Donaldina is a coffee lover and freelance writer from Tanzania. Coffee runs deep in her family - tracing its roots to her grandmother’s running of their first coffee farm in the mid-70s. She enjoys spending her time writing and co-running her grandmother's small robusta coffee farm with her sister in northwest Tanzania during the summer seasons.
What Is A Coffee Jar?
A coffee jar refers to a canister fitted with an airtight lid used to primarily store ground coffee or coffee beans. However, it is not limited to just coffee storage, a coffee jar is pretty versatile and comes with multiple applications. You can use it as a mug, for brewing, or even a component for a manual grinder, to name a few.
Coffee Jar Uses
Coffee jars are primarily used to store both whole coffee beans and ground coffee beans. When choosing the right jar, you want to ensure it has an airtight design to prevent air penetration or moisture build up.
When I store whole beans, whether green or roasted, I love to use mason coffee jars – my personal favorite is Vensp Glass Jar.
When I grind a lot of coffee and have some leftovers, I prefer to use a coffee jar with a scoop. This makes it easier to handle the powder and allows for precision measuring when scooping coffee for my French Press. My favorite coffee jar with a scoop is the KKC Glass Jar with Spoon.
When using a coffee jar, however, you have to consider several factors. First, a coffee jar is not an ideal long term coffee storage option. At most, you use a coffee jar for your week to two weeks' supply – making it more convenient to access the coffee every morning.
After all, freshly roasted coffee or ground coffee will only retain its freshness within this period. Additionally, you have to think of other external factors that may quickly degrade the coffee if stored in large quantities.
The see-through design of a coffee jar means the coffee is exposed to light (always remember to store it in a dark cabinet). Further, the frequent opening and closing of the jar will allow air to penetrate the inside – even with an airtight lid.
You can also turn your coffee jar into a mason jar coffee mug. A mason jar is a particularly excellent mug for cold brews. So, what fancier way to enjoy a cold brew with a splash of milk and plenty of ice than a spacious, see-through jar that allows you to see the contents? In fact, you can use your mason jar to brew your iced coffee.
Manual Grinder Component
You can also use your coffee jar as a component for a manual coffee grinder. If you like to enjoy your coffee freshly ground every morning, a manual grinder attached to a glass jar is a great and practical investment.
All you do is grind the beans enough for you day’s or week’s supply and collect it into the jar. Tightly secure its lid and you have properly stored freshly ground coffee. The best part of these tools is you will enjoy coffee shop worthy coffee without splurging on expensive grinding tools.
Lastly, you can use your coffee jar with freshly roasted coffee beans in it as décor. Now, scented candles and scent diffusers aren’t always the safest and most natural ways to get a relaxing aroma in your home. On the other hand, waking up to the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans beats any synthetic scent.
All you do is load your jar with some freshly roasted coffee beans and leave it open on the countertop for a beautiful and natural fresh coffee scent to envelop your kitchen and living room (if you have an open plan home).
Tips For Choosing The Best Coffee Jars
Glass vs Plastic vs Metal vs Ceramic
Glass, metal, and ceramic are the best materials for coffee jars. This is because these materials are neutral and will not leach any funny flavors into your coffee. Further, their properties allow them to maintain ambient conditions for preserving the coffee’s freshness.
These include maintaining the right temperature and repelling moisture. Opaque containers or those stored in a dark place also protect the coffee from light.
Plastic may not be the best option as it tends to allow condensation. This, in turn, leads to moisture build up which damages your coffee. With increased moisture build up, ultimately, your beans grow mold while ground coffee cakes develop mold.
Moreover, poor quality plastic tends to be absorbent and can lead to your coffee picking up the aromas and other volatile compounds around.
Wood vs Plastic Lid
You should always go for a coffee jar with a wooden lid. A wooden lid is non-absorbent and offers neutral properties. This means your coffee will not absorb any smells or surrounding compounds. Additionally, a wooden lid offers an airtight seal, essential to preserving your coffee’s freshness.
Consider Other Factors
Coffee is typically degraded due to four key factors, i.e air, moisture, extreme temperatures, and light. To reduce the effects of these factors:
- Air/oxygen: Ensure the jar has an airtight wooden lid. If you plan to store the beans or ground coffee for longer than 2 weeks (if you plan on being out of town, etc), use a vacuum sealer to pull out any excess air inside the jar after loading your coffee.
- Moisture: Glass, ceramic, or metal are a better option than plastic as they don’t promote moisture buildup.
- Extreme temperatures & light: Always store your see-through jars in a cool and dry place, ideally a cabinet. Also keep it away from your stove, windows, or other sources of heat. Plus, never place the jar in a refrigerator or freezer. A wooden lid on your jar also does a great job at repelling heat as it is non-absorbent.