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What is the Shelf Life of Green Coffee Beans?

Green coffee beans have a surprisingly long shelf life compared to roasted coffee, but there are no hard rules for how long they last. Unroasted coffee beans are seeds, and like how the seeds of trees and other plants (or even dried beans you might have in your pantry) stay good for months or even years, there are a lot of variables in play. As with any similar food item, moisture and heat are the enemy to long-term shelf life. Unroasted beans that were dried and the parchment kept intact have a longer shelf life than those with the parchment removed and then sorted for sale.

Keeping unroasted beans in a cool, dry place in a neutral container, e.g., sealed glass or plastic, would be better at preserving the taste and freshness of green coffee beans than unroasted beans sitting in burlap bags in a warm, dank warehouse.

Some people report vacuum packaging and freezing for multi-year freshness, but as with anything you put on a shelf or in a freezer, time will catch up to them eventually. Even if several-year-old coffee tastes great, it will likely have more muted flavors than a fresher crop.

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