Shelf or Freezer: The Best Way To Store Your Coffee

The debate over the best way to store coffee to prolong freshness wages on. Should you store your coffee on a shelf, or in the freezer? How about an airtight container. Does that even matter? We had our suspicions as to where this experiment would lead us, but decided to let science do the talking.

We conducted an experiment to see how certain variables would affect the flavor of coffee after one month’s time. We started with four bags of whole bean Fitzroy Coffee, two sealed and two unsealed. We then stored one of each in the freezer and one of each on a shelf for about 30 days. After 30 days, we made pour overs of each sample to compare the flavor of the coffees.


While the results supported our initial thoughts, the differences were more drastic than we anticipated: we did not expect such a difference between the freezer and shelf-stored coffees.

Curious? Well, here is what we found:

  • The freezer-stored coffee was the least flavorful. Both samples produced a very light, almost watery, cup of coffee with very little body or flavor. The sealed bag was slightly better than the unsealed bag of coffee, however, both were not great.
  • The shelf stored coffee performed as expected... wonderfully. The best tasting was the sealed bag of coffee, where the body and flavor are best preserved. The open bag was several times better than the freezer coffee, however, you could tell it lacked some of the richness in body when compared to the sealed bag sample.


Freezing coffee impacts the moisture and oils found in the beans that give it the flavor and aroma we love. We suggest storing coffee in airtight containers in a cool area, preferably void of sunlight. For optimal flavor over an extended period of time, we also recommend storing whole bean coffee and grinding fresh whenever you brew.

While storing your beans in the freezer may seem like a great idea if you find yourself with more coffee than you know what to do with, the end result is a lackluster cup of joe. Zoka takes pride in roasting and serving great tasting coffee, and we are happy to educate and share information with you when we can, so you are able to prepare and enjoy the best possible cup of coffee at home.

Please share this with fellow coffee-lovers in your world and join us as we work to save the frozen coffee!