Chris Clark is the co-founder and chief content editor of BrewCoffeeHome.com. With a passion for all things java, Chris has been a coffee blogger for the past 3 years and shares his expertise in coffee brewing with the readers. He's a hands-on expert, loves testing coffee equipment, and has written most of the in-depth reviews featured on the site. When he's not whipping up delicious drinks or experimenting with the latest coffee gadgets, Chris is exploring the local cafe.