If you are a coffee lover, you might have many questions like- does coffee go bad? How long does ground coffee go bad?
These and many other questions often cross people's minds, and they need to be answered.
For coffee to go bad, it depends on several factors, including its expiry date and how it was stored.
Generally, coffee doesn't go bad. What happens is that after some time, it loses its flavor and becomes stale.
It is made up of different compounds, including carbohydrates and amino acids. As time goes by, these compounds undergo various changes, leading to a variation in taste and aroma of the coffee.
Carbohydrates tend to go stale; amino acids go rancid while other volatile compounds evaporate. Some compounds also get oxidized, leading to change in the coffee aroma and taste.
How to Store Ground Coffee
It is advisable to buy whole beans. This way, you will only be required to grind the amount you want to use at any given time. Grinding tends to expose the coffee to air, light, and heat; all which are not good for your coffee. Making sure you consume your ground coffee as soon as possible is the right thing.
However, most people find it convenient to purchase ground coffee. For you to keep your ground coffee fresher for longer, keep it in air-tight containers away from moisture, heat, and light. Limiting its exposure to air ensures that the flavors are not degraded.
Buy airtight containers to store your coffee in or simply wrap your storage bag tightly and use a tape or rubber band to secure it if you don't have such.
Contrary to what people believe, freezing your coffee is not the ideal way to store it. The act of removing and replacing coffee in the freezer introduces moisture. This ends up ruining its flavor, which is unpleasant for any coffee enthusiast.
However, if you are looking to store your coffee for a long time, it would be wise to freeze it. What you need to do is wrap it in small sachets, and every time you want to enjoy a drink, you can just get one freezer bag at a time. This will limit the coffee's exposure to air and moisture.
How do you tell if Your Coffee has Gone Bad?
You are likely to find very few clues as to whether your coffee has gone bad. The best option is to rely on your sense of smell to tell whether your coffee is still fresh. Coffee beans have oils that can go rancid.
As your coffee ages, its aroma and flavor will slowly diminish. Once this happens, you will likely not want to drink that coffee anymore. Although it will no longer have its sweet aroma and distinctive flavor, your coffee is not unsafe to take at this stage.
Avoid Storing Ground Coffee Whenever Possible
The best way to keep your coffee fresh for longer is by storing it whole. Most coffee drinkers prefer to grind their own coffee from the beans, which is a great idea. However, you should look for ways that limit its exposure to air, light, and moisture.
You can solve this by purchasing ground coffee in smaller quantities and replenish your stock once you run out.
The bottom line is to avoid a situation where you have huge amounts of ground coffee at one time. This will ensure you always drink fresh coffee. However, if you find yourself with a large quantity of coffee, the best thing is to store it properly. Keep it in sealed containers in a cool and dark place.
This does not, however, guarantee you long-term freshness but at least you will have two weeks of good coffee. This is better than nothing.
I Have Old Coffee. Is It Safe to Drink?
As long as you store your coffee properly; unopened, sealed, away from light, and dry, you can safely consume it even for years. The truth is that most food stores have coffee on their shelves, yet it might also stay for months on the consumer's pantry.
If you stumble on a can of coffee in your cupboard, inspect it. Do not prepare a cup of the beverage if:
If you are not sure whether it is still safe to drink the coffee, refrain from it. What you need to trust is your instincts; you will never go wrong with those.
How Do You Ensure Your Coffee Lasts?
Even the tiniest of change can have a big impact on your coffee's taste. This means that how long your coffee lasts depends on how well it is stored. To retain the flavor, you must store your coffee in an airtight container, somewhere dry and dark.
A freezer is a great place to extend your coffee's shelf life; it can last for up to three years if whole and indefinitely for instant coffee. However, one thing to remember is that while in a freezer, your coffee will lose its flavor. Thawed coffee tends to taste dull.
The strong flavor can vary according to bean type, the roast, as well as the method used to brew it. Always strive to use coffee close to its roasting date rather than expiry date. Mostly, the expiry date is a year since the coffee was roasted. Consuming coffee that is near its expiry date means it is less fresh.
If you just bought a can and you are not sure when you are going to drink it, store it tightly sealed until you are ready to consume it. Mostly, coffee is packed with nitrogen to make the spoilage process gradual. However, as soon as you break the seal, nitrogen gets replaced by oxygen and humidity, which degrade your coffee's flavor.
This tells you that fresh coffee is the best. If you have to grind your own, use beans that are as close to their purchase date as possible. If your beans smell weird and seem off, just throw them out and get a fresh refill.
The good thing, though is that unless your coffee grows mold, you cannot get sick from drinking it if it is expired. This does not, however, mean it is a good idea.
There is always some health conditions linked to consuming expired goods. Remember to use such a container. You can always ask any question if you have one. Drink fresh coffee and stay healthy.
My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Ag Ferrari food blog. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.