Green coffee beans shelf life

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.

#1: Post by Paul12644 »

I have a 6-12 month supply of green coffee beans and I've started to wonder about shelf life. If the beans are stored in good conditions at room temperature in sealed tight bags, is there much deterioration in their quality over time? How long can the beans be safely stored to provide good quality outcomes when roasted?

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#2: Post by Marcelnl »

From what I gather in Scott Rao's book on raosting there is no hard limit but storage conditions and humidity at packaging are key factors. Just out of curiosity and not with any intent, but did you not consider shelf life before buying so much greens?
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#3: Post by NightFlight »

I vacuum seal in mason jars and store them in a cabinet to keep them out of the light. I have frozen roasted coffee but never green beans as I roast them fairly quickly after purchase. A site search on storing greens should 'roast' up some debate on storage. :)

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#4: Post by farmroast »

I started vacuum storage (foodsaver) in wide mouth canning jars in '06 and still am very happy with results. Tend to select what I want until the next crop year, get them when arrive, pack away. A dead fridge/freezer of appropriate size in basement or coolish spot keeps temp swings better controlled and light away.
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#5: Post by turtle »

Rolling rack in my basement. Temp is stable within 12-15 degrees winter/summer, it's dark (until I turn lights on). I keep the beans in the zip lock bags they come shipped in as I go through them quick enough that I don't need to worry about "long term storage".

I date the packages (when they arrived) so that I have somewhat of a handle on the storage time while the beans are here. No telling how old they are before I get them though.

Three shelves for the three regions (Africa, Asia, and the Americas). I can tell at a glance which region I like and roast the most as it depletes quicker than the other shelves.

I try to roast beans within 6-8 months of their arrival. This reminds me.... I need to roast today :)

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#6: Post by NightFlight »

This reminds me.... I need to roast today :)
Ha! I went down and roasted a pound of stashed Red Harraz, still have a pound left. Roast and enjoy! :wink:


#7: Post by Nate42 »

Beans do degrade with age, but there is no hard fast rule as to what is too much. 1 year is probably getting close to the upper limit depending on conditions. I store my beans in my basement, and every once in a while I've lost track of or otherwise forgot about a bag for a year or more. After long enough, they start to smell and taste like basement, which isn't pleasant. Your mileage may vary there, obviously.

FYI, George Howell considers the shelf life of vacuum sealed and frozen green beans to be essentially infinite. So if you need to do true long term storage you should keep that in mind. He served us 3year old coffee at one of his speaking events that was fantastic, and according to him hadn't degraded a bit.

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#8: Post by JohnB. »

I vacuum seal & freeze my greens in a dedicated storage freezer kept at -5°F. Oldest greens in there right now are from 2010 as I recently finished off my 2009 stash. When I open a thawed bag or jar of 3,4 or 5 year old greens they still smell just like a fresh bag of greens.

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#9: Post by Bob_M »

Same as John But mine only go back to 2011. I found an abundance of chest freezers on Craig list pretty cheap. Got a 12 Ciuft for $50.00. Most folks were replacing them with uprights which I assume explained supply and cheap price.

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#10: Post by farmroast »

I found a 1lb bag of a wp ethiopian I got this spring from SM and had forgot to vacuum in a jar. Upon opening last week, very little smell compared to fresh or ones from my vacuumed jars. Roasted it wasn't woody yet but had lost much of what made it special.
Still have vintages of vacuumed jars going back to '07 to pull out and test occasionally.
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