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Coffee Tips

Can You Bring Coffee Beans on a Plane?

As a coffee connoisseur, sometimes you want to carry your favorite coffee beans as you travel. Furthermore, coffee beans differ in taste, aroma, and flavor depending on the region or state where they originate from.

And so, you may be wondering: can you bring Coffee beans on a plane? And if yes, how much of the beans can you carry? This article will discuss everything you should know regarding coffee beans and airports, including how long your coffee beans are safe for consumption when packed in luggage. Read on!

coffee beans on plane

Can You Bring Coffee Beans on a Plane?

The simple answer is yes. Feel free to bring your coffee beans as checked luggage or carry-on baggage on a plane. There’s no limit to the amount of coffee beans you should bring on a plane. The coffee beans should either be in their original package, a container with an airtight lid, or a resealable bag.

The Travel Security Association (TSA) recommends that you pack your bag in a way that foods – such as coffee beans are easy to pull out and labeled. Furthermore, A TSA agent may need you to pull the coffee beans out for better inspection of your bag. Additionally, TSA agents may ask you to declutter your carry-on bag to separate foods, powders, and other materials that may obstruct the screening process. This way, the screening lines can move without obstruction.


Should You Bring Coffee Beans On International Flights?

Different countries have different rules and requirements on what to bring into their country. Most countries don’t allow you to bring in foods and plants. They do this to protect the country’s agriculture, native plants, and livestock.

Furthermore, bringing meat, seeds, and soil from one country to another can introduce new pests, thus causing a lot of damage. Therefore, before packing your coffee grounds for travel, read through the country’s requirements on the official government website. If you’re still unsure, you can enquire from the customs agents once you land in the country of destination.


Can You Bring Coffee Beans On flights into the U.S.A?

Yes, you can bring coffee beans into the U.S.A. If you’re in doubt, you can talk to a customs agent or fill out a declaration form. The current U.S specifics (confirm on the USDA website) regarding coffee beans state that you can bring any amount of roasted coffee beans into the U.S through any port of entry. However, you’ll need to declare them to the customs and border protection (CBP).

Additionally, you can bring into the U.S green coffee beans through any continental port of entry as long as you declare them at customs. However, you cannot bring the green coffee beans into Puerto Rico or Hawaii.

Equally important, you can’t bring coffee cherries and coffee plants into the U.S, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico since they may carry fruit flies. Moreover, the U.S doesn’t allow you to carry in any vegetables, plants, soil, meat, seeds, and fresh fruits.


How to Bring Coffee Beans on a Plane

The best way to bring your favorite coffee beans on a plane is in their original packaging. This is because TSA will inspect thoroughly foods that have been repackaged rather than those in their retailing packaging.

However, if you plan on carrying coffee beans that are not in their original packaging, consider putting them in a resealable bag or airtight container for ease in inspections and to extend the coffee bean’s shelf life. Furthermore, you may have to declutter your carry-on bag for an easy screening process.

Most importantly, declare your coffee beans or other foods once you’ve landed. This is because different countries have their own rules regarding the transportation of foods or seeds such as coffee beans into their country. Furthermore, the Travel Security Association is only in charge of flight safety.

Once you land at your destination, the Customs Border Protection (CBP) takes charge. The TSA and CBP rules may differ. Therefore, declare your foods and coffee beans during arrival to a new country. This applies to whether the country legalizes bringing in coffee beans or not. Don’t assume. Here is how to go about the declaration process of your coffee beans.


Custom Border Protection Declaration Process

First and foremost, the coffee beans and other foods declaration process involves filling in a customs declaration form. While filling in the form, you’re required to list any wildlife or agricultural products you may be carrying.

The declaration form provides information about who you are and the commodities you are carrying. Listing the foods or agricultural products you’re carrying is important since it notifies the CBP officers earlier so that the products are screened for pests and diseases.

As mentioned earlier, any pests and diseases that are unscreened may damage the country’s agricultural state. Additionally, after filling out the declaration form, a customs officer may ask further questions regarding the coffee beans – whether they are for commercial or personal purposes.

For commercial purposes, you may have to file a customs declaration and pay duties as required. This may be a long but worthwhile process to avoid unnecessary confusion.


Reasons Why It’s Important to Declare Your Coffee

As mentioned earlier, the declaration process may be long but it’s worth it. One of the reasons why this process is important is to avoid heavy fining from CBP.  The CBP fine of not declaring coffee beans and other foods can amount up to 10,000 dollars.

Additionally, declaring your coffee will save you the time you would have otherwise wasted being detained as you wait for clearance. For a smooth flight experience, ensure you declare your coffee beans and other foods you may have.


Can You Bring Liquid Coffee On a Plane?

Yes. You can bring and enjoy your coffee on a plane. However, there’re conditions that you may need to follow. For example, you are required to only carry 100ml of any liquid on a plane. This applies to all liquids including your coffee.

Additionally, the coffee should be in a sealable and stable container for the security of fellow passengers especially if your beverage is hot. Moreover, you can opt for cold or iced coffee such as frappes or Frappuccino. Basically, TSA officers have no issue with any drinks or coffee you buy after security protocols.


Can You Bring Coffee-Making Equipment On a Plane?

Yes. You can bring your coffee maker and other brewing equipment on a plane. This equipment is treated as luggage. However, you’ll need to consider the weight of the coffee maker.

Additionally, pack your coffee maker and other brewing equipment as checked luggage especially if there are any removable blades. This is a security measure for the other passengers. Also, ensure your coffee maker is empty – with no liquid or water to avoid the liquid rule-related issues.


Coffee Beans Shelf-Life

Roasted coffee beans that are stored in a non-vacuum bag and at room temperature have a shelf-life of between two to four weeks.



To sum everything up, you can carry your coffee beans on domestic or international planes. However, ensure that you declare the coffee beans to the Customs Border Protection. Additionally, ensure you’re willing for your coffee beans inspection since most people will use such opportunities to hide the illegal stuff. Equally important, either store your coffee beans in their original packaging, an airtight container, or a resealable bag.


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