Last Updated on January 21, 2022 by John Moretti
If you bought coffee in bulk that won’t be used within a few weeks, you could always vacuum seal your coffee. Here we tell you how to vacuum seal your coffee beans correctly.
Vacuum sealed coffee beans will lock the flavor and freshness in for up to a year. Vacuum seal your favorite roasted coffee beans in a plastic bag with a one-way valve to let Carbon dioxide gas out and stop air entering that can lead to oxidation and spoiling your coffee.
There are several ways to store coffee beans to preserve the aroma and keep it fresh. Vacuum sealing is one way. Here’s how to vacuum seal your coffee the right way.
The Four Coffee Enemies
It is estimated that around 60 % of aromas and flavors are lost within just 15 minutes of coffee being ground. If your coffee is bought from the supermarket, chances are it’s already stale. Coffee is only fresh for around two weeks after the roast date. Some people say it could stay fresh for thirty days, but if the coffee is pre-ground, it shortened its freshness date by large.
Many big coffee brands do not print a roasted-on date on their packaging; most of those coffees have been sitting on the shelf for months already.
If you bought coffee that has been on the supermarket shelf for months and took it home to vacuum seal and freeze it, you would be trying to preserve the freshness of coffee that has already gone stale. It is always best to buy your coffee from a local roaster that guarantees its freshness.
Coffee is delicate and care should be taken to preserve the freshness and aroma directly after the coffee is roasted and ground to protect its flavor. There are four factors that can affect the taste, aroma, and freshness of your coffee beans, which are also the four enemies of coffee. These are:
- Oxygen – The number one enemy of coffee is oxygen. Oxidation occurs when oxygen meets coffee beans causing them to go stale. Oxidation can cause coffee to go stale in two days.
- Light – Coffee beans are in their most vulnerable state immediately after it is roasted. UV light affects coffee, and care should be taken to keep your coffee beans away from light.
- Moisture – When coffee is exposed to moisture, it will spoil within hours.
- Heat – Heat, and humidity are another big enemy of coffee beans. When grounding your coffee beans, make sure the coffee doesn’t heat up, resulting in loss of flavor.
Sealing Roasted Coffee Beans
In general, coffee beans don’t spoil. They lose flavor, aroma and go stale. To preserve all three of these vacuum-sealing coffee beans is the best way to store coffee beans.
You should know that roasted whole coffee beans release Carbon dioxide gas when packaged. When coffee is vacuum sealed with a standard vacuum seal plastic bag, gasses released will cause the bag to fill, trapping the gas inside the vacuum bag and breaking the vacuum.
You could place these vacuum bags inside your freezer to prevent gasses from building up. However, storing coffee in the fridge has its vices. If coffee is not sealed correctly, it can absorb flavors around it. Keeping your coffee next to food items in the freezer will result in tainted coffee. Coffee goes through thermal changes when stored in a freezer that causes it to deteriorate quicker.
Opening and closing vacuum-sealed coffee bags for use will send in oxygen each time you do and increase oxidation. Therefore, it is recommended to seal smaller amounts of coffee for each use. After you open a vacuum-sealed coffee package, make sure you place the coffee in a hermetically sealed non-transparent container in a constant temperature pantry.
The best results are obtained when you store coffee in vacuum-sealed plastic bags with a one-way valve.
Vacuum Sealing Coffee Beans Locks in Flavor, Aroma, and Freshness
The primary reason coffee beans are vacuum-sealed is to preserve freshness, flavor, and aroma.
Removing air, one of coffee’s enemies prevents oxidation which causes coffee beans to lose flavor and go stale rapidly.
Vacuum sealing coffee beans also protects them from moisture, another enemy that spoils coffee quickly.
How to Vacuum Seal Coffee Beans
Use smaller vacuum seal bags if you want to vacuum seal coffee beans for home use. Each time you open and close a vacuum-sealed coffee bag, you allow air to enter and affect your coffee. Therefore, it is a good idea to seal smaller quantities of coffee beans at a time.
