Always wondered this when purchasing my favorite coffee in whatever form: “how long will this coffee last?”. Whether this is fresh beans, freshly ground that you have lovingly ground at home, or an already prepared packet, you need to know how long it will last before becoming stale, right?
The length of time for which coffee lasts generally depends on the type and form and the conditions under which it is kept. Whole beans can last several months if sealed and only a few weeks once opened. Ground coffee will last a few weeks after opening and longer if sealed.
One of the things I check personally is the scent. That lovely smell that a new opened packet has… when that is gone, the quality is clearly gone too.
I have used coffee like that when desperate but it is not a good advice. Yes, when it expires, its goodness disappears. And it very much depends on the type and store conditions. You want to get all the benefits of coffee while is fresh!
How Long Does Coffee Last?
So yes, the length of time coffee generally lasts will depend on several factors. There is no single answer for how long it will last.
However, bearing in mind the following factors, you should be able to quickly establish how long your coffee will last YOU.
The Type of Coffee
- Grounded coffee can last up to 4 month at room temperature.
- Coffee beans can last up to 9 months in the pantry.
- The Brand
- The quality
The preparation method
Whether it has been brewed or not.
Naturally, in its unbrewed form will last significantly longer than coffee that has already been brewed.
In addition, several environmental considerations will determine how long your coffee will last.
These factors must all be controlled to ensure that the coffee can last as long as possible.
Obviously, coffee will start to deteriorate once it surpasses its expiry date. This deterioration increases drastically if it is stored incorrectly. Causing it to quickly lose flavor and overall freshness.
The place where is stored will also important. In general, if stored properly, dry items such as whole beans and ground coffee will last significantly. It is unlikely to develop mold or begin spoiling in any other way.
If the packet is not sealed properly in an airtight container, its freshness and taste will deteriorate rapidly.
How Long Do Whole Coffee Beans Last?
Whole beans are the best route to ensure the ultimate freshness. Coffee in this form will last the longest out of all the different forms.
Whole beans have the potential to last for several months or even years, provided they are sealed and stored properly.
For beans to last this long, however, they must remain in a sealed package. Temperature cannot be above average room temperature, and there must be no influence from external heat sources, light, and moisture.
Once the beans have been opened, their potential to last decreases significantly. An opened package of beans will last between one and three weeks.
In this instance, the best way to preserve freshness is to ensure that once the beans are open, they are transferred to a dry, airtight container.
It’s essential that the beans – whether opened or not – are stored at room temperature away from potential heat sources. While it might seem an aesthetically pleasing option to store your coffee beans in a glass container, the reality is that light will become a problem for the beans and their longevity.
Can I Store Coffee Beans in the Freezer?
While it is not advisable for most people, you can also store your coffee beans in the freezer. Provided the coffee beans are kept in a sealed container in the freezer, beans can last between three and four months in this way. However, it’s essential that there is no moisture in the container.
It’s important to remember that while it is feasible to store your coffee beans in the freezer, it is not advisable. This is because the quality of the coffee beans could be compromised. Freezing does not help preserve the overall quality and taste of fresh coffee.
Remember that if it has passed its “best before” date, it is not considered unsafe to consume. However, the quality past its best before date will be significantly reduced.
How Long Does Ground Coffee Last?
While coffee in its whole form as beans will last the longest, it is not very very practical for many people to actually use beans. You’ll require a grinder and several other implements to brew a high-quality cup successfully.
I use it sometimes as I also ground flaxseeds to make my delicious 2 min Flaxseed Bread.
Again, ground coffee must be stored in a non-transparent container at room temperature. It must be kept from heat, light, and moisture.
Provided it is stored properly, ground coffee can last up to two weeks. In the fridge, the lifespan is not necessarily increased, and the quality may be compromised.
How Long Does Brewed Coffee Last?
Once it has been brewed, its lifespan is significantly reduced. As a general rule, coffee that has already been brewed cannot last longer than twelve hours.
If there is milk in it, it will only last up to two hours after brewing. However, storing it carefully in a sealed container in the fridge can last for one or two days.
So how long coffee will last depends on the form and whether it has been brewed.
Brewed has a significantly shorter lifespan than unbrewed. Whole beans will last significantly longer than ground coffee.
Environmental factors such as air, heat, and light must also be controlled to ensure it will last.
So my tip for you is: Consume your coffee and don’t over buy (I know, very tempting when there is an offer). Keep it simple and it will keep fresh.