I have been to Folgers' website and the coffee giant recommends coffee only up to it's best by date. There are other sites that verify roasted coffee changing it's flavor after exposure to air. Even if refrigerated, once opened coffee is only considered good for a month. Should anything happen to the global market and grind the gears of commerce to a halt, coffee will be worth it's weight in gold for a time.
The green coffee bean is a wet processed bean that the hull has been soaked off of then bagged in burlap and shipped green. This time as a coffee bean seems to be the best way to store coffee long term as the bean is shipped around the world and stored waiting to be roasted and canned or bagged then shipped to your store.
www.sweetmarias.com is Sweet Maria's Coffee Library. The site recommends the storage of green or unroasted coffee beans to be stored at a constant 75 degrees. A cooler is suggested for extremely dry or humid climates.
I have searched Answers.com and other informational sites to find coffee does not like the shelf. Even as a whole bean, roasted coffee beans must be packed in an airtight container that has been opened several times in the first week to allow gasses to escape before being sealed for a year. After a year, it begins to loose it's flavor.
For the longest storage for long term prepper's I suggest buying from an established online source like:
http://www.coffeebeandirect.com $5-$10 a pound plus shipping.
http://www.sweetmarias.com is a bit more but they sell roasting supplies too
http://www.burmancoffee.com offers more blends and bulk.
There are many methods for brewing coffee. The stove top coffee brewer, also called a percolator, is a good appliance to store with your long term storage and have one on hand to practice with in the kitchen.
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