Fresh Roast Coffee

How Long Does Coffee Last? Does Coffee Go Bad?

Last Updated on 29/06/2021 by Miki

If you are a coffee lover, questions like “How long does coffee last?” and “Does coffee go bad?” will naturally occur and you definitely would like to know the answers. In general, these questions are pretty popular. Coffee typically tastes its best when it is just brewed. This is because as the coffee cools it will become more acidic. One way to get the most out of your coffee is to drink it within thirty minutes of brewing. However, the answer to “How long does coffee last?” is not as simple as just 2 weeks or yes/no because we need to take every factor into consideration. To simply put it, there are 3 factors to be considered.

First, it depends on what kind of beans. I didn’t mean Arabica or Robusta, but I meant if they were whole beans, the ground, instant or brewed. Secondly, what you need to consider is if you have opened the package or not. The unopened package will obviously last longer than the opened one. Lastly, it is based on the way how you store it. If you store it in an air-tight container and keep it in a cool and dark pantry, it will last longer. Let’s break these down:

How Long Does Coffee Last?

Whole Beans

Whole beans will last for quite a long compared to the ground as they are less affected by oxidation. They will last for 8 months if you haven’t opened and stored them correctly in your pantry. Once you opened it, it is better to consume it within 6 months. You should keep the opened package in an air-tight container and put it in a cool and dark place.

How Long Does Coffee Last?

Ground Coffee

The ground is recommended to be used within 1 month once you have opened the package since they have a wider surface area that attracts moisture faster than whole beans. If you haven’t opened it, it will last about 3 months in your pantry.

How Long Does Coffee Last?

Instant Coffee

Instant can last much longer as it often contains preservatives. It will last for 2 years if you store it correctly in your pantry. For flavour and your health, this option would be better regarded as a last resort.

How Long Does Coffee Last?

Brewed Coffee

The best way to enjoy brewed is to just drink up after you have made it. You can keep brewed in the fridge, but it is recommended to be consumed within 3 days. If you keep it at room temperature, you should consume it within 6 hours.

How About Freezing Coffee?

Freezing coffee can extend its shelf-life, but it won’t be a permanent solution to keep it fresh. It can absorb other aromas easily and quickly, which means it will be affected in both its flavour and its taste by whatever there are in the freezer. As a coffee lover, you don’t want to experience bad one and nothing can beat freshly-made! That’s why I highly recommend that you should purchase the minimum amount of coffee possible to avoid any deterioration and grind whole beans to the minimum amount needed.

Does Coffee Go Bad?

Yes, coffee does go bad. You can tell from how it smells and how it tastes after brewed. It is pretty aromatic, so it is a sign of going bad if it loses its aroma or it smells different from usual. If it has become less flavoursome, it means it is losing its freshness and it will never be as good as a fresh one. Coffee that is stored incorrectly would become affected by bacteria and you might see mould on it. In this case, you should discard the coffee straight away to avoid making yourself sick.

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How to Store Coffee Correctly

  • Store coffee in an air-tight container, preferably that is opaque so that light cannot penetrate
  • Store coffee in a cool and dark pantry away from sunlight
  • Purchase the minimum amount
  • Grind whole beans just before you make coffee and the right amount you need
  • Freeze the leftover ground if necessary

Final Thoughts

There you’ve got the answer to “How long does coffee last?”. Fresh coffee is undeniably the best in flavour and the longer you store, the less it becomes flavoursome. Although whole beans will last longer than the ground (check this article for the best ground coffee), it is better to purchase a smaller package at a time. I understand that this choice is not the most budget-friendly as bigger packages are usually more economical. But if coffee goes bad and becomes undrinkable, there is no point to keep it. You need to be aware of how to store it correctly to optimise your experience. Storing it in a correct way is just a simple step and it will be perfect if it has become a habit of keep doing. I hope you will enjoy your coffee even more with my little tips and please feel free to share your secret tips in a comment below 🙂

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