7 Best Coffee Containers of 2020
In your quest to make the perfect cup of coffee (day after day), you don’t want to forget one crucial element: where you store your beans.
Unless you’re bringing fresh beans home from the roaster every day, you need to protect your coffee from the elements.
Generally, there are four killers that will degrade your beans, draining their flavor and aroma and leaving you with a pitiful morning brew.
If you want the best coffee in your mug, you need a container that protects your beans from air, light, heat, and moisture. Here are some of the best options for doing that right now.
Best if You Want
Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Canister
Coffeevac Sealed Container
Friis Coffee Vault
Java Shield Coffee Container
Airscape Coffee Canister
Typhoon Living Blue Coffee Canister
77L Ceramic Food Storage Jar
Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Canister — The Stylish Coffee Container
While Coffee Gator now has an entire line of coffee gear and accessories, from scales to pour overs, they first entered the industry with a set of durable, attractive containers designed to keep coffee beans fresh.
This BPA-free canister comes in a variety of finishes to match your kitchen appliances or to just stand out as an accent on the counter. With stainless steel material on the inside, the canister also protects your coffee from light and heat.
It has a hinge seal that locks in freshness in what Coffee Gator calls a “military-grade vault.” The hinge makes it really easy to open and seal the container, and it provides quick but reliable operation.
On top of the canister, a one-way valve releases carbon dioxide to prevent build up. That is particularly handy if you have freshly roasted beans.
The valve also has a calendar cover that you can use to keep track of how fresh your beans are. It is not automatic, but it could be a handy way to remind you about when it is time for new coffee.
Coffee Gator’s large container holds 1.4 pounds of whole beans, depending on the roast. That should be plenty of room for holding your favorite beans without the need to store extra in a different container.
Overall, this canister checks all the boxes on what a quality coffee jar should have. And the company’s fun vibe makes it a great choice.
Coffeevac Sealed Container — The Scientific Coffee Canister
To maintain your coffee’s peak freshness, you need to keep it away from oxygen. That requires a tight seal, which is why Coffeevac uses the power of the vacuum.
Simply push the “press” button on the lid of the container, then push down the cap. With Coffeevac’s patented technology, this motion will remove a small volume of air from the canister. This creates a vacuum seal to ensure that your coffee’s flavor and aroma are protected.
True, the canister does not create a true vacuum where all the air is removed from the container. That would require pumping the air out either manually or with a loud vacuum pump. It does use the power of the vacuum to keep a tight seal, which locks in freshness.
To open the container, simply push down the “press” button again. That breaks the seal and allows you to open the lid. The fresh aroma pouring from the container will let you know just how well it has been working.
This model of Coffeevac should hold a pound of whole bean coffee and look great on the counter while doing so. It comes in various colors and styles, including options for adding a logo to the outside.
Keep in mind that the clear options won’t provide as much protection from light, but they do let you admire your beans on the counter and let you know at a glance we a refill is needed.
Friis Coffee Vault — The Container for Freshly Roasted Beans
Vaults are perfect for keeping your valuables safe and secure. That’s the idea behind the Friis Coffee Vault too: protect those beans!
If you roast your own beans, or get them directly from a local roaster, you might fight that off-gassing can be an issue with standard containers. To address this problem, the Friis vault, much like the Coffee Gator canister, includes a release valve to let CO2 escape without exposing beans to dreaded oxygen.
It also has a similar hinged lid to allow easy access to your beans. And the format of the Friis complements a standard kitchen, particularly one with stainless appliances.
You can store 16 oz of beans in the Coffee Vault, which will ensure that your newly roasted valuables stay fresh until you’re ready to grind and brew.
The valves need to be changed periodically, but Friis offers a year’s supply of valves when you register your vault. That’s certainly enough to get through a hefty cache of coffee beans.
Java Shield Coffee Container — The No-Frills, Large Canister
When you want a simple canister that just keeps a lot of beans fresh, the Java Shield Coffee Container is a solid option. It has a similar overall design to the Coffee Gator and Friis containers: hinged lid, freshness valve, and calendar wheel.
It suggests a capacity of 22oz, which is nearly a pound and a half, so you shouldn’t have any trouble dumping your favorite beans in a bag at a time. And rest assured that they will be kept fresh inside the shield.
On the outside, you can show off the cool shield logo in a modern black, white, or stainless finish. Overall, it’s a great option to show you mean business about protecting your coffee.
Airscape Coffee Canister — The Zero-Air Container
To truly minimize exposure to oxygen, you need to get the air out, not just prevent new air from coming in. Planetary Designs addresses this issue head-on with their Airscape Coffee Canister.
