Does coffee go bad? (3 ways to store)

In this brief article, we will answer the question: does coffee go bad, we will explain how coffee degrades and how to store it.

Does coffee go bad?

No, coffee does not go bad and its commercial expiration date is only to avoid drinking deteriorated coffee. There is no harm in drinking coffee past its expiration date

Coffee is all about the fresh taste and aroma it has that lifts up the mood. Coffee lovers Know when their coffee does not taste good or fresh. But coffee never expires; it deteriorates and may not have the same effect as fresh coffee.

Shelf life of coffee:

There are various types of coffee available all around the world made from plant cocoa.. The shelf life of each form of coffee, be it ground coffee or coffee beans, is different. The shelf life of most commonly used coffee forms are:

Whole Beans:

It is the most shelf stable coffee form and stays safe the longest. If kept in proper storage it gives ultimate freshness when brewed for the longest time. Whole beans are used by grinding them, it should be used within three to four weeks of harvesting.

Ground coffee beans:

Ground coffee is obtained by grinding whole coffee beans. It is used to get best results of freshness and aroma. It should be consumed two to three weeks after grinding it. If you have bought it from the market you should consume it within two weeks after opening the package.

Brewed Coffee:

A brewed coffee made from ground coffee beans should be used within the same days. Coffee is best served hot and many people prefer it fresh. So it is best to consume coffee fresh but if you can consume it within 12 hours of brewing. If you want to store it for longer time period, you can keep it refrigerator for three to four days

Instant Coffee:

Instant coffee comes in a packet and with a commercial expiration date. If you have opened an instant coffee and don’t want to drink it then you can store it for two to three weeks. But it is best to open the packet when you want to consume it

What causes degradation in coffee?

Coffee stays safe when it is placed in a cool, dry place with no direct exposure to light. So when storing coffee the best way to store is in a kitchen pantry or counter. Coffee stays fresh when it is stored properly. Still with age some factors degrade in coffee.

The factors that causes degradation of coffee are:


Coffee is packed in airtight containers as air exchange affects the quality of coffee. Oxygen causes coffee to go stale and it starts to degrade after exposure to oxygen in air.


The storage of coffee is done at a cool temperature in a dark place. It is because light causes coffee beans to go stale, in case of ground coffee the effect is more visible. That’s why coffee is stored in a dark place whether it be pantry or counter


Coffee beans or ground coffee start to spoil if come in contact with moisture. Roasted coffee experiences the worst effect as it absorbs the water quickly. Coffee of any form should be stored in dry place with no moisture

How to store coffee:

Coffee comes in proper airtight packaging to reduce degradation factor as much as possible. Other than that you should keep the coffee jar in a dark, dry place with no direct light reaching it. The way to store coffee is:

  1. Keep it in a dark, dry and cool place with no exposure to direct heat and light. The best place to store coffee to increase its shelf life is in a kitchen pantry. Make sure there is no direct light reaching coffee as it makes coffee go stale
  2. Seal tight the jar after using it, to make sure no air goes inside coffee. An opaque container with sealed packaging is the best way to store coffee. If the seal is broken do not buy the coffee as oxygen causes staling of coffee
  3. Keep the coffee in a humid free area, as moisture affects the quality of coffee. It is best to purchase the amount of coffee you want to use. Even if you are buying in bulk make sure to properly store coffee to avoid degradation of coffee

Freezing coffee is not a good idea, you can do it to increase shelf life. Freezing coffee means you are storing in a moisture rich environment but if you have sealed it properly there might not be any harm. The best way to store coffee is still in a pantry.


In this brief article, we have answered the question: does coffee go bad? We have also explained how coffee degrades and how to store it.



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.

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