Why It May Not Be Worth Getting A Coffee Canister

There are two schools of thought when it comes to coffee canisters. One is that they are absolutely essential, and the other ... not so much. While these specialized containers are meant to ensure that your coffee beans smell and taste just as fresh as the day you brought them home, the truth is that they may not always be a worthwhile investment.

Canisters are often considered a sustainable storage solution because they make it less likely the beans will go stale and end up in the bin, and there's some truth in this. They reduce the risk of oxidation and (depending on the material) minimize degradation due to light exposure. Plus, you can reduce plastic and metal waste by refilling the canisters using bulk coffee dispensers in grocery stores. But if you're more motivated by their ability to keep beans fresh, classic canisters don't provide any better protection than modern bean packaging. 

Given that most packages of coffee beans — ritzy and budget brands alike — have features like a one-way valve or sealable zippers to keep air out, they really keep java beans just as fresh as a canister. Based on how quickly you tend to go through a bag, the original package can be equally effective at ensuring beans stay aromatic and flavorful as a coffee canister, rendering them far from necessary.

If you must, choose this type of canister

Ultimately, deciding to store coffee in a canister is a personal choice. It might not be a worthwhile option for someone who buys in smaller quantities and uses beans within the span of a week. Yet, for other java lovers, canisters might prove helpful. Naturally, because not all are made the same, there are a few things to look for when selecting a suitable container.

Seal and material are the two biggest factors to note when shopping for the right canister. A tight-fitting lid that creates an airtight or vacuum seal is a must. As for materials, aesthetics isn't as important as functionality. That said, while glass may look sleek, it's both fragile and likely to expose beans to light in comparison to opaque ceramic or durable stainless steel options. Lastly, consider the capacity of the canister, as it should be able to hold your typical bag of beans with ease.

Regardless of whether you keep coffee beans in their original package or in a coffee canister, note that the storage vessel can only keep java in tip-top shape if it's placed somewhere dry, cool, and away from direct sunlight. As long as you follow proper storage protocol and keep packages (or canisters) well-sealed, you can enjoy fresh coffee for weeks and weeks to come!