The Airscape uses an ingenious design. While most containers leave the lid on top of the jar no matter how much is inside, this canister includes a sealing lid that moves down to force air out of the container. This means even less chance that oxygen comes in contact with your coffee.
After pushing the seal down to the top of the beans, you just flip the handle over to lock in the freshness. Then you can put the clear lid on top. This helps you see how much coffee you have without exposing it to light.
When you’re ready to grind fresh beans, just take the clear lid off, flip the handle and pull the sealing lid up. It’s a two-handed operation, but it is easy to manage.
If you want to store a pound of coffee, you’ll need the 64oz container (that measures volume). Or you can go with the 32oz if you just need a half pound at a time.
With stainless interior and enamel paint finish (multiple colors available), the container looks great on the counter too. For absolute freshness, the Airscape is hard to beat.
Typhoon Living Blue Coffee Canister — The Vintage Coffee Container
If you value form and want a vintage feel in the kitchen, the Typhoon Living Blue series is a great way to go. And their Coffee Canister fits right in with its matte pastel coating that recalls simple country living.
The bamboo lid looks great on the blue canister, but it also serves a valuable function. With its gasket, the lid seals tightly, protecting your coffee from additional exposure to air and light.
If your beans are still off-gassing, you might find that the lid doesn’t stay on well because of the additional pressure. The Typhoon canister lid doesn’t screw down or use a hinge mechanism, so it could work its way up.
The container is fairly compact at just 5.25 in tall with a 4.25 in diameter. It has a liter capacity, so it should fit half a pound of whole bean coffee.
For coffee drinkers who don’t need a large storage option, and who want something pretty on the counter, the Typhoon is a good call.
77L Ceramic Food Storage Jar — The Minimal Coffee Container
Another option with a bamboo lid, the 77L Ceramic Jar provides a clean look to a minimal kitchen. The ceramic container is a stark white that will fit right in with a sophisticated, modern counter.
Much like the Typhoon, the bamboo lid has a silicone gasket to seal the container. The manufacturer suggests twisting the lid when you press it down to maximize the seal. Without that twist, you might find that your coffee has been exposed to more air.
At just under 6 in tall and 5 in wide, the 77L fits snugly into the compact category. It should hold a standard 12 oz bag of whole bean coffee, but it won’t be enough for an entire pound.
If you want a clean, stark container to hold a small amount of coffee, the 77L is a great option. (It even comes in smaller sizes for other food items or even less coffee.)
What to Consider When Choosing a Coffee Container
Purchasing a container for your coffee shouldn’t be an agonizing decision. For one, it isn’t going to be the most expensive addition to your coffee gear. Also, it’s ultimately just for storage.
That doesn’t mean you should make an uneducated decision, though. You want to ensure that you get a container that protects your beans and matches your needs.
The most important function of a coffee container is to protect the beans from air. To do that, your container should have a dependable seal. The best options apply some sort of pressure, whether through a hinge, a vacuum, or a screwing lid.
Do you buy coffee by the pound? Twelve ounces? Or something smaller or larger? Most containers come in various sizes, but the largest tend to hold between a pound to a pound and a half of whole bean coffee. Make sure you get one large enough to store your beans as soon as you open them.
Another enemy of freshness comes from UV light that affects coffee beans. To protect against this, you will want a container that blocks light altogether or at least provides some element of opaqueness. Or, if you plan to keep the jar in a cabinet, you can opt for a more transparent container.
If you’re opening this container every day (or even more often for some of us), you want it to be easy to operate. Lids that have hinges are typically easy to use even with just one hand.
Other models require a little more effort, which can be particularly difficult if you have arthritis. So look for a container that won’t be annoying every time you use it.
One-way CO2 Valve
There is a lot of debate about the CO2 release valve. These one-way valves are important for roasters because they allow freshly-roasted beans to off-gas without bursting their bags.
If you are opening your canister on a daily basis, though, you are likely releasing all that CO2 anyway. So many people don’t think you need them.
For those who are roasting at home, or picking up freshly-roasted beans locally, you might want to opt for a container with a valve. Otherwise, it is more of an added perk than a requirement.
As with other coffee accessories, it is nice to get something that matches your general aesthetic. Whether that is your main concern or just an afterthought, you’ll find lots of options for how coffee containers look. Or, you might plan to hide it away in the cabinet anyway.
So, coffee containers aren’t really sexy. But super-fresh coffee beans are, which is why it is worth spending a little time getting to know your canisters before you make your next coffee container.
No matter which direction you go (high tech, minimal, or something in between), just promise me that you will move beyond the “folder over the bag and pray” method of keeping your coffee fresh. You paid good money for those beans, so treat them well.