I've been reading up on home coffee roasting and I am puzzled about what they say about storing the green beans. They say that you are supposed to store it in a cool dry place that has good ventilation.


Does such a place exist on Plant Earth? Every place I have ever visited is hot in the summer. In order for it to be cool and dry you have to keep the air conditioning on and the windows shut. Aside from the huge expense this entails, it will not be ventilated.


The only places I know that are cool all year round are caves. But those are not well ventilated either.


Am I missing something?



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No, I don't think you are missing anything, at least in regard to this recommendation.

Optimal storage conditions for most relatively non-perishable things on this earth are slightly cooler room temperature, relatively moderate humidity, decent air exchange, and probably not in direct sunlight. This is to minimize mold, mildew, funk, fermentation, and general degradation of quality. Consider similar conditions for any rice, dry beans, flours, medication, various powdered chemicals, textiles, etc, that may also be in your possession.

The various little critters that would love to occupy your greens are quite unconcerned with practical considerations like your AC bill. In fact, they find warm, damp, and stagnant to be quite comfortable.

That said, I know several roasters that store their greens in subpar conditions. They have accepted that this is not ideal, and accept the risk of reduced quality that comes with it. Or they stock only minimally and burn through inventory quickly enough that things don't have time to go downhill.

PS... you might consider clarifying whether you are referring to a commercial roasting operation or a home setup. That is relevant info.

Also, I would avoid caves. Too many trolls.

haha, this is one ive gone over muliple times before. And I think the real answer is, there is no answer. Sweet marias will tell you if your storeing your greens for longer than a few months not to keep them in there plastic bags, but to put them in a breathable cotton sack. But then other people/sites/companies say if you really want to keep your greens a long time to vac pack them(and then depending on who your talking to put them in a deep freezer). Which of course is the complete OPPOSITE of sweet marias just told you. Vac packing means theres zero breathing! (its frustrating i know). Ive settled on this for the time being. Store your greens in what ever, and try to use them up with in 6 months.

I keep some of mine is cotton sacks, and some in the plastic bags that they come in. Ill probably end up getting a vac packer, not to use with all my coffees, but just certain special ones that I want to save.  And since I dont have a deep freeze, I wont be freezing them.

And of course always storing them in the best place you can find(least ammount of temp swing, no direct sunlight, no moisture, etc).

And to be honnest I think this a big area where commercial roasters drop the ball. In my experince most commercial roasters store there greens in the warehouse that the roasting is being done in. Which means they see huge temp swings daily, as well as drastic humidity ebbs and flows.

My objective in to purchase green beans for home roasting in 5 lb bags. I calculate a 5 lb bag will last me about 3 months. I live in an apartment building that is kept very hot in the winter time and in the summer I run the a/c only when I am home. Perhaps I should only roast in the spring and fall.

Perhaps you should drink more coffee... 5lbs of greens don't last me a month :).

I'm not sure I'd be super concerned about quality loss in the span of a month or two due to warmer than optimal storage conditions. Your conditions are really no worse than many commercial roasters, sadly... many of whom set up in warehouse spaces. Also, your storage conditions are also not worse than origin, or transport from origin.

You might consider freezing your greens if your storage conditions are a huge concern for you. It would be a good experiment - split the batch, freezing some and leaving some at environmental conditions. Research freezing greens and see what you find out.

Zev G said:

My objective in to purchase green beans for home roasting in 5 lb bags. I calculate a 5 lb bag will last me about 3 months. I live in an apartment building that is kept very hot in the winter time and in the summer I run the a/c only when I am home. Perhaps I should only roast in the spring and fall.

You defiantly should not only roast spring/fall. Its too fun to wait half the year to start roasting. I dont think you should worry to much about just 3 months of storage. Thats really not a long time in the life of green coffee. And you also could purchase less coffee, like a buy 2 pounds every month instead. Have you noticed a drop off in your greens? or where just trying to nip this in the bud?

For homeroasting I've been using a Foodsaver with the wide mouth canning jar attachment since '05. Quarts hold 1.5 lbs and 1/2 gallons 3lbs. I've been storing the jars in a dead freezer for stability with no light. It's worked well

canning jar storage



I am first reading up and learning about home coffee roasting before trying it.

I keep my beans in the plastic bags they arrive in, and then separate them by origin, in large storage containers.  So, when I am going to roast, I go to my Central Box, or my African box, pick a bean or two, and roast.


There are several locations where world bodies store seeds, as repositories, both as a resource in times of planetary emergencies and to preserve genetic diversity. The seeds are stored vacuum-sealed containers, at very low temperatures (frozen). Green coffee is a seed. Fresh, green coffee, vacuum sealed, stored very cold or frozen...that is how you will preserve "fresh-crop" green coffee roasting down the road. Every other storage environment will act upon the coffee in one or many ways...and, on occasion, one may want to fade or "age" coffee to a specific purpose...but you will be fading it or "aging" it-make no mistake. This is one of those subjects in the industry that is still dominated by anecdote and story, which may be accurate, but which frequently are not, even though the sources are sincere.....this is great news for small-modest-boutique roasters, as they stand the best chance of being able to easily store their quantities of green coffee as described...it is a much bigger challenge for larger/commercial roasters and importers/brokers, obviously.

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