Can you get sick from drinking old coffee?

In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the query: “Can you get sick from drinking old coffee?”. In addition, we will discuss how you should store your freshly brewed coffee and your coffee beans so they last longer.

Can you get sick from drinking old coffee?

No, drinking older coffee will not, in the vast majority of cases, put you in any sort of danger of getting sick, but you may experience a slight discomfort in your stomach due to the change in the coffee’s chemical properties. Drinks made from stale coffee, on the other hand, will not taste as good as those made from fresh coffee and may even taste stale or unpleasant. 

On the other hand, the act of reheating coffee can cause a feeling of unease and discomfort, even a few minutes after consumption.

Oxidation occurs when organic matter is in contact with oxygen and this causes changes. Due to the oxidation that occurred while the drink was still, aroma and flavor characteristics are lost, in addition to causing symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, dizziness and headaches.

How should you store brewed coffee to keep it fresh?

It’s simpler to ensure your freshly brewed coffee still tastes great if you brew it directly into a thermos, which retains the flavor and warmth of the coffee while maintaining the consistency of the coffee. 

Only if you like the taste of burnt coffee should you leave a freshly brewed coffee pot on the stove while you work. In the fridge, freshly brewed coffee is stored for three to four days, allowing you to make iced coffee.

The coffee takes about 30 minutes to cool down and this time is enough for its original characteristics, especially aroma and flavor, to be compromised.

Another factor is that, over time, coffee water can absorb aromas from the environment where it is, especially when this coffee is left in the fridge, where different types of aromas are.

In addition, in the process of heating the coffee, substances contained in the drink are degraded, which generates a bad taste, often burning, and far from the original flavor.

That’s why, when consuming a reheated coffee, the taste will be totally different from a fresh, freshly brewed beverage.

Does vacuum sealed coffee go bad?

Vacuum packaging causes the coffee to be compressed in the absence of air, which further increases its preservation – usually up to 18 months.

The absence of air in packaging is a resource used in various areas of food to preserve food. The removal of air/oxygen from the packaging has gained many supporters for numerous reasons: if there is no oxygen, the deterioration of organic elements does not occur. 

All of this in line with the hermetic packaging, avoiding contamination with the outside and the durability of the products. In the case of coffee, which is super sensitive to oxygen and oxidizes quickly, vacuum packaging is also recommended.

The packaging is presented to the consumer in a rigid “brick” block format and is composed of several layers: PET (Polyester), AL (Aluminum), PE (Polyethylene) and sometimes PA (Nylon) to increase rigidity of the “brick” and have more mechanical strength when oxygen suction is applied. 

When the package is being formed, the coffee is deposited in the package and then it is vacuumed. This is to delay the natural oxidation of the coffee and maintain the desirable aroma and flavor of the beverage for a longer period of time (around 12 to 18 months when closed).

Do coffee beans go bad? 

Contrary to common belief, coffee beans can go bad. Like other beans, coffee contains natural oils and when exposed to air, oils begin to oxidize and eventually go rancid. Even when coffee is stored away from oxygen, coffee beans can still go rancid because of compounds produced in the roasting process.

Fortunately, it usually takes a long time for coffee beans to go rancid. This is why many people and even coffee makers claim that it is safe to use expired coffee. However, long before the coffee goes rancid, it will lose its flavor and aroma due to “carbonation”. This stale coffee is still safe to consume, but not as pleasant to drink.

If you want to store your coffee beans for a long time, you need to protect it from oxygen, light, moisture and heat. Here are some of the best ways to store coffee so it lasts for years or even decades.


Coffee contains little moisture. Because of this, you don’t have to worry about it spoiling in the freezer. It will stay fresh for years there.

However, there is a potential problem with storing coffee in the freezer: it can absorb the smell of other items. If you leave your coffee next to leftover steaks, for example, the coffee can take on a strange aroma.

To avoid this, be sure to store your coffee in sealed, waterproof bags (doesn’t let gas through). Some coffee is already in these bags (the metallic-looking bags) and can go straight to the freezer. After removing the coffee beans from the freezer, be sure to let them come to room temperature before opening them. Otherwise, they will absorb moisture and start to deteriorate.

Airtight containers

After opening a bag of coffee, place it in airtight containers. This is not an ideal solution for coffee because there will still be oxygen in the container. However, it will help to slow down the process of oxidation and off-gassing. If you have a lot of coffee beans, you can even store them in buckets with a sealable lid.


Good quality coffee comes in vacuum sealed packages. This packaging helps protect against oxidation. You can also vacuum seal the coffee beans or open the coffee packets to keep it fresher for longer.

Note that the coffee beans have air inside them. The vacuum seal only removes the air around the coffee. Household vacuum seal bags are also porous-free and will eventually allow coffee aromas to escape. So while this is a better method than storing the coffee in open containers, the coffee will still age after a few years.


In this brief article, we provided you with the answer to the query: “Can you get sick from drinking old coffee?”. In addition, we discussed how you should store your freshly brewed coffee and your coffee beans so they last longer.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.