In order to make a beautiful cup of coffee it is best if you can purchase fresh ingredients. This is easiest if you buy fresh unroasted beans. You should then roast and grind the beans as you plan to use them. Roasting beans isn't exactly easy, in fact it's very difficult unless you have specialist equipment. This equipment is actually fairly expensive. If you don't invest in this then it might be a bit hit and miss.
Even if you roast the beans properly it can create quite a strong smell which can spread throughout the whole house and can become very irritating. After you've roasted your beans they will stay fresh for a few days. Freshly roasted beans will release some carbon dioxide, this keeps oxygen away from them which is responsible for causing the beans to decay.
If you keep these in an airtight container then the beans should keep for around a week before they start to lose their flavor. You should still try to grind the beans as soon as possible after roasting so that they retain as much of their flavor as possible. After a couple of weeks the aroma may have disappeared however the taste may be acceptable.
Roasted coffee will start to be flavorless after around a month. The best way to get a nice cup of coffee from roasted beans that you purchase is to make sure the skins are not broken. If the skins become broken then the oil will start to cause the flavor to be lost. When you are storing coffee beans you should make sure you store them in an airtight container. Many people try to use instant coffee glass jars, but these aren't good enough, you need a glass jar with a proper airtight rubber seal. You can find these from many online shops specializing in coffee.
You should store the jar of coffee in a dark and cool place as heat can damage the coffee. You can purchase even better containers for storing coffee, these contain inert gasses which prevents oxygen damaging the beans. If you use one of these jars to keep the beans then they can be kept for a number of weeks. If you're not up to roasting the beans yourself then you could just consider grinding the beans at home. You can find grinders are actually fairly cheap nowadays, even good quality ones are quite reasonable. Many of these are easy to use with mostly automated processes.
If you don't use the coffee grounds within a couple of days then this can result in decay of the bean as you are cutting through the skin of the bean. Ideally you should use these within 24 hours, or you can keep them in a canister with a drying agent which keeps moisture from affecting the grounds. If you don't store the grounds in one of these desiccating canisters then the grounds will quickly lose their flavor. The air will cause the oil to evaporate and take some of the flavor away. For the best cup you should grind only the amount of coffee which you want to use and brew it within an hour.
Jerry Blackburn repeatedly edits web pages on information related to coffee and cappachino machines and all about cappuchino. His work on home cappuccino makers can be found on his site .