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Ground coffee definitely does oxidize. The coffee snobs insist on using it within 15 minutes of grinding. The airtight container doesn't make a ton of difference, the problem is surface area. Once it's ground, there's plenty of air in between all those grains of coffee to oxidize it, even in an airtight container. The oxygen gets replaced every time you open it anyway.

Those sealed cans of folgers etc. are packed with nitrogen or co2, cant remember which, if they aren't vacuum packed.

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My friend works at a pretty nice coffee shop and he told me the reason you don't store coffee in the fridge is because it acts like baking soda, taking on all the flavors/smells of the other stuff in the fridge. Not entirely related to what you're saying, but maybe somewhat relevant.

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