Can coffee beans go bad?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can coffee beans go bad?”  and other queries related to this topic.

Can coffee beans go bad? 

Yes, coffee beans can go bad at some point. However, it takes time for coffee beans to deteriorate. Also, the beans do not go bad like any perishable food such as milk, fruits, and vegetables. Hence, the taste and the smell of the coffee will be altered when prepared.

Moreover, you might find on your coffee beans packaging an expiration date. Consuming your coffee after this date is safe, so the date mentioned on the packaging is to show you the freshness of your coffee. 

The exposure of coffee beans to different factors like air and moisture are the reasons behind the spoilage of coffee beans. So, when they are stored properly in the right place and the right container, the beans can last for a very long time.

Furthermore, if you want to buy already roasted coffee beans to grind at home, purchase a small quantity because with time biochemical modifications can occur to the coffee beans leading to the aroma and taste changes.

The oils within the coffee beans will get rancid, like any other type of oils and fats, with time. So, the rancidity process will take months to develop and it goes progressively. But once it happens the organoleptic characteristics of your coffee will be altered.

How long do coffee beans last?

Coffee beans can last for about one month. However, coffee beans can last for three to six months while preserving their taste and aroma. Generally, coffee beans have a long shelf life because they are roasted and when roasting the moisture inside the beans will be less.

When moisture is reduced bacteria, mold and yeast will not easily grow side the beans. However, if the roasted beans are kept in a humid place they will go bad in less than three to six months. 

Moreover, you still can use your coffee beans if you are sure that you have been storing them effectively in a dry container and away from any heat source and direct sun exposure. In addition, check for the expiration date or the “best-before” date.

These dates will inform you about the freshness of your coffee, so you consume them within this period to get the most of their taste and aroma.

How to store coffee beans?

To store your coffee beans, make sure to preserve them in an air-tight container or their original packaging if not opened. Also, keep them in a dry, cool place far from heat and direct sunlight. Moreover, it is recommended to place them in an opaque container.

Additionally, make sure to close the cap or the lid of your jar thoroughly after opening because if not closed air and humidity will get inside leading to bacteria and mold development, thus the shelf life will decrease and you will have to throw it away.

Can you freeze coffee beans?

Yes, you can freeze coffee beans. Freezing will keep them fresh for a long time while preserving their taste and aroma for several months because freezing has minimal effects on the organoleptic characteristics of the coffee beans. 

Hence, during freezing, the cold temperature will lead to water condensation within the coffee bag or container. The water will alter the structure of the molecules in the coffee beans so the beans will lose their flavor. Also, they will pick bad odors from the freezer.

If you already opened the coffee beans bag or packaging, transfer the beans into an air-tight container before putting them in the freezer. However, if your bag is not already opened you can keep it as it is in the freezer.

When you want to use your frozen coffee beans, take them out of the freezer beforehand and thaw them in the refrigerator so that you can preserve their taste and smell.

How do coffee beans go bad?

Several factors affect the quality of the coffee beans during their storage. First of all, the exposure of coffee beans to the light and storing them in sunlight will ruin their taste and make them bad, so do not store your beans in a glass jar.

Moreover, keep your coffee beans far from any heat source like near the oven or the stove. Because extreme temperatures will stimulate and catalyze the beans’ deterioration. Additionally, freezing is not a good idea because the taste of your coffee will change but can be feasible. 

Furthermore, exposing your coffee to air will lead to product oxidation due to oxygen and thus characteristics alteration. Additionally, oxidation will lead to bacteria growth inside the beans. Also, air exposure increases the moisture within the coffee beans increasing the bacterial growth risk.


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “can coffee beans go bad?” and other queries related to this topic.