If you’re like many coffee drinkers, you might be surprised to learn that the answer to this question is yes. Coffee just like any other consumable can go bad, although it generally lasts longer than many people think it does.
How long will your coffee last? That depends on how fresh it was when you bought it, where you stored it, and whether or not it’s even an optimal choice for long-term storage in the first place.
While coffee may never go bad in the traditional sense, it will become stale over time and lose its flavor if not properly cared for.
Whether you’re an aspiring barista or just an avid coffee drinker, knowing how to properly store coffee beans is essential to getting the most out of them, both in terms of flavor and aroma, as well as shelf life.
Does Coffee Expire If Unopened?
Coffee does not expire if unopened. If coffee is opened, it will last for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Coffee is best after being roasted, but it can be stored for a few months with minimal flavor changes. The ideal temperature for storing coffee is between 50- and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
If a package of coffee is opened, it should be transferred to an airtight container, and stored in a cool, dry place.
Coffee left at room temperature will only have about half as long of shelf life.
Some Coffee Expire If Opened While Others Don’t: Not all coffee will expire if unopened.
However, once you open that bag of beans or ground beans, they are less likely to maintain their freshness for more than two weeks.
One way to ensure that your coffee lasts longer is by transferring the contents into an airtight container and storing them in a cool, dry place like your fridge or pantry.
Can You Drink Expired Ground Coffee?
Just like milk, coffee can turn sour over time. That usually happens when oxygen gets in contact with it for an extended period. Coffee doesn’t have a long shelf life (typically 3-7 days) before it expires and turns sour or stale.
Once your ground coffee expires, it will start to lose its fresh flavor, change color, and won’t be as fresh when you drink it.
Some companies suggest that you can drink expired ground coffee, but it is not recommended.
In addition to losing its fresh flavor and getting stale, it may become moldy and even cause food poisoning when you consume it. Expired coffee will have a sour, acidic taste once oxygen gets in contact with it over an extended period.
That’s why most coffee products are packaged in tightly sealed containers before being sold to customers.
How Long Is Coffee Good After the Expiration Date?
Coffee can last a long time—not only is it better for you than sugary sodas, but most home-brewed java stays fresh longer than you might think.
Coffee’s active ingredient, caffeine, makes it a good choice for the bathroom cabinet or your bug-out bag; even if it goes stale, caffeine doesn’t go bad in the way that sugar and salt do.
However, storing coffee properly is key to making sure it stays fresh longer.
Before you throw away your next batch of unused coffee, here’s how long your grounds and brewed cups are good for.
The shelf life of coffee beans depends on their type and how you store them. Beans will last for about a year, according to Wisconsin-based roaster Navazos Spiliadis.
If you grind them fresh at home, then brew them within a few days, they should be safe to drink for up to one week after grinding though not necessarily tasty.
ALSO SEE: What Is the Ph in Coffee?
How to Tell if Coffee is Rancid
It is possible to have a rancid coffee experience if you are not careful. Several things can cause your coffee to taste bad, but if it tastes rancid and nothing seems to improve its flavor, you may want to throw it out. Before disposing of your coffee, though, there are some things you can do to tell whether or not it is still safe for consumption.
The first sign of rancid coffee is a sour taste. The sour flavor can be accompanied by other flavors, including a taste similar to vinegar. Your coffee will likely also smell bad if it has gone bad, as well.
You might notice an odor that resembles rotten eggs or perhaps mold. These odors may not always be present when your coffee starts to go rancid, but they are signs that it is time to throw out your supply and start fresh with new coffee beans.
If you have concerns about your coffee tasting sour or it having an odd smell, but aren’t sure if these are signs that it has gone rancid, there are some other things to look for.
One of these is a thick layer of mold on top of your coffee grounds. This type of mold doesn’t just smell bad; it can also give you food poisoning if you consume it with food or water.
Rancid Coffee Symptoms
Coffee beans become rancid when they’re exposed to oxygen, light, or heat.
Rancid coffee causes a sour smell and taste, so symptoms are easy to detect. If you’re smelling sour coffee and experiencing heartburn or acid reflux, odds are you’ve made yourself a cup of rancid brew. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
What Happens If You Drink Expired Instant Coffee?
Drinking expired coffee can cause symptoms like vomiting and stomach cramps, but it’s unlikely to be life-threatening unless you have an allergy. Still, it’s probably not a good idea to drink old instant coffee just as it’s not a good idea to eat stale foods that won’t spoil and create no ill effects. You never know when something may have gone bad so avoid expired foods altogether.
What Will Happen If You Drink Coffee That Expired 2 Months Ago?
Drinking expired coffee is not going to do much harm if anything, you may taste a very slight difference (although your body may absorb some of that old flavor). That being said, we wouldn’t recommend it.
What Happens if You Drink Coffee that Expired Last Year?
We have all done it at one point in time, drank a cup of coffee that was left over from last year.
Sometimes it tastes so good, you think nothing happened to it and drink a cup before bed. However, what happens if you drink coffee that expired last year?
No matter if you are drinking an exam-expired coffee bean or instant coffee, there could be problems associated with drinking something that has passed its prime.
Can You Drink 2-Year-Old Coffee?
While it’s true that coffee beans start to lose their aroma and flavor after a few days in storage, that doesn’t mean they’re bad.
The question of whether you can drink two-year-old coffee depends on a variety of factors, including how you stored your beans.
And contrary to popular belief, one month (about 30 days) isn’t necessarily considered expired for most store-bought beans.
Can Expired Coffee Give You Diarrhea?
While most coffee drinkers know that caffeine can act as a laxative, there’s a lesser-known side effect of coffee: It can also cause gastrointestinal distress. Coffee is typically acidic, and many brands of coffee contain lactose (milk sugar) or milk proteins that your digestive system must process.
If you consume too much acid, your stomach will produce more hydrochloric acid to neutralize it. Too much HCl in your stomach causes heartburn and can even cause diarrhea if left untreated.
How Should You Store Brewed Coffee to Keep It Fresh?
to keep brewed coffee fresh, it should be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It is safe when consumed within 2-3 days when it is stored in the way described above but bear in mind that it may not test as great as freshly brewed coffee.