Raw coffee, if stored in an ambient temperature with little or no humidity, will last almost indefinitely although it is wise to use any natural product before it sits for too long. Roasted coffee, on the other hand, has a much shorter shelf life and there are 3 main things that will reduce the life of your roasted coffee. These are air, light and temperature.
Roasted coffee is porous and will take on any other aromas and flavours to which they are directly exposed. People have sometimes claimed that their coffee has taken on a strange flavour while storing it in the fridge or cupboard next to other fresh food items.
It is best to keep your roasted coffee in an ambient temperature and in an airtight container away from natural light.
The temperature of your storage area will have a dramatic effect on the shelf life of your coffee. The main thing to remember is that the temperature of your storage area should be stable enough that major temperature fluctuations don't occur. Cooler temperatures are ok although I've always found that I prefer the flavours given from coffee extracted at room temperature. There is nothing wrong with storing your coffee in the fridge but I have always found it best to remove the coffee with enough time to reach an ambient temperature before using it. The warmer the temperature the shorter the shelf life.
Remember... The shelf life of your coffee will reduce much faster as soon it has been ground. If possible either grind to order or in a domestic situation, grind your coffee as and when you use it. If you must purchase pre ground coffee it is advisable to do so in smaller quantities.
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People often ask about the best way to store roasted coffee. There is a perception that storing coffee in the fridge is the best way to maintain maximum freshness and a longer shelf life. But as we all know, perception isn't always reality.
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