Coffee Canister: What You Need To Know Before You Buy One


Many people view coffee as an essential part of their daily routine. Whether you drink this beverage with milk, prefer it completely black, or enjoy it some other way, it’s great for waking you up on those days when you just don’t want to roll out of bed. Several different factors play a role in crafting a good pot of coffee, but beans are especially important. According to Nescafé, there are four main types of coffee beans: Arabica, Robusta, Exclesa, and Liberica. Some of these beans provide sweet, fruity, or floral notes, while others offer a stronger, woody flavor. So, it’s important that you determine what flavors you enjoy before purchasing beans, as they can make or break your cup of coffee.

In addition to selecting the right beans, it’s also imperative that you keep coffee fresh for as long as possible. Nobody wants stale coffee, as it typically lacks any flavor or aroma, per Coffee Bros. Want to ensure that you’re always making a fresh cup of joe? Well, a coffee canister is what you need, but there are a few things you should know before purchasing one.

Are Coffee Canisters Necessary?

Typically an opaque airtight container or coffee bag is preferred, but not absolutely necessary if you’re storing the coffee in a dark pantry. Limiting your coffee’s exposure to air, heat, light and moisture will ensure your beans stay vibrant and fresher for longer.

There are three types of coffee canisters

There are three types of coffee canisters
There are three types of coffee canisters

In a world full of coffee storage tools, it can be difficult to find the perfect solution for storing your beans. From shrinking chambers to mason jars, there is a seemingly endless supply of options available today. How does one decide on what is best for maximum preservation? In general, there are three types of coffee containers—airtight, displacement, and vacuum—and we are going to break down each of their key features. Get your Bill Nye goggles on. It’s time to learn about the science of storage!

1. Airtight

The most popular container in an average household has got to be airtight containers—think mason jars, recycled glass (e.g. large pickle jars), and containers with a pop-top lid. These are great options for organization or keeping your coffee and dry goods protected from pesky invaders like ants and roaches during the summer. Airtight jars are also considered an affordable and sustainable choice. You can commonly find people picking up bulk dry goods at the local grocery to refill their jars at home, instead of buying things like plastic bagged rice over and over again. But unfortunately, that’s where the benefits seem to end. As far as preservation goes, there is no discernible difference between an airtight container and pre-bagged products. Your grocery items are still exposed to a considerable amount of oxygen whether the lid is on or off. This allows for steady oxidation, resulting in minimal preservation long-term. 

3. Displacement

Displacement containers are another popular option, especially in the coffee and tea market. These devices rely on shrinking the area in the device, usually with a lid that you push into the container. As you press the lid, air rushes out, removing “empty space” between the lid and it’s contents. Despite the fact that this type of product removes air, in practice, there isn’t much difference between this type of storage and folding up your coffee bag, smooshing the air out, and tying a rubber band around it. Sure, it limits oxygen exposure, but oxygen is still present, albeit much less than in airtight containers. 

3. Vacuum

Atmos (and other vacuum containers) pumps oxygen out of the container, reducing pressure, and minimizes rate of oxidation. Vacuum canisters typically have a separate tool to remove oxygen from the container, much like wine vacuum pumps. Our Atmos inventor, Drew Cosgarea, found that having the air pump separate from the device was a big letdown—you’re more likely to lose the pump, and it isn’t very convenient. This is why Drew designed the lid as an all-in-one vacuum tool. In order to seal and pressurize the container, crank the lid back and forth. This is another super cool design element. Since people are so accustomed to turning jar lids back and forth, vacuum sealing the Atmos lid with that same cranking motion would be second-nature for users.

Final Thoughts

In a side-by-side comparison of airtight, displacement, and vacuum storage containers, the differences are quite stark. James Hoffmann, YouTube coffee influencer extraordinaire, put about a dozen containers to the test—tasting coffees stored in various airtight, displacement, and vacuum canisters—followed by an espresso-pulling test to better highlight any differences. In his video, Hoffmann admits there wasn’t a huge difference between the coffees during his tasting, but that vacuum canisters did, in fact, perform better. 

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