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Coffee Guides

How Long Does Coffee Last?

Probably, you have ever thrown out old, rancid coffee. But for how long does coffee last before you consider throwing it away? Are those coffee beans in your kitchen cabinet still fresh? How long do they remain fresh? In this article, we will answer these questions in detail to ensure you brew the freshest and tastiest coffee at all times.

how long does coffee last

Does Coffee Really Go Bad?

Most food items expire after a certain period. However, coffee does not really expire. Brewing coffee with old beans will only give you a bad-tasting cup. But it’ll not make you sick. However, if the coffee beans or grounds get wet or become moldy, they are unsafe for consumption and should be tossed.

Coffee beans and coffee grounds are both packaged as dry food. As a dry food, coffee does not have a strict expiration date that you should keep in mind. Essentially, roasted beans are shelf-stable when properly stored. Keep them away from light, heat, and humidity. That way, they’ll last long without going bad.

Unfortunately, the quality of beans deteriorates over time. Although they don’t necessarily expire, they lose their freshness and unique flavor over time. Serious coffee lovers are strict about the taste, freshness, and quality of their coffee. Thus, you should not brew with beans that can ruin your morning more than anything else.

How Long Do Whole Beans Coffee Last?

Whole coffee beans last longer than ground coffee. Thus, you should keep your coffee beans whole until you are ready to brew coffee. Only grind them just before brewing. If you must grind a large batch of coffee beans, ensure you can use the coffee grounds within two to three weeks. An unopened bag of roasted coffee beans can last for a year while an opened bag remains fresh for about a week.

How Long Does Ground Coffee Last?

It’s recommended to grind coffee beans that you can finish in one brewing cycle. If you must use pre-ground coffee, use the batch within two weeks. In case you keep ground coffee for a long period, it will lose its flavor notes sooner.

Do Single-Serve Coffee Pods Expire?

Coffee pods are becoming more popular today. Unfortunately, most coffee pods stay on store shelves for several weeks or months before being sold out. As a result, it becomes challenging to come across fresh ones. If you prefer their convenience, source them from roasters to stand a better chance of getting them while still fresh. They are usable a year after their best-by date.

How Long Does Brewed Coffee Last?

After you brew coffee, it’ll remain fresh for about twelve hours at room temperature. You can prolong its freshness by storing it in the refrigerator for about three to four days. However, brew what you can consume within a day to enjoy its rich flavor and taste.

How Long Does Instant Coffee Last?

Instant coffee is preferred for its convenience. You can prepare coffee within minutes by mixing the instant powder with hot water. It remains fresh for about two weeks upon opening the storage container.

What Makes Coffee Beans Degrade?

The quality of coffee beans deteriorates over time. They degrade due to:

  1. Oxygen

Coffee beans oxidize when exposed to oxygen. Oxidation reduces their flavor over time.

  1. Moisture

Exposing coffee beans to humidity makes them go bad. Moisture creates a perfect ground for mold to grow on the beans, thereby making them unusable.

  1. High temperature

Coffee dislikes hotness unless it’s time to brew it. It loses its flavor when exposed to high temperatures.

  1. Sunlight

Light is yet another enemy of coffee beans. Many people choose glass jars to store beans. However, transparent containers will allow light to pass through and degrade the quality of the beans.

How to Store Coffee Beans Properly

Now, you know how long does coffee last. To add to that, you can prolong the freshness of your coffee by following these tips:

#1- Store coffee beans in sealed containers

Coffee beans should be stored in airtight jars. Ensure it’s sealable to avoid exposing the beans to both oxygen and moisture. We recommend you keep them in an opaque glass jar. If possible, place the jar in a dark cabinet.

#2- Buy coffee beans in small batches

Preferably, purchase what you can consume in three to four weeks. Doing so will make sure you brew with fresh beans and enjoy tasty coffee.

#3- Keep humidity and heat low

It’s best to store your beans in a dark cabinet where there is minimal exposure away from to heat and moisture. Cabinets are often cooler than countertops.

Is It a Good Idea to Freeze Coffee Beans?

Freezers are used to store many food items. However, freezing coffee beans is a bad idea. Coffee beans are porous. Hence, they can absorb freezer smells and humidity. If you need to freeze your beans, put them in sealable freezer bags. Thaw them when you’re ready to grind them.