There are a lot of options when you think about your coffee beans storage. Today, we’ll discuss vacuum sealing your coffee beans and the burning questions that come along.
Can you vacuum seal coffee beans? Yes, you can vacuum seal your coffee beans in a plastic bag that comes with a one-way valve. Vacuum sealing your coffee beans this way helps you to preserve their freshness over a year (or more). The one-way valve is a must as it helps to let the CO2 out and prevents air from entering inside the plastic bag that could lead to the oxidation of your coffee beans making them stale.
Should I Vacuum Seal Coffee Beans?
If you’re looking to store coffee beans that will be used in a few weeks, then vacuum sealing your coffee beans is a bit of an overkill.
When storing small amounts of coffee beans, you can preserve the flavor and the quality of the beans by storing them in an airtight container or mason jar at the right temperature.
If you’re planning to store your roasted coffee beans for more than a year (or a few years), then you should vacuum sealing your coffee beans using the right technique.
Do keep in mind that roasted coffee beans will off-gas and you need to store them in a plastic bag that comes with a one-way valve. If you vacuum seal coffee beans in a normal plastic bag, then you will have gas build-up and the bag might pop open after a while (which destroys the whole purpose).
Vacuum sealing is also a great coffee storage technique when you’re dealing with green coffee beans (unroasted). Green coffee beans do not let our gases so you don’t have to worry about using a one-way valve in this case.
A simple plastic bag is more than enough when vacuum sealing green coffee beans. Of course, you’re going to need a good machine on both accounts.
Storing coffee beans is not that different from storing ground coffee. Keep in mind that you can also vacuum seal ground coffee, but that’s a topic for another day.
How Long Will Vacuum Sealed Coffee Beans Last?
Storing your coffee beans in a vacuum-sealed bag can preserve them for a very long time. Following proper techniques for vacuum sealing coffee beans alone will enhance the life of that batch by one to two years.
Now, if you have a lot of coffee beans that need storage for a very long time (say > 5 years), vacuum sealing them is the best option. In this case, you will be dealing with green beans, and you don’t even need a fancy one-way valve in your plastic coffee bag.
To answer the question, when you vacuum seal your coffee beans (even roasted ones) with a good vacuum sealer in a plastic bag with a one-way valve, you can expect them to retain freshness for at least a year.
Do Vacuum Sealed Coffee Beans Go Bad?
Coffee beans generally don’t go bad. They are never spoiled, but they do go to a state of staleness which is worse than going bad.
When you vacuum seal your coffee beans, you suck the air out of them. In the case of roasted coffee beans, they will release CO2 slowly. When you store in them a vacuum-sealed bag, the gas buildup can pop the bag if it doesn’t have a one-way valve.
If you’re going to open your coffee bean storage bag to use the coffee beans and then seal it again, you will be sending in more oxygen which increases the chances of oxidation.
Oxidation is the process that removes the flavor in your coffee beans making them stale. So try to dive into your coffee beans too often and prevent air from entering the bag.
But if your vacuum-sealed plastic bags with a one-way valve will not be disturbed for a long time, you will be fine. Your freshly roasted coffee beans will neither go stale nor go bad.
Why You Should Vacuum Seal Your Coffee Beans?
Unless you’re dealing with a lot of coffee beans that could last for years, you have very few reasons to opt for vacuum sealing of your coffee beans.
Here are a couple of reasons that support vacuum sealing.
Retain Coffee Bean Freshness
The main reason anyone would want to vacuum seal their coffee beans is to retain their freshness.
Oxidation is the main reason why coffee loses most of its flavor and taste. This oxidation happens when air comes in contact with the roasted beans. So removing the air from your beans’ contact is a technique to delay or reduce oxidation to a minimum.
When you suck all the air surrounding the beans, oxidation is pretty low which means your beans will retain their freshness.
We have mentioned many times in this article that you have to choose your plastic bags with a one-way valve in them. If you nail this, then you might succeed in sealing the freshness of your coffee beans.
Superficially, this might look like a silly reason.
But if you’re going to be dealing with bags of coffee beans, then you’re also going to need a lot of space to deal with them.
If you don’t have the luxury of real estate, then you can manage your inventory by vacuum sealing your coffee beans with a sealing machine and a one-way valve plastic vacuum sealed bag.
This benefit might not look like a big deal when you have a lot of space, but you can always store more stock when applying this technique.
Why You Shouldn’t Vacuum Seal Your Coffee Beans?
- The main reason to avoid vacuum sealing your coffee beans is the release of gases. Coffee beans off-gas when they are roasted and this happens a lot during the first 15 days. If you don’t properly vacuum seal, this gas buildup can expand your plastic bag causing it to explode at some time.
- You will end up using a lot of plastic bags. This, again, depends on how many coffee beans you are going to store and how often you’d do this. If you plan on storing small quantities, then you will be guilty of this problem.
- A vacuum machine is unnecessary for most people. For coffee lovers, spending $100 on a vacuum machine could be spent better in finding a good coffee or other equipment.
Can You Vacuum Seal Coffee Beans? – Wrap Up
The bottom line is that you can vacuum seal your coffee beans and you can do so effectively with the help of a plastic bag with a one-way valve.
But there are easier storage methods that don’t involve an extra (and unnecessary machine). You will also have a much better failure rate using those methods.
If you prefer buying coffee beans to ground coffee, then this storage method is worth experimenting with. Anything is better than ending up with a cup of stale coffee.