How Long Does Coffee Last?


That morning cup of joe is something most of us can’t wait to get our hands on. Let’s be honest; the world is in love with coffee, and that won’t change anytime soon.

Maybe it’s the amazing caffeine jolt you get when you start sipping your first cup because research shows that the burst of energy kicks in within 10 minutes.

Lots of studies have been conducted in the name of coffee, and some wonderful health benefits really develop when you regularly drink the beverage. For example, drinking coffee before heading to the gym has value. Your performance level gets a good boost because adrenaline is increasing, and fatty acids are being released from your fat tissues.

Coffee has also shown promising protection against Alzheimer’s disease and keeping your heart and liver healthy.

Lots of folks brew their own and make big batches, but when it comes to storing away the coffee, questions arise about the proper methods.

Read on, and we’ll show you how to extend the life of your favorite beverage.

How Long Does Coffee Last?

Coffee lasts in various ways, depending on what state the beverage is in. Let’s get this out first:

Coffee will last the same way whether it’s got caffeine in it or is decaffeinated.

In its “opened” or “unopened” state, coffee remains an excellent purchase for its lasting power. Whether it’s sealed or some of it has been used, both forms show the same expiration time when left in the pantry.

Ground Coffee will last for three to five months beyond the printed date. Whole bean coffee will be good for six to nine months, and instant coffee will last for a whopping two to 20 years.

When freezing the beverage, ground coffee will hold up from one to two years past the printed date. Whole bean coffee will be good for two to three years, and instant coffee goes the distance frozen, lasting indefinitely.

Do Coffee Beans Go Bad?

No, coffee beans don’t go bad right away, as long as elements like air and water are kept away from the product. In other words, oxygen and moisture are coffee’s strongest enemies. Coffee experts say that proper storage is essential to maintain freshness, and that means a cool, dry place in your kitchen.

When you buy coffee beans, the packaging could tell the story because there are different bag materials used. One of the best types is triple-ply foil packaging; this stops fresh air from getting in while a valve allows carbon dioxide to get out.

There are also nifty coffee containers you can purchase that maintain excellent freshness for your beans. Stainless steel “airscape” canisters preserve the flavor and have been intelligently designed to block out the light.

How Long Does Brewed Coffee Last?

Brewed coffee will last for hours, but that’s it. So if you’ve brewed some coffee and left it on the counter, food experts recommend enjoying the beverage for up to four to six hours. After that, your cup of joe will taste stale and just not be inviting to the palate.

If the brewed coffee is in its carafe still heating, then up to two hours is your enjoyment window. Coffee science shows that the longer you keep a pot of drip coffee heating up, the greater the breakdown of the coffee’s aroma molecules. The oxidation will cause a bitterness to develop.

How Long Does Coffee Last In The Fridge?

Coffee will last in the fridge after brewing for about one week. Some people make up a large batch and then hate throwing it out, or they decide to make iced coffee at another time. Expert food and beverage handlers advise brewing the coffee and then cooling it. After that, pouring the coffee into a tightly sealed container is important.

Seven days is the limit, although some coffee lovers have brewed a large batch and keep it properly stored in the fridge for more than two weeks. Let your nose and taste buds be your guide.

How Long Does Ground Coffee Last In An Airtight Container?

Ground coffee can last for months when it’s in the right container. As we mentioned at the beginning of our article, the proper storage materials matter.

Here are a few more tips:

If the vacuum seal has not been broken yet in your can of ground coffee, then that is key to your product’s survival. A sealed can of ground coffee will preserve its freshness appropriately.

Some people like opening the can of ground coffee they purchase and then pouring the contents into a glass container. Coffee experts, however, discourage the practice, saying that glass is not effective at maintaining the freshness. They advise a ceramic canister instead of glass if no other high-tech storage canister is available.

Remember air and moisture are coffee’s enemies as well as light. A dark pantry is ideal for storing your ground coffee.

Can You Get Sick From Drinking Expired Coffee?

No, you can’t get sick from drinking expired coffee. Of course, the flavor and freshness will be compromised, but it’s different from consuming expired milk, for example.

Milk that has gone beyond the expiration date will take on a sour taste and offensive odor, and in that form, could make one very ill.

Consuming expired coffee is sort of like eating expired cereal. It’s okay but not at its best. Some taste is still there, but the original flavor and body of the food or beverage will be diminished.

Drinking expired coffee might not also feature the beverage in its original fresh state because oxidation is occurring with chemical binding reactions. Younger coffee even brews differently than an expired coffee because it foams and expands more.

If you see any kind of mold forming on the surface of coffee you have brewed, then that’s a good indication that the cup of joe is not fit for consumption. Play safe, and toss it out. It appears to be rancid.

Here are more interesting facts about the world’s favorite hot beverage:

  • National Coffee Day is usually celebrated on September 29th, although the special day is recognized on different dates in various countries. In the United States, it’s Sept. 29th.
  • If you are obsessed with drinking coffee, you are not alone because tons of celebrities are addicted to their cups of joe. Derek Jeter loves his coffee, along with Sofia Vergara, Taylor Swift, Shia LaBeouf, Julianna Hough, Alec Baldwin, Demi Lovato, Kris Jenner and many others.
  • Contrary to popular thought, there are only two kinds of coffee beans. They are Arabica and Robusta, and most of the world’s coffee is grown in Brazil.
  • If you’re going for the most caffeine buzz you can get, then don’t add milk to your cup. Experts say your body will take longer to absorb the coffee because of the fat milk content. That in turn weakens the caffeine effects.
  • It’s almost impossible to overdose on coffee, but there is a human consumption limit. If you drank more than 100 cups of coffee, well, that would be considered the lethal dose of caffeine. Hopefully, you’re never anywhere near that crazy indulgence.