Does Coffee Go Out of Date?

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Regular readers need no reminding that coffee is one of the most popular beverages drunk around the world and, for many people, it is an essential part of their daily routine.

However, there is a question that many coffee drinkers have: does coffee go out of date?

Well, in this article, we will be exploring this concern and, hopefully we will be able to answer this question and provide some tips on how to store your coffee to ensure that it stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible.


While some people prefer to drink their coffee immediately after brewing, others enjoy keeping it for consumption later. This raises the question of whether coffee has an expiration date or if it can go bad over time.

But first, let’s explore the science behind coffee’s shelf life and provide some tips on how to ensure your coffee stays fresh for longer.

What is Coffee Expiration Date?

When you purchase coffee from a store, you will often see an expiration date printed on the packaging. This date indicates the last date that the coffee is guaranteed to be of its best quality.

Coffee expiration dates are typically set between three to six months after the roast date. However, it is essential to note that these dates are not set in stone, and coffee can last longer than the expiration date if it is stored correctly.

Does Coffee Expire?

Coffee, like many food products, can go bad over time.

However, unlike most food products, coffee does not spoil in the traditional sense. This means that you will not get sick from drinking expired coffee, but it may simply not taste as good as fresh coffee. still, in our book, that’s bad enough – who wants to drink bad coffee?

What Happens to Coffee After it Expires?

As coffee ages, it begins to lose its flavor and aroma.

This is due to a process called oxidation, which occurs when coffee comes into contact with air. As the coffee oxidizes, the oils and flavors that give it its distinct taste begin to break down, resulting in stale-tasting coffee.

How to Store Coffee?

To keep your coffee fresh for as long as possible, it is essential to store it correctly. Becasue of oxidization, the best way to store coffee is in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

This will help prevent it from coming into contact with air and moisture, which can cause it to go stale.

Factors that Affect Coffee’s Shelf Life

Several factors can affect the shelf life of coffee, including the roast date, the storage conditions, and the type of coffee.

Roasted coffee typically has a shorter shelf life than green coffee beans, which can last up to a year when stored correctly.

Additionally, coffee that is ground has a shorter shelf life than whole bean coffee as it exposes more surface area to air and moisture.

Can You Still Drink Expired Coffee?

Man Drinking Bad Coffee

While it is generally safe to drink expired coffee, it may not taste as good as fresh coffee. If your coffee has passed its expiration date, you may notice a stale taste, a lack of aroma, or a decrease in flavor intensity.

However, if you store your coffee correctly, it can last much longer than the expiration date, and you may not notice any significant difference in taste or aroma.

How to Tell if Coffee has Gone Bad?

If you are unsure whether your coffee has gone bad, there are several signs to look out for.

Firstly, if the coffee has a stale or rancid smell, it may have gone bad or, if the coffee has a bitter or sour taste, this could be a sign that it has gone stale. Of course, if the coffee has mold growing on it, this is a clear indication that it is no longer safe to consume so be sure to throw it out.

How to Revive Stale Coffee?

We believe that no coffee should ever go to waste. So, if you have coffee that has gone stale, you’ll be glad to hear (as we were) that there are a few tricks you can take to try and revive it.

Believe it or not but one method is to add a pinch of salt to the coffee before brewing. This can help bring out the coffee’s natural flavors and reduce any bitterness.

Another method and this is my personal favorite, is to add a small amount of cinnamon to the coffee before brewing, which can add a warm, spicy flavor to the coffee – yum!

How to Avoid Buying Old Coffee?

Let’s face it, not every shopkeeper is, well, up-front about the goods there are selling. of course, reputable coffee suppliers such as Caber Coffee, will never sell you sub-standard out-of-date products but it doesn’t hurt to check the roast date when purchasing coffee.

Look for coffee that has been roasted within the past few weeks, as this will ensure that the coffee is fresh and has not had time to go stale.

Also, avoid purchasing coffee that has been sitting on a store shelf for an extended period as this may have already gone stale.

How Long Does Ground Coffee Last?

Ground coffee typically has a shorter shelf life than whole bean coffee, as it is exposed to more air and moisture. If stored correctly in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, ground coffee can last up to two weeks. However, for the best flavor, it is recommended to use ground coffee within a week of grinding.

How Long Does Roasted Coffee Last?

Cooling tray with brown roasted coffee beans

Roasted coffee can last up to several months if stored correctly in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. However, for the best flavor, it is recommended to use roasted coffee within one month of the roast date.

How Long Does Instant Coffee Last?

Instant coffee typically has a longer shelf life than roasted or ground coffee as it is dehydrated and does not contain the oils that can go rancid over time. If stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, instant coffee can last up to two years.


In conclusion, coffee does go out of date, but the shelf life of coffee can be extended with proper storage techniques. Paying attention to the roast date, storing coffee in an airtight container, and avoiding exposure to air and moisture can help keep coffee fresh for longer. If you have coffee that has gone stale, there are several methods to revive it, including adding a pinch of salt or cinnamon before brewing. By following these tips, you can ensure that your coffee stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible.


  1. Can you get sick from drinking expired coffee?
  • No, you cannot get sick from drinking expired coffee, but it may not taste as good as fresh coffee.
  1. How long does ground coffee last in the freezer?
  • Ground coffee can last up to six months in the freezer if stored in an airtight container.
  1. Can you reuse coffee grounds?
  • Yes, coffee grounds can be reused, but the resulting coffee will be weaker and less flavorful than the first brew.
  1. Is it safe to drink coffee with mold on it?
  • No, it is not safe to drink coffee with mold on it.
  1. Can you store coffee in the refrigerator?
  • It is not recommended to store coffee in the refrigerator as it can absorb odors from other foods and moisture, which can cause it to go stale faster.

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About the author

Coffee addict and self confessed obsessive with all things Java, Dave loves to write about coffee nearly as much as he enjoys drinking it. Can always be found no more than 2 feet away from a fresh brew!

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