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Whole black peppercorn storage/shelf life

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We mail order black peppercorns and have tended to purchase them in small quantities, going through 7 oz in a few months.

I am thinking about increasing the order to save on postage, but I am not clear how long the shelf life is of whole peppercorns. I figure that there is/are only one or two harvests a year and that there must be some way of storing them at the wholesale level.

Does anyone have any thoughts/tips? Am I destined to paying postage more frequently for our pleasure?

Thanks
KK

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  1. The bags I buy usually have around a couple of years "sell by" date.