You’ve decided to upgrade.
No more store brand medium ground medium roast blah coffee. You’ve invested in gourmet beans and purchased your own grinder.
Coffee as good as the coffee shop down the street will be yours–but now you need to figure out where to keep the coffee beans.
Is the canister that matches your kitchen decor the best place?
Can you just put a clothespin on the bag that the beans came in?
Unfortunately, air is the enemy of your coffee beans. Too much oxygen and moisture exposure causes coffee to go stale quickly. Also, the roasting process causes carbon dioxide to build up inside the beans. That carbon dioxide is part of what gives coffee its flavor. Unfortunately, coffee starts losing carbon dioxide as soon as the roasting is done.
In considering where to keep coffee beans, you need to find a container that keeps the oxygen and moisture in the air out and the carbon dioxide in–though you need the ability to let some carbon dioxide out if the beans sit too long (not a problem around here).
Let’s take a look at some choices.
The Coffee Gator Coffee Canister comes in a sleek stainless steel finish as well as in red, blue and yellow so you can pick one that matches your kitchen decor. It is opaque, so light can’t get to your precious beans.
The sealing mechanism is a latch that locks to the top against a gasket, which keeps air out; however a small one-way valve keeps too much carbon dioxide from building up inside.
A handy feature is a dial on the top that you can use to note the date you place the beans in the canister, to remind yourself to use them before they get too old (if beans last that long at your house).
The Coffeevac Ultimate Coffee Container is where to keep coffee beans if you want Europe’s number one container. The Coffeevac is a modernistic black cylinder, perfect for today’s kitchens where other colors are used for “pop” or accent.
It has a valve that allows carbon dioxide to escape without letting oxygen or moisture in. When you depress a button on the lid air is forced out creating a semi-vacuum. While 66% of over 800 Amazon reviewers give this product five stars, some less-satisfied customers complain that it does not seal as well as a glass jar.
The Alpha Coffee Canister uses a pump system to create a vacuum in the canister. It is where to keep coffee beans if you need them to be long-lasting as the vacuum can last up to a month, and keeping the coffee away from air is the key to keeping it fresh. The vacuum can be refreshed without opening the canister, if you are an infrequent coffee drinker.
The Alpha is made of stainless steel and it has a BPA-free plastic lid with a silicon seal. The lid has a vacuum valve on top and the canister comes with a pump that fits in the valve. Once your coffee is in the canister, place the lid on top and turn. Insert the pump and pump until the indicator button becomes level with the top (kind of the opposite of the pop-up thing on a turkey). Users say about eight pumps does the trick. A dial on the top allows you to note the day you sealed the canister (or any other date you want to remember).
The Lovffee Viaopink Ceramic Coffee Container is where to keep coffee beans if your prefer a more traditional ceramic canister. The Lovfee comes in a variety of colors so matching your kitchen decor should be easy.
The ceramic canister has a silicon base so that it does not scratch your countertops. It holds a pound of coffee beans and has a one-way valve that keeps oxygen out and yet allows off-gassing by the beans. The Lovffee is dishwasher safe and the shape of the handle on the lid makes it easier for people with grip-strength problems to open.
When trying to decide where to keep coffee beans, consider how long they usually last at your house, how much trouble you are willing to go through to store them and your kitchen decor. All of the canisters described above protect your stash from air. A vacuum pump may be overkill if you are opening the canister multiple times a day, but someone for whom coffee is a periodic treat may need the extra protection the vacuum gives. While some may love the whimsical look of the Lovfee, others may insist on the sleek Coffeevac.
Which do you prefer?