How to Keep Your Coffee Fresh

Store your coffee well and you can protect its freshness and keep it tasting good for longer.

From the days when Mr. Peet first delighted Berkeley customers with the concept of fresh-roasted coffee, we have kept the faith. True to his legacy, we pride ourselves on still roasting fresh to order on, printing the roast date on bags, and brewing fresh every 30 minutes in our coffeebars. But if coffee isn’t stored correctly, it will not be at it’s best. Think of it like any other food: coffee reacts to oxygen and other elements, growing stale over time. Unlike some foods, you won’t get sick from stale coffee, but you will be deprived of its aromatic peaks and flavors…those things that make it so delicious.

Below are 4 factors coffee is particularly sensitive to and which you want to guard against. This is especially true for ground coffee, because so much more of its surface area is exposed.

  • Oxygen
  • Light
  • Heat
  • Humidity

How do I keep my coffee fresh?

  • Only buy as much as you’re going to drink in the next week or so. If the hidden hoarder in you means you have a longer supply than that, make sure you store it well by following our guidelines below.
  • We believe that the freshest coffee is the best tasting coffee—period—and recommend that you drink your coffee within 90 days of the roast date. This doesn’t mean you can’t drink older coffee—it’s certainly food-safe beyond those 90 days—it’s just that the quality of the cup will start to decline. We think that stale coffee is unworthy of your taste buds.
  • Some brands might put an “expiration” date on their bags, which doesn’t tell you anything about how freshly roasted it is. Peet’s goes the extra mile by printing the roast date on every bag so you know you’re buying fresh coffee with optimal flavor.
  • If you get your Peet’s online or from your local grocery store, you’ll find our bags have a one-way valve that allows gas to escape but prevents oxygen from getting back in. These bags are desgined to keep your coffee fresh. When opening the bag, only take out as much coffee as you need to brew—beans or ground—then tightly wrap it up again, evacuating as much air as you can. Why? Because as we said before, coffee is particularly sensitive to oxygen. And just so you know, we heat seal our bags, so you don’t have to worry about any glues or chemicals coming in contact with your fresh coffee.
  • If you have your own tins, vacuum jars, or airscapes at home to store your coffee in, even better. Just remember the same rule as above: buy smaller quantities more frequently, and keep your coffee as free of oxygen, light, heat, and humidity as you can.

How should I store my coffee?

Coffee keeps best in a cool, dry, and dark place – away from the heat of the stove, away from sunlight, away from strong smelling items. Coffee is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs what’s around it, whether that’s oxygen, moisture, or aromas. Which leads us to this next point….

Don’t keep coffee in the refrigerator.

Like baking powder, an open pack of ground coffee into your fridge will absorb stinky odors. Do not then drink that coffee! Its hygroscopic nature means it takes on all of the smells that surround it. Last night’s leftover pizza in the fridge? You don’t want your Major Dickason’s to taste like that.

And don’t put it in the freezer, either.

If you kept vacuum packed coffee in the freezer and only took it out once, it would indeed keep it fresher than, for example, storing it on the stovetop or in the full blaze of the sun on your kitchen counter. But if you take the bag out of the freezer to get your daily dose, then put the rest back in again, you risk moisture and condensation getting to the beans. And that, as we have already said, is one of the elements that degrades coffee quality.

What about K-Cups?

Ground coffee in K-Cup pods maintains its freshness longer than it does in bags due to the manufacturing process and its packaging. There is virtually no oxygen left in the K-Cup after it’s nitrogen flushed, and the rigid K-Cup material protects the coffee, making it less susceptible to oxygen and moisture when handled.

Wrapping it all up, remember these guidelines:

  • Buy coffee frequently and in smaller quantities
  • Only take out what you’re going to brew right then
  • Store it in a sealed, airtight container
  • Keep it away from heat, light, and humidity
  1. Myra Taylor says:

    Great information!

  2. TD says:

    The article says what to keep coffee away from (O2, heat, light, humidity), but doesn’t actually tell you how to store your coffee. Ziploc bag? Canister? Tell us!

  3. jennifer Dawn says:

    Thanks ! I needed to hear this about the freezer storage as I was misinformed and can be a coffee bean hoarder ! No more

  4. Edd Berkoben says:

    Well…I am a dedicated Peetnik and only buy whole bean….I live in GA which means a longer in0transit time and lately it has been taking up to 10 to 12 days to arrive. So I violate one of the rules and buy more than I need so as not to run out..lately I have been getting new shipments before prior shipments??? Go Figure? Also I keep the coffee in the freezer which you say not to do. Question: what is shelf life of PODS and how to store? In emergency I cut open PODS and use as drip coffee. I think I will buy another of the larger air tight canisters as well….Edd

  5. Long Charles says:

    Thank you Peet!

