Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Many people across different countries and cultures instinctively reach for their morning cup every day. As coffee ages, however, the rich, bold flavors become bitter, dull, acidic, and unpleasant. This can happen in less than six weeks for roasted beans and less than two weeks for coffee grinds.
Unlike roasted coffee beans and grinds, green coffee beans a surprisingly long shelf life under the right conditions. Properly stored, it can last anywhere from six to twelve months from processing.
Recommended Green Coffee Product
What Is Green Coffee?
The coffee beans you’re most probably familiar with are a dark brown in color with a distinct and delightful aroma. Green coffee is actually what that coffee is before it gets roasted – basically, its most natural state. These are the raw seeds of the coffee cherries that have been separated and processed, so that it’s ready for roasting, grinding, and brewing. Much like regular roasted coffee, green coffee’s taste varies according to where it’s from and how it’s processed.
Green coffee has seen a huge push in recent years due to scientific evidence of its health benefits. You’ll probably see a “green coffee extract” label on dietary supplements, weight loss drinks, and alternative health products.
Where Does Green Coffee Grow?
Green coffee comes from any place that regular coffee comes from. Milder coffees come from Central America. African beans from Kenya and Ethiopia tend to have a more acidic or citrusy taste, which makes them perfect for bright, flavorful, and slightly fruity coffees. If you like dark roasts, look for Indonesian and Brazilian green coffees that offer more body and less acidity.
How Is Green Coffee Harvested and Processed?
Coffee cherries, the fruit of the coffee trees, are harvested after a few years. They are then processed through either the dry method (where the coffee is left out to dry in the sun) or the wet method (which removes the pulp from the coffee cherry through a machine). The beans are then dried and milled before being exported for roasting or sale.
Uses Of Green Coffee Beans
For at-home roasting and brewing
Roasting brings out the coffee’s acidity, aroma, and full flavor potential. Compared to buying already-roasted coffee beans, buying green coffee and roasting it at home gives you way more control over its taste and the kind of coffee it produces.
Green coffee can also be consumed without roasting. It will have a very different taste from regular coffee, which might be an acquired taste for some die-hard coffee lovers. Many people drink green coffee straight for its multiple health benefits.
Green coffee bean extract and other products that contain GCE are incredibly popular nowadays. According to some research, GCE can help with managing weight, improving blood circulation, and naturally detoxifying the body.
Benefits Of Green Coffee Beans
Longer shelf life
Roasted coffee beans remain at peak quality for around six weeks after roasting. Coffee grounds have an even shorter shelf life of 1-2 weeks before it starts degrading.
Green coffee beans can still taste great for up to a year after processing, as long as it is stored properly. Some coffee experts even say that frozen, green coffee stays good and fresh indefinitely.
Control roast and flavor
Green coffee beans have a distinct taste depending on its origin, but most of the body and flavor really comes out during the roasting process. If you want to really customize your coffee blend, roasting it at home with green coffee beans gets you involved in the process from the very beginning.
Green coffee beans are rich in antioxidants, which can get removed during the roasting process. It contains pure chlorogenic acid, which is known to aid in weight loss, delay signs of aging, stabilize glucose levels in the bloodstream, reduce bad cholesterol levels, and supports the immune system.
How Long Do Green Coffee Beans Last?
Green coffee beans are known to stay stable for extended periods of time, especially compared to roasted beans or grounds. As long as you store them under the right conditions, they can last up to a year or even more without any noticeable deterioration or change in quality.
How Do I Store Green Coffee Beans?
Just like most food products, we recommend that you store your green coffee beans in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, like your kitchen pantry or cupboard.
The ideal storage temperature is 60F at 60% humidity. Any more, and mold can grow on your beans. Any less and your beans will dry out and lose much of their flavor.
If you want longer-term storage (say, more than a few months), place your green coffee beans in an airtight, sealed container like a jar or Ziploc bag, then store in the freezer. If you separate the beans into smaller bags, you can take them out of the freezer as needed. This is a good way to preserve your green coffee beans while maintaining a consistent temperature and humidity.
It’s still best to use your beans as soon as possible from the date your purchase them. This will ensure that they are at their best, freshest quality.
Where Do I Buy Green Coffee Beans?
With their rising popularity, green coffee beans can be found in grocery stores, coffee shops, and online. One of our personal favorites, Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Tanzanian Peaberry Green Unroasted beans, is available on Amazon for just $33.95 for a 5-pound bag.
Green Coffee FAQ
Is green coffee safe?
Green coffee is not any more harmful to your body than regular roasted coffee. As long as there are no mold spores growing on your beans, green coffee is safe to consume.
Can I drink green coffee without roasting it?
Yes, you can. It will taste different from normal coffee – it has a slightly more herbal taste, like green tea. You can drink green coffee without roasting it by boiling it in hot water or first grinding it into a fine powder. Most people sweeten their green coffee with sugar or honey.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.