Knowing how to store your green coffee as a coffee roaster is incredibly important. Green coffee is an agricultural product, which means that its quality is connected to its shelf-life and its shelf-life is connected to the environment in which it is stored. To ensure that your roasted coffee is the best that it can be, you need to do your best to minimize the impact of factors like time, temperature, and more.
TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY
Temperature and humidity are two of the most important variables to control when it comes to storing your green coffee. These variables are connected together naturally; warmer air can hold more moisture while cooler air tends to be drier. Green coffee is hygroscopic, meaning that it will easily absorb and lose moisture depending on its environment. Air that is too humid can promote mold, fungal, and bacterial growth on your coffee. On the other hand, air that is too dry will sap your coffee's moisture, accelerating the impact of aging and reducing quality. Maintaining your storage facility at a comfortable temperature, usually 60–77° F, will help keep humidity in check. Keeping your green coffee in sealed, air-tight containers will regulate humidity for coffee as well, making the GrainPro liners in all of our Ally Open boxes and many of our Ally Coffee bags perfect for storage.
Bright light, both natural and artificial, is another obstacle to quality coffee. Direct sun will accelerate the drying process for your coffee, and similarly any extended bright light exposure will expedite the effects of aging. Storing your green coffee in opaque containers, like air-tight storage tubs or the double-core boxes we use for our Ally Open coffees, is the best practice for avoiding unnecessary light exposure.
Ally Open's double-core boxes with GrainPro liners are great for keeping green coffee stored properly
Pests can pose problems for any agricultural product. Most commonly for coffee roasters, this happens when insects become attracted to the moisture and sugar content in green coffee. Staying mindful of any potential rodent problems is also best practice, as rodents are known for trying to make their homes in any comfortable environment that they can find. This is another reason why using sealed containers to store your green coffee will make your life leading up to roast time much more enjoyable.
Green coffee loses much of its quality as it ages and, unlike high humidity or direct sunlight, time is unavoidable. While proper coffee storage will help to slow the effects of aging, it won't stop them entirely. Using proper planning and keen forecasting for your operation will help you make sure that you're only buying as much coffee as you can use in a given period. For some roasters, depending on your volume, this could mean working with your Ally Coffee account manager to plan contracts and releases, and for others this can mean purchasing more manageable volumes of green coffee in small boxes from Ally Open to maximize freshness and reduce storage time.
Learning how to store your green coffee is a major step in roasting your coffee to its fullest potential. Managing temperature and humidity, light exposure, pests, and storage time will ensure your coffee stays as fresh as possible, keeping both you and your customers happy with the results.