Originally Posted by Max Sutton
I store my coffee beans in a ceramic container made for storing coffee beans. This container sits in a kitchen cupboard.
Hit the nail on the head. To maintain absolute best quality roasted beans should be kept in a dry, cool, dark, place.
Since coffee beans are porous in nature, the moisture absorbed during a stretch in the freezer or refrigerator will destroy the essential oils in the bean. They can also absorb other flavors and odors like seafood under these conditions.
Even under the best conditions roasted whole bean coffee has a limited shelf life. Modern technology gives us a short addition to natural shelf life with one-way valves and vapor barrier bags but this provides only a little extra. As mentioned in an earlier post, as soon as the bean is roasted it starts out-gassing and losing flavor compounds in the process.
Storage rule of thumb:
Green = 2 years
Roasted whole bean = 2 weeks
Ground = 2 hours
Whenever possible buy your coffee from a local roaster and look for a "roasted on" date. Or better yet, roast it yourself.