Coffee gets us going in the morning, gives us a quick afternoon pick-me-up, and can top off a mighty satisfying evening meal. We’re no longer satisfied with what comes out of a drip maker, either. We don’t just want coffee, we want great coffee.
There are complex methods for making coffee. Some people prefer to use a French press, some prefer a pour-over maker, and some prefer cold brew. There are machines and beans and even different grinds for all of it. An overlooked element is for people who want great grounds available when they want to make coffee.
To help those people, we looked at some of the coffee storage containers available and wrote reviews. You might find exactly what you’re looking for. If not, we included a buyers’ guide at the end to help you get informed about what to look for when shopping.
|Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Container with co2 Valve|
|Progressive PKS-600 Large Coffee ProKeeper|
(Best for the Money)
|Coffeevac 1 lb - The Ultimate Vacuum Sealed Coffee Container||1 lb||4.6/5|
|OXO Good Grips Airtight Coffee POP Container||1 lb||4.3/5|
|Airscape Coffee and Food Storage Canister||1 lb||4.2/5|
Sometimes a top pick is a matter of give-and-take. This isn’t one of those cases. The Coffee Gator is hands-down the best ground coffee storage canister around. It’s designed to keep UV rays and oxidizing air away from your grounds, keeping them fresh longer. It also vents out the carbon dioxide, which over time can give coffee a stale taste. Some of the containers we looked at were designed for general purpose storage. This one was designed for storing coffee grounds.
Naturally, it’s expensive. You’re paying top dollar for great beans, so it’s probably not unwarranted to pay extra for specially designed storage. But it also comes with some extras you probably don’t need.
The simpler and more affordable Progressive PKS-600 is actually a really good first choice for most people to store ground coffee. While it’s true that UV light and oxygen can break coffee down and cause it to lose its flavor, most people use their coffee too quickly to really notice it. If you go on a two-month vacation, don’t expect fresh java if you’ve stored it in a transparent cylinder that isn’t airtight. Over a week or so, you probably won’t notice it.
That’s what makes this a great coffee storage unit. It’s functional, simple and much more affordable than the Coffee Gator. One feature worth liking is that it’s see-through enough to see how much you have left in grounds. That’s better than waking to the unpleasant surprise of an empty canister.
Our biggest problem is that while it claims to be UV-proof, that resistance is prone to breaking down and being rendered inert. That means it’ll block UV rays until it doesn’t.
Coffeevac’s 1 lb Vacuum Sealed Coffee Container is the best airtight coffee container we looked at. It’s much less expensive than the Coffee Gator while offering most of the pros, like locking oxygen out while allowing carbon dioxide to vent out. It’s also got a good range of color selections, so you can choose one that goes with your kitchen decor.
We’re not fans of the one-pound size, however. That’s probably a little small if you buy coffee in bulk. We’re also concerned that some of the clear-color options won’t block UV rays completely, allowing coffee to lose its potency.
The OXO Good Grips Airtight Coffee POP Container delivers an airtight seal with the push of a button. We like the security this offers over some models that you have to assume are sealed. It’s also a good size to hold your coffee if you buy in bulk and tend to get a little more than one pound at purchase.
Something else we like is that it’s modular and stackable. You can slide it into the pantry on top of or below other containers of similar design for efficient storage between uses.
We have concerns that the UV-blocking qualities will eventually break down over prolonged use. It’s much more effective to just simply block all light from entering. It’s also pretty expensive compared to other coffee storage containers. You can get similar results for less money.
The most effective material for keeping coffee fresh is stainless steel. Not only will it not degrade in direct sunlight, but when you clean it you’ll get rid of everything in it. There won’t be little pores where coffee grounds cling and mix in with new grounds. That’s the biggest thing we like about the Airscape Coffee and Food Storage Canister.
Steel is a lot more expensive than plastic, which makes this a pricey investment. If you really care about your coffee, it might not be too much, but if you’re just looking to keep your coffee dry and stored, you can find one that’s less expensive.
We’re also not fans of the lids. While the canisters themselves are stainless steel, the lids are both plastic. That usually leads to issues of sealing and general compatibility.
We like the bamboo lid clear glass construction of the 77L Glass Coffee Bean Container. Of the canisters we reviewed, it’s probably the most kitchen-like of the lot (as opposed to the Gator, which frankly terrified us a little). It’s so kitchen-y, we’d consider buying several for dried bean storage. They are priced for it.
In fact, we think it serves better for storing pantry basics like pasta, beans, and brown sugar than coffee. As a coffee storage unit, it leaves a little to be desired.
The lid’s seal doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. It might be suitable for things that are already bone-dry, but for coffee beans or anything that relies on oils that are prone to evaporation, it just foretells morning-time doom. We’re also not a fan of the clear glass construction. Other plastic models at least offered UV-blocking tint. This doesn’t, so you’d have to put it someplace that doesn’t get direct sunlight.
