Can You Store Ground Coffee in a Mason Jar? 9 Storage Tips

Introduction: Can You Store Ground Coffee in a Mason Jar? 

So you bought a bag of ground coffee and are wondering how to store it? If you don’t have a lot of fancy coffee gear at home you might be wondering what you can use that you already have on hand. You find a trusty mason jar in the back of your cabinet and wonder, “Can you store ground coffee in a mason jar?” 

The short answer is yes, you can store ground coffee in a mason jar. However, there are several things you need to know about storing coffee before your empty your beans into the mason jar and forget about them. 

Here we discuss 9 important storage tips you need to know before storing your coffee in a mason jar. If you follow these guidelines you’ll ensure your coffee tastes fresh as long as possible. 

There is a large glass mason jar on the left that is about 1/3 full of ground coffee. The jar has a metal lid. On the right, there is a small jar that contains whole coffee beans.

First, let’s discuss what causes coffee to lose its freshness. 

What Causes Coffee to Lose Its Freshness?

There are two main factors that contribute to coffee going bad. The first is by carbon dioxide release, and the second is by loss of coffee aromas through oxidation. These processes happen within a few weeks after roasting green coffee beans, resulting in a loss of the coffee’s freshness.

When green beans are roasted, several chemical processes occur that contribute to the aroma and flavor of the coffee. First carbon dioxide builds up in the coffee and is essential for creating the crema in espresso. In the first days and weeks after the coffee is roasted, the coffee off-gasses the carbon dioxide. This process occurs faster when freely exposed to oxygen. Additionally, the coffee aromas get broken down due to oxidation when exposed to oxygen. This is why it is essential to properly store fresh coffee to prolong the freshness. 

Ground coffee loses its freshness even quicker because more surface area is exposed to the air. Because of this, it is very important to store coffee properly to slow this process. 

How to Store Ground Coffee in a Mason Jar: Essential Tips

1. Store in an Airtight Container

The best way to keep your coffee fresh is to store it in a sealed container. This prevents oxygen from interacting with the ground coffee and creating a bad flavor. There are several containers that work well to store coffee beans. 

  • Original Packaging: The original package that your coffee comes in can work well to store your coffee. Coffee bags often have a one-way valve that prevents oxygen from entering the bag, but allows the coffee to off-gas and release carbon dioxide without exploding the bag. These degassing vents are especially important for coffee producers because most of the degassing occurs within the first days after coffee is roasted. In order for coffee roasters to quickly package their coffee after roasting, they must use bags that allow for the off-gassing so the bags do not bloat or explode. 
  • Air-tight Container: There are several appropriate types of air-tight containers that work well to store coffee.
    • Vacuum container: Many retailers sell coffee canisters that have vacuum sealer lids. These canisters can sit directly on your kitchen counter. 
    • Plastic Bag: Even a simple sealed bag can work well to store coffee beans. Most bags with a zip seal are transparent and should be stored away from direct sunlight. 
    • Glass Container: Mason jars work well as a coffee jar. They often use either plastic or metal lids. I found that the metal two-piece lids have a better seal than the plastic lids. 
There is a plastic mason jar on the left and a two-piece metal mason jar lid on the right. This is viewed from an aerial view on a gray background.
Metal lids seal better than plastic lids.

2. Choose the Best Coffee Container Material

A good coffee canister should not affect the flavor of your coffee. Stainless steel can impart a metallic flavor into your coffee. Similarly, plastic containers can also alter the taste of the coffee. Ceramic and glass materials do not alter the flavor of coffee and are great options for ground coffee storage. This makes glass mason jars a great option for storing coffee. 

3. Store Coffee in a Cool Place

It’s important to avoid storing coffee in warm areas. High temperatures increase the rate of chemical reactions in coffee that cause it to lose its freshness. The ideal temperature for coffee storage is at or below room temperature and away from heat sources like the stove. 

4. Store Coffee in a Dry Place 

Avoid placing your coffee near the dishwasher, sink, or anywhere else that it may be affected by moisture. Moisture can cause mold growth on your coffee which can be dangerous for your health and ruin your coffee. A dry place such as the pantry or an upper cabinet is a good place to store your coffee. 

5. Store Coffee in a Dark Place

Light can cause quicker degradation of the phytochemicals in coffee. This can result in a rancid taste. The best place to store your coffee is in an opaque container. If you are using a clear glass jar, such as a mason jar, store it in a dark place. A high cabinet or the pantry are two great places to store coffee.  

6. Check the Roast Date

No matter how well you store your coffee, it will go bad eventually. Coffee degradation occurs rapidly in the first weeks and months after it is roasted so you want to make sure your coffee is as fresh as possible. Make sure you use your coffee within 1-2 months of purchasing it for best results. That being said, coffee is shelf stable and you can consume it even past this amount of time, but it won’t taste as good. 

7. Long-Term Storage Options

If you find that you have too much coffee on hand and can’t consume it all before it goes bad, you can store it in the freezer. You can even store your coffee in your mason jar and keep it in the freezer. Yes, glass can break, but if you take precautions, you are less likely to break one. 

  • Avoid storing glass mason jars next to other glass containers. 
  • Pad the jar with a dishcloth and store it in a place where it won’t get knocked over or moved.
  • Be aware that rapid temperature changes can cause glass to break. If you are using the mason jar to store dry coffee, this shouldn’t be an issue, but never try to pour hot water into a frozen mason jar. 

8. Know How Much Coffee to Buy

It’s best to buy only smaller portions of coffee. Coffee is not something you want to buy in bulk or store for a long time. For maximum freshness, it’s a good idea to only buy about a month’s supply of coffee at a time. This ensures you are cycling out your coffee regularly and preserves the taste of your coffee.

there is a small glass jar in the upper right corner that is tipped on its side, spilling out the coffee beans it contains onto a white marble counter.

9. Ground Coffee vs Whole Bean Storage

Whole coffee beans stay fresh longer than ground coffee. This is because ground beans have more surface area that allows for oxidation and release of carbon dioxide. 

If you have a coffee grinder at home, it is best to buy whole beans and grind them yourself. This way, you can grind your coffee fresh before you brew your coffee. If you want to save time and avoid having to grind your coffee every day, you can grind your coffee for the week. Then, store the coffee grounds in your mason jar so it is ready to go each morning. 

​Can You Make Cold Brew Coffee In a Mason Jar?

Mason jars work well to make cold brew. Simply add the desired amount of coffee to the jar and add cold or lukewarm water to the jar. Then, store the jar in the fridge for 12 hours and strain the coffee. 

Conclusion: Can You Store Ground Coffee in a Mason Jar?

Coffee lovers have several options to store their ground coffee and preserve the shelf life of your coffee. The best container to store pre-ground coffee should be air-tight and made of a material that does not affect the flavor of your coffee. The best choices include storing your coffee in its original package with a tight sealing clip or using ceramic or glass containers with an airtight lid. This makes mason jars a great option for storing ground coffee.

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