How Long Does Coffee Last? - Happy Face Coffee

How Long Does Coffee Last?

When stored in the right conditions, dry and packaged coffee beans offer great shelf stability. On the other hand, coffee past an expiration date or stored improperly may lose freshness and flavor. Learn how long coffee lasts with these timelines and relevant factors to keep in mind.


Coffee tastes best when consumed before the expiration date on the labeling or within a certain period of opening the product. After opening the packaging, aim to use the contents within these durations: Whole beans: As the longest-lasting type of coffee, an opened bag of whole beans can stay fresh for a couple weeks until you’re ready to brew. Ground coffee: For a favorable taste, you should use ground beans within a week after opening the package. Brewed coffee: Once brewed, you should consume coffee within 12 hours or refrigerate it for up to three or four days. Instant coffee: If you plan on drinking instant coffee, aim to use it within two weeks of opening the package.


What Factors Degrade Coffee Beans Several factors affect the freshness of your coffee. Keep your coffee in ideal condition by avoiding these elements: Oxygen: When exposed to open air, coffee degrades in flavor and aroma as the solubles begin to oxidize. Light: In direct sunlight, coffee beans can go stale due to photodegradation, when chemical compounds in the beans break down. Moisture: If you allow water to access coffee beans, they will oxidize at an accelerated rate creating a sour and bitter taste. Heat: If exposed to heat, temperature changes may come from condensation on the beans, making the coffee go bad.


Storage plays a significant role in how long coffee stays fresh. Follow these guidelines for your coffee: Seal your coffee: Store the product in an air-tight, opaque container so light and air can’t reach the beans. Keep humidity and heat away: Do not store your coffee in a refrigerator or freezer as this will expose it to moisture. Keep the coffee protected in a dry place like a cabinet rather than on a countertop because cabinets offer a cooler temperature and no light. Buy the right amount: Purchase the amount you need every few weeks and consider signing up for a subscription to refill your quantities as needed rather than buying large quantities at once. Once coffee is roasted the clock is ticking. Buying in bulk and storing in a refrigerator or freezer is a bad idea.

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