Coffee Bean Vacuum Savers

Published January 1, 2010. From Cook's Illustrated.

These storage containers promises to help coffee beans stay fresher longer, but is it any more effective than a zipper-lock storage bag?

Overview:

We tested three models (two with manual vacuum pumps and one battery powered), placing fresh-roasted whole coffee beans in each container and leaving them sealed for a week. While manual pumps initially created a tight vacuum, by the end of the week, their seals had broken, allowing moisture to condense on the beans, leaving them oily and odorless. The battery-operated product maintained its seal perfectly; its contents were dry and boasted a rich, fresh aroma. Now came the real test: After another week, we made three pots of coffee from beans stored in the winner, in a zipper-lock bag, and from a freshly opened bag. The differences were marginal. If you only make coffee at home on weekends, the winning product would be a great choice. But if you make coffee every day, that vacuum seal does you no good: We compared the it to our usual storage method of a zipper-lock bag with the air pressed out, opening and closing both daily over 12 days (the outer limit for optimal freshness) to simulate daily use. At the end of 12 days, we… read more

We tested three models (two with manual vacuum pumps and one battery powered), placing fresh-roasted whole coffee beans in each container and leaving them sealed for a week. While manual pumps initially created a tight vacuum, by the end of the week, their seals had broken, allowing moisture to condense on the beans, leaving them oily and odorless. The battery-operated product maintained its seal perfectly; its contents were dry and boasted a rich, fresh aroma. Now came the real test: After another week, we made three pots of coffee from beans stored in the winner, in a zipper-lock bag, and from a freshly opened bag. The differences were marginal. If you only make coffee at home on weekends, the winning product would be a great choice. But if you make coffee every day, that vacuum seal does you no good: We compared the it to our usual storage method of a zipper-lock bag with the air pressed out, opening and closing both daily over 12 days (the outer limit for optimal freshness) to simulate daily use. At the end of 12 days, we compared coffee made from each to coffee brewed from fresh beans. Turns out the fresh coffee didn’t score much higher than coffee from the our favorite vacuum saver, which in turn was only slightly better than brew from the zipper-lock bag. (After 10 more days, coffee from both the zipper-lock bags and the Bean Vac was stale and bitter.) For those who make coffee daily, these products are a waste of money. For occasional coffee drinkers, it’s a good storage solution.

less
In My Favorites
Please Wait…
Remove Favorite
Add to custom collection