  6. Lori says:

    Wonderful information and my partner has always told me roll beg tightly after each use!! 😊

  7. Paul Holmes says:

    If you kept vacuum packed coffee in the freezer and only took it out once, it would indeed keep it fresher then, for example, storing it on the stovetop

    fresher than

  8. Sandi Eliga says:

    thank you, very helpful

  9. DeannaF says:

    It’s great to get this advice. I buy my Peet’s coffee ground because their grinders grind so much more evenly than mine. I may go back to buying unground beans. The biggest problem is ordering from Peet’s online these days. You never know how long the beans will take to get to you. Most of the time I have to go several days without Peet’s coffee. So I plan ahead and then I end up getting it before I need it. Then it’s not as fresh. Well, these are difficult times!

  10. jeff yorde says:

    So are you saying do not store sealed bags in the freezer ? Where then should the coffee be stored ? I usually buy 6 lbs. at a time and store them in my freezer .
    Thanks , Jeff

  11. Evie says:

    Thank you! Very comprehensive :))

    I do have 2 of your vacuum tins and love them. I only buy a half pound at a time 👍🏼

  12. Gary H Hagstrom says:

    I note that your K-cups do not contain a roasting date but an expiration or best by date. Why is your same philosophy not applied to them? Along a similar line is there a way to deduce the paced or roasted date from the best by date on K-cups?
    Finally, perhaps you can comment on how the flavor of coffee brewed from K-cups deteriorates as the K-cups age.

  13. Margaret Whipple says:

    Thank you. I was just looking for ideas on storage and how to brew the best cup of Pete’s!

  14. Hoda says:

    Thank you Peet’s Coffee for sharing this valuable information with us!

  15. Michael Harrawood says:

    This is very helpful. Thanks so much! I’m in Boca Raton, Florida, and have been buying my coffee in lots of four. I’ve been putting it in the freezer until I use it. Probably need to change up my game.

  16. Dave Nelson says:

    How long can you keep an unopened bag?

    Once a bag is opened and then wrapped closed again does it make sense to put the bag inside a plastic storage bag to further minimize the chance of exposure to air?

  17. Mary Ann Moss says:

    Unfortunately, I have to purchase my decaf french roast on line since it is not carried in Peets stores – so I have to purchase a pound at a time. I store it in a vacuum sealed plastic container.

    Any other suggestions>

  18. Betty Fritsch says:

    What’s your recommendation for pods??? I purchase a large container from Costco and store it on a dark pantry shelf. I only buy Peet’s pods!!!

  19. Lynn Pollack says:

    When I started using Peets I was 19 years old and attending UC BERKELEY in 1971. Money was tight for a college student but if I splurged … it was at Peets in North Berkeley!!! Been loving Peets ever since. You can do the math 🤣😂.
    Love ya, Peets!

  20. Sylvia Gartner says:

    This was interesting. I used to buy half pounds of whole beans so as to have the freshest coffee. I now buy a pound online. I love the scent when I open your bags. I do keep the coffee in the refrigerator, but I keep it in a large glass container with a good rubber seal. I can hardly smell the beans when I take the coffee from your bag and put it into the glass container.

    So, you are saying that I should not put that, I think airtight, jar in the refrigerator?

  21. Please be DIRECT. So therefore keep coffee in a closed container on the countertop or in the pantry and out of direct sunlight. YES?

  22. Judy says:

    Hi, I just bought two bags of ground coffee from Ralph’s market and after reading your information about fresh coffee I checked the roasting date. they were both roasted in September. Is this still considered fresh?

  23. Christopher Battles says:

    Good to know. Thank you.

  24. James Denneny says:

    What about Keurig cup coffee? They seem to be well sealed but the coffee is ground. My turnover is slow as I buy several of Peets flavors. Do Keurig cups also lose flavor? My tongue says flavor stays strong.

  25. Lynn Charles RISER says:

    I purchased a vacuum container from Peet’s probably 12 years ago and that’s where I keep my beans. When I was young I went through a pound of Peet’s beans per week, but now a pound lasts me about 3 weeks. I read the information here, so now I have a question. Can I put half of my beans in the vacuum container, and then tightly close the Peet’s bag with the other half of the beans, expel the air, put it in a ziplock freezer bag and store it in the freezer until I’m ready to put the second half in the vacuum container? I wouldn’t close the vacuum container until the beans reach room temperature to prevent condensation. The reason for my question is I’m not sure about your method regarding freezing – – must the bag remain unopened and heat-sealed or will my freezing method do the job?
    Thank you.

  26. Steve says:

    So, this is modestly helpful. Where not to store coffee, but not really WHERE to store coffee. If you vacuum seal your coffee is it OK in the refrigerator, as it will not be open to food smells? Can you freeze the original bag sealed until you want to use some?

  27. Patricia McLoughlin says:

    Thank you for sharing your 4 key points on keeping coffee fresh, very informative . I live in Ireland, and visit the USA frequently and one of the highlights of my visit is going to Peets, I love your latte which I have every morning and your earl grey in the late afternoon. Your products are thee best, wish you were in Ireland

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