How long will ground coffee beans last?


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Jan 9, 2006
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I am new to the world of espresso and I have a question about Ground coffee. I don't have a burr grinder for grinding de-caf and I don't want to change the beans in my Jura everytime someone wants de-caf. I was wondering if I have the beans ground at the local coffee long will it last?

Is there anything I can do to keep the coffee fresher....longer?

Thanks in advance for any advice!! :)


New member
Hey chad1f, coffee quality drops off very quickly after the beans are ground. We’re talking only a few hours. About the only thing you can do to try to keep ground coffee fresh is store it in an airtight container in your cabinet. Getting yourself one of those vacuum containers will help. I know you stated you don’t want to have to change the beans out of your Jura every time someone wants decaf. However, if you want your coffee to last and taste as fresh as possible for the longest amount of time, you should store your whole beans in an airtight container (preferably vacuum sealed) in your cabinet, too. Then you only scoop the amount of whole beans in to your Jura that you need to use at the moment. That way, you can grind and brew whatever beans you want whenever you want, and your beans will last longer. If you just leave your beans in the Jura, they are going to go stale much faster than if you store them properly.

One of the most important tips in brewing fresh coffee is to only grind the amount of beans you need and then use the freshly ground coffee immediately.

Happy cupping!


New member
Feb 12, 2006
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All the good stuff about coffee degrades rapidly after grinding. I personally would not make coffee after it's been ground and sitting for more than an hour or so.

I'd invest $50 +- in a burr grinder. and grind just before brewing.

Whether you are trying to store ground or whole bean, go for an opaque, airtight container and store in a closed cupboard or drawer. It'll keep whatever you put in there better than leaving it on the counter in a clear tupperware or something.


Jan 22, 2006
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I don't believe there's anything you can do to keep ground coffee fresh for any significant period of time. Very little air is needed to oxidize coffee and after grinding beans fine the exposed surface area to oxidation reduces shelf life from just over a week after roasting to minutes. As a matter of fact I'd say the increased rate of oxidation after grinding begins to stale the coffee immediately. There is no process yet discovered to keep ground coffee as fresh as the day it was roasted/ground. Limiting oxidation only delays the inevitable but as far as I know there is no storage method/process that prevent oxidation. Freezing works o.k. with whole beans to keep roasts fresh by slowing down gas exchange processes but I don't know if it would work well with ground coffee.

Grinding fresh with fresh roasted beans seems to be the only easy way to ensure quality. Depending on how serious you want to get with good espresso, getting a very good grinder would be an investment to follow you for many years, perhaps the rest of your life.

Good espresso is, as far as I've experienced, as much a matter of bean quality as it is grind. A good espresso machine is also important but more people say that a very good grinder and a fair espresso machine will make better espresso than a very good machine and a fair grinder.

What kind of machine are you using? If it's a pump driven machine designed to extract at a pressure greater than 8-9 atmospheres, you need a very good grinder as well as fresh beans. Proper extraction happens under high pressure through a fine, even and uniform grind. Because of the high pressure the density of the packed coffee must be as even as possible to ensure the full and even extraction of espresso. The only way to ensure this uniformity is with a high quality grinder.

The Mazzer Mini is a great espresso grinder. Considering you probably will never have to buy another grinder again, it's a great investment in great espresso if you have the machine that requires a very high quality grind.

Now, if you're using a steam machine, grind is not as important since extraction pressure isn't as high so having a commercial grade grinder is excessive. Burr griders that shave the coffee are your best bet for a good, even grind. Rotational speed of the cutting burr, composition and cut of the burr, motor power...all these are factors determining the reliability, longevity and quality of grind from a grinder. An even, uniform grind benefits all brewing methods.

You can get a very good grinder to dedicate to espresso and put aside your other grinder for drip if you want. With grinders and good espresso machines you get what you pay for and good quality costs a bit more but IMHO it's worth it.