Not everyone wants to spend money on a dedicated coffee storage container. In fact, you might pick up something like the Oggi 4-Piece Acrylic Canister Set from a discount store and want to use that. It’s not a bad strategy, especially if you have a number of different coffee roasts and grinds for different kinds of makers. Alternately, you could store coffee grounds in one, sugar in another, and maybe filters in a third if you use a standard drip maker. Something like this offers a lot of affordable versatility for addressing your kitchen storage needs.
This set just isn’t very good as dedicated coffee grounds storage containers. The seal is okay, but not airtight. The sides are made of clear plastic, so they let in every last UV ray, which isn’t good for coffee. You can address that by ensuring that where you put them is out of direct sunlight, of course.
You’ll also be stuck with extra stuff if you only really need one or two containers. If you need one container, buy one container. If you need four, this is an option.
The best thing the Oggi 62-Ounce Brushed Stainless Steel coffee canister has going for it is that its stainless steel will block out UV rays and make for complete cleaning. That means you can start over fresh with new grounds every time. It’s really affordable, probably the most affordable coffee canister we examined.
It’s also depressingly ugly. It’s just a sterile shiny metal. It’s made pretty cheaply and feels prone to easy breaking.
We’re already on record as suspicious about multi-material seals. This canister has an acrylic lid and a stainless steel body. Both those materials react differently to temperature, so you always have to wonder whether your seal is really airtight.
A storage container for coffee grounds isn’t the most technical piece of equipment in the world. For most people, it’s basically just a glorified storage container. But coffee, like everything, will lose its potency over time. There are ways you can add to its longevity, and that can separate a great ground coffee storage container from a merely okay one.
There are three things that cause coffee grounds to lose their potency: light, air, and moisture. The storage container you get for your grounds will only be as successful as its ability to keep your grounds separate from those things.
Some people will go so far as to put their grounds in the freezer. That’s probably only really necessary where ambient humidity makes it impossible for you to store your grounds free from moisture. In fact, some people swear that putting grounds in the freezer reduces their flavor, especially the longer you leave them in. We’ll assume you’re buying grounds that you plan to store either next to your coffee maker or, if you have several kinds of makers, at your service station.
Coffee will lose its potency if exposed to light and air, so you’ll want something that does the best job blocking UV rays. That means a coffee storage container that blocks sunlight — i.e., isn’t an opaque plastic tub — and is relatively airtight. We’d recommend that you find a container with a light color, which will not only reflect light but also won’t warm up. Warm things tend to react more easily to chemical reactions than cold things.
You’ll want to get something pretty airtight. You could always store your grounds in a plastic storage bag with a zip closing, but a container with an airtight seal is a good idea. If you’re really serious about your coffee grounds, find one that keeps oxygen out but allows carbon dioxide to escape.
When it comes to size, it’s not about going big but about going right-sized. This is part of keeping as much air as possible out of the grounds. Probably you buy the same basic amount of grounds each time, so you’ll want to get a container that, based on your usual purchase, gets close to filled to the brim. That’ll leave less room for air that can make your coffee taste flat.
If you’re a real coffee fan, from time to time you’ll try new roasts or different kinds of beans to see whether you wouldn’t prefer something else. This is especially true if you use different brewing methods that might bring out the true flavors of different kinds of beans. Whatever you buy to store your grounds in, you’ll want it to be made of materials that won’t allow the oils or grounds from past flavors to hang around after a thorough cleaning. Stainless steel is best. Harder plastics can also work, but the longer you use them, the more they’ll take on a chocolatey hue.
Some coffee storage containers come with a way to remind you when you added new grounds. This can be helpful if you tend to go through grounds slowly or even have multiple storage containers for different blends, roasts, and grinds. Remember, the longer you let your coffee sit in a container, the more it will lose its potency and flavor.
Eventually, everything comes down to the price. If you go through coffee pretty quickly, you don’t need to spend a lot of money for a storage container. You can do well enough by taking a few basic steps like keeping lids closed tightly and containers stored out of direct sunlight. On the other hand, if you tend to brew a cup a day and only make a once-a-month purchase, you’re apt to find yourself spending a little more on the little extras to help keep your coffee grounds fresh.
Other buying guides from our blog:
If you’re really serious about coffee, you’ll want to use the Coffee Gator to store your grounds. The Progressive PKS-600 is a great choice if you want something a little simpler and more affordable. If you need an airtight seal, we’d suggest the Coffeevac 1 lb – The Ultimate Vacuum Sealed Coffee Container. The OXO Good Grips Airtight Coffee POP Container is a good option if you’re looking for compatibility with other storage containers. The Airscape Coffee and Food Storage Container has all the benefits of stainless steel, but it’s really expensive. The 77L Glass Coffee Bean Container looks great but has trouble keeping coffee fresh. Oggi’s 4-Piece Acrylic Canister Set offers a variety of containers if you have a variety of things to store, but leaves you with extra plastic junk if you don’t. Oggi’s 62-Ounce Brushed Stainless Steel “Coffee” Airtight Canister is flimsily made, and we’d avoid it.
We hope you found our reviews and guide useful in picking a storage container, and wish you a very happy brewing.
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