Should I buy coffee in 5-lb bags to save money?

in Buying Coffee

grocerystorecoffeeQuestion:

I can save almost 1/3 if I buy coffee beans in 5 lb bags from my local coffee shop, instead in a 12 oz bag which my family consumes in a week. Is the savings worth it, or will the coffee beans go stale in the 6-7 weeks it will take us to use up all the beans? We grind as much as we need daily in our Baratza Virtuoso, which we then use mostly in a Rancilio Silvia espresso machine, although some of it also goes into an Aeropress & a French press,

Diane Allen

 

Diane,

I love this question!
Coffee is perishable, so the more you buy, the less likely it stays fresh before you’re done with it.  I used to buy Costco coffee in 5-lb bags to save money.  I wouldn’t necessarily notice the degradation in quality as I went through that large a quantity, but when I finished it and bought a new fresh bag, I definitely noticed the difference.

3dbeans

Think of coffee as you would any other perishable item.  You likely wouldn’t buy fruit in bulk in order to save money if you knew it wouldn’t stay fresh.  I recommend only buying as much coffee as you intend to go through in the next 2-3 weeks.  Beyond that, what you’re saving in money, you’re giving up in quality.
This often leads into the question of whether you can save money on coffee by buying it in bulk, and putting some of it in your freezer to save it.  Coffee is sensitive to the smells that are around it, and it will absorb smells from the other things in your freezer.  Also, the dramatic drops in temperature to freezing, and from freezing, will also cause some of the coffee’s flavor to be lost.

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