How to Store Green Coffee Beans: The Ultimate Guide

The Best Answer:

Green coffee beans are very porous and they soak up surrounding flavors and even humidity in the air.  This is why it’s important to store your beans properly before roasting them. Best practices include keeping them away from light, moisture, and heat sources.

Storing green beans is one of the most important aspects of coffee roasting. It can either make or break your roast. In this blog post, we’ll go over how to store green beans and everything you need to know about it!

How to Store Green Coffee Beans

How to Store Green Coffee Beans

What should you do with your green coffee beans? Whether you bought them from a store or harvested them yourself, it’s important to know how to properly store and maintain these aromatic little pods so they don’t go stale, until you are ready to roast them.

What should you do with your green coffee beans? Whether you bought them from a store or harvested them yourself, it’s important to know how to properly store and maintain these aromatic little pods so they don’t go stale. The following guide provides tips for storing both whole and ground beans in order to preserve freshness and flavor.

How Roasters Store Green Coffee Beans

How Roasters Store Green Coffee Beans

Shelving and palletization of coffee bags is a very common method for storage, this occurs in warehouses, distribution centers, and retail stores that have a large volume of coffee.

Each warehouse or store should have some type of system to track the inventory of green coffee beans for freshness.

Typically there are two options:

  • Using a hand held counter while stacking bags.
  • Using an automated machine which scans the stacked product with barcode identification technology. This can be used on pallets, shelves or even loose items individually. When using any type of automation system you still need a manual system for quality control inspections.

If you are a roaster, I would recommend having at least one person that has good knowledge of green coffee beans and storage procedures to monitor and verify all your data, this is very important if there is no automated technology involved.

Storage Requirements For Best Retention of Aromatic Compounds Green coffee beans must be stored under very specific conditions to maintain their freshness as well as flavor compounds which make up the intrinsic value of each type of coffee variety. The main enemies affecting Arabica coffee quality include moisture, heat, light, aerobic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi), and the undesirable effect of these factors on fuel value, taste, and aroma.


The initial temperature in the storeroom should be between 10°C (50°F) and 13°C (55°F). Lower temperatures are recommended because at higher temperatures condensation will occur causing mold growth which seriously affects the quality of coffee beans. Do not keep green coffee beans in a freezer since moisture can build up inside the bag when you take it out even if it looks dry outside because ice has a crystalline structure which is different from frost.


Green coffee beans contain a lot of water within them only a few percent is lost during roasting but this water is critical to its properties. It ensures that the coffee beans will continue to “breath” after roasting and maintain the right level of moisture. Too much or too little moisture can seriously affect the quality of roasted coffee. The recommended storage humidity for green coffee beans is 60-70%. The use of silica gel packets helps to absorb any excess moisture in the air and keep the green coffee beans at a constant humidity level. You can also use desiccant bags  (which are available from most suppliers) or place containers of rice in with your green coffee beans since rice absorbs a lot of moisture.


Green Coffee Beans should be stored away from the light because it quickly deteriorates organic matter, causing flavor deterioration, color change, and development of off-flavors. Always store your green coffee beans in a dark place with the minimum of light exposure possible.

Aerobic Microorganisms

Bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms grow very rapidly on exposed green coffee beans without any competition from more desirable microbes. To avoid this problem it is best to use a sealed container which can also keep moisture at a favorable level for their growth.

Fuel Value

Coffee contains a lot of oil which oxidizes or burns easily if exposed to air, heat, or light it will cause unpleasant off-flavors as well as odors. In order to maintain the freshness of coffee as long as possible, you need to minimize these problems as much as possible.

Pest Control

Last but not least, rodents and other pests can quickly destroy large quantities of green coffee beans. It is important to have a pest control plan in place to address any potential infestations. Keep storage areas clean and free of debris, and regularly inspect for signs of pests. Use traps or other methods to eradicate pests as soon as they are detected.

How You Should Store Green Coffee Beans

How You Should Store Green Coffee Beans

Green coffee doesn’t go stale but it does change composition as it ages. The beans can absorb flavors and aromas so once they’re roasted, your best bet is to transfer them into an airtight container. This will slow down the oxidation process that occurs when their delicate oils come into contact with oxygen, which is one of the leading causes of staleness.

Different types of bags for storing unroasted coffee beans

Roasters often leave the green coffee in the special coffee sacks that the farmer places them in. These sacks allow for airflow and keep the coffee from absorbing any other flavors.

If you’re storing green coffee beans at home, it’s important to keep them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Avoid exposing them to moisture or extreme temperatures. If you have green whole beans, you need to first roast them and then grind them just before brewing for the freshest flavor.

Why do you need an airtight container?

When it comes to storing whole bean coffees, a resealable plastic bag makes sense…to a point. While storing them in a bag helps prevent exposure to the elements, it’s not airtight and over time, the coffee will start to lose its freshness. Airtight containers help preserve the flavor of whole bean coffees for weeks or even months.

Vacuum sealing your coffee beans is another solution that will remove all the air from the bag and prevent any moisture or oxygen from getting to them. This is a great option if you are not going to use your beans within a few weeks.

If possible, don’t expose whole bean coffees to the elements by leaving them out on a counter or in a pantry where they’ll be susceptible to humidity, light, and temperature – all of which degrade freshness.

Properly stored green coffee beans should not be kept in the fridge or freezer because this causes condensation as they warm-up, which can ruin their flavor by introducing moisture from outside after thawing. This method is only recommended for those who want to store green coffee for a long time, as it reduces oxidization slightly more than just keeping the beans sealed.

What happens after roasting?

Once roasted, coffee beans have a limited shelf life of 7-10 days when kept in an airtight container at room temperature  (68°F / 20°C). Coffee begins to lose flavor as soon as it is ground so storing the whole beans is preferable if you want the freshest tasting cup of Joe from those beans! If you cannot consume those roasted beans within 10 days, then it is best to freeze them until you are ready to use them.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the best way to store green coffee beans?

The most important thing to remember when storing green coffee beans is to keep them away from moisture and heat. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the most popular option is to store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

How do you store green coffee beans long-term?

The best way to store green coffee beans long-term is to place them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. This will help to keep them fresh and prevent them from becoming stale.

How long do green coffee beans last?

This answer depends on how the beans are stored. If they are stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, they can last for up to a year. However, if they are exposed to light or heat, they will spoil more quickly.

Last Thoughts

As you can tell the best way to store green coffee beans is in an airtight container and keep them away from sunlight and heat sources before roasting them. After you roast them it’s best to grind them within two weeks for maximum freshness, and I would also advise you to only buy as much coffee at one time as you plan on consuming or giving out each day. That way you are guaranteed to get the best out of your cup of coffee every single time!

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