For a really great cup of coffee, buy fresh beans and purchase only what you'll use in a week. When deciding how much to purchase, the general rule of thumb is to allow one pound of coffee for every 30 to 40 six-ounce cups.
If you generally store your coffee for longer than a week, store in a tightly covered glass jar in the refrigerator. Coffee beans are negatively affected by exposure to water and oxygen. A container with tightly fitting lid will reduce condensation, exposure to oxygen, and reduce the chance that coffee will pick up other tastes. The volatile oils in the beans, which give coffee its flavor, are water-soluble, and condensation within the storage container will cause the coffee to become stale very quickly. Whole coffee beans will last three times longer than ground coffee. This is because less surface area of the bean has been exposed to oxygen.
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