Make sure you choose high-quality vacuum seal bags. There is no point going through all the effort of sealing your coffee to find the bag lost its seal and your coffee is spoiled.
There are a few ways to vacuum seal coffee, and we list them below.
- Regular vacuum sealing
- One-way valve / non-return valve vacuum sealing
- Vacuum canisters sealing
Regular vacuum sealing: The traditional way of vacuum sealing is not wrong. It does its job of protecting the coffee beans from light and oxygen, but the coffee beans being hermetically sealed with no escape seals all the natural gases inside the package.
One-way valve vacuum sealing: This way of vacuum sealing coffee beans is an evolutionary step forward. The one-way valve on the vacuum bag lets the gas escape while preventing air from entering the bag. The gas from the beans inside the bag creates a high pressure that prevents lower pressure air outside the bag from entering the bag.
Vacuum canister sealing: A vacuum canister is for you if you prefer sealing your coffee beans without using plastic vacuum bags. The canisters preserve your coffee without having to re-vacuum seal it every time you use some of the coffee.
These vacuum canisters are a quick way to store coffee beans in an airtight container. Vacuum canisters are expensive; they cost anywhere from $15 to $45 per container and generally hold 1 to 1.5 pounds of coffee.
They are easy to use. Just use the vacuum sealer and the accessory hose to vacuum all the air out of the container for an airtight seal.
How Long Will Vacuum Sealed Coffee Beans Stay Fresh?
It will preserve the life of your coffee beans by one to two years if you follow the correct vacuum sealing techniques,
Green coffee beans do not require a one-way valve vacuum bag as unroasted coffee beans do not release any gas.
When you open a vacuum-sealed bag of coffee for the first-time, oxygen enters the newly opened bag, and the added oxygen will slowly start to affect the coffee through oxidation. As the bags get emptier and emptier, more oxygen surrounds the coffee beans and has greater access to deteriorate the coffee.
That is why you get a great-tasting cup of coffee from a newly opened bag, but within a week after you open that bag, you quickly taste a difference in flavor.
The flavor will quickly degrade unless you make sure oxygen does not enter your bag once opened. That is why we recommend vacuum sealing only small quantities of coffee beans at a time.
How to Seal the Bags
Vacuum seal bags are way too big and should be cut to size for smaller quantities of coffee. It is time-consuming but worth the effort.
You should note that the vacuum chamber sits a bit far from the edge of the sealer. Always leave an extra inch of space empty in the bag. Here’s how to create smaller bags from the big plastic bags.
- Use a ruler and a marker; mark the bag at 1/3 and 2/3 of its width at the top and bottom. Do not include the sealed margins.
- Using a ruler, draw a vertical line to both your marked spots from top to bottom.
- Now use scissors to cut along only one of the lines because if you cut both lines, it will loosen the plastic, and sealing it becomes a hassle.
- Use the vacuum sealer in heat-seal mode and seal both sides that were just cut.
- Now cut the second line and heat-seal both sides.
- You should have three thin and long bags that are more useable sizes for smaller quantities of coffee and save you plastic bags. This way, you minimize the empty portion of plastic that the vacuum sealer leaves.
Filling the Bags
- Use a large funnel when adding the coffee beans to the plastic bag.
- Make sure you leave space at the top of the bag to seal it.
- Place your bag of coffee in your sealer and seal it.
- It is good to mark the sealed bag with the brand, roast, and sealed dates at the bottom of the bag. Do not mark it at the top or middle as you open the top each time.
- You can cut the sealed bag of coffee open, weigh a single dose of coffee beans out then re-seal it again with your vacuum-sealer. Doing this allows you to free up more space than you cut out and leave you with a reusable bag.
- Leave the vacuum-sealed coffee bags on the kitchen counter for ten minutes after it was sealed. This gives you time to notice if any of the bags did not seal correctly.
If you are a coffee lover, you want to preserve its flavor and freshness for as long as possible. Vacuum-sealing your coffee beans in a one-way valve vacuum bag is the best way to do that. We listed three options of vacuum sealing techniques above and hope one of them works for you.