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Coffee Expiration: How long does it last?

I tell you that coffee is not like wine, that it improves over the years. On the contrary, to enjoy the maximum expression in aroma and flavor, you must calculate well between the date of roasting and the expiration of the coffee. Both moments are the focus of all good barista to the preparation of coffee.

For those of us who enjoy the coffee experience in all its expressions, it is difficult to understand what we can do with expired coffee. That is when on its packaging it indicates an expiration date prior to the current date on which we review this detail.

Because precisely, we know that the magic of this concoction awakens during its freshness, that time that elapses just after it has been ground.

However, we are not exempt from forgetting, losing, or being distracted by some packaging of ground coffee or beans, and finding it just after it has expired.

So many things are said, some myths and other truths, but here we will tell you the reality about what to do with expired coffee?

What Does the Expiration Date of Coffee Mean?

The expiration or expiration date of the coffee indicates the limit day for the consumption of the product once it has been processed and packaged. But does this mean that it will hurt you if you consume it like this? Well yes and no. I explain.

Once roasted coffee is a noble product. Very difficult to decompose or to be affected by bacteria or fungi. Like all fruit from nature, it has a life cycle. Even once man-operated during production, but not abruptly. Certain extreme conditions must occur to decompose.

If the coffee you found in the cupboard is expired, it can mean two things:

  1. That it should not be consumed as a health precaution.
  2. It does not enjoy the optimal level of quality in aroma and flavor.

That is, neither for your health nor for the pleasure it should be consumed. However, if the expiration date does not exceed two weeks and it is perfectly preserved in the packaging and you are facing an emergency, it could be used.

If the package is open and more than two weeks have passed from the expiration date of the coffee, it is best not to use it. Well, it will be a drink with little aroma, little flavor, and without creaminess, difficult to prepare satisfactorily.

How long does the coffee last?

Taking the roasting date as initial data, the coffee has different duration references depending on its presentation. In this case, I mean the preservation of the optimal state of aroma and flavor:


The expiration of the ground coffee will depend on how it is preserved. If you barely grind the grain, the ideal is to prepare it immediately. Well, it is in these conditions the best way to taste coffee. However, you can keep it in an airtight container, in a dry place away from the heat so that it will last for about three months.

If you keep it exposed to the elements or in a poorly closed package, you let the original intensity escape and in a few days, it will lose its essence.

In grain

Like ground coffee, once roasted, the coffee beans must be preserved, away from heat, humidity, and light. However, by keeping the whole grain, it can retain its organoleptic properties, thanks to external roasting for more than three months, a maximum of six.


Take this opportunity to also clarify your doubts about liquid or infused coffee, how long can it last in good condition? While I highly recommend not missing out on the true fresh coffee experience, there is always the chance to find a pot of coffee that we don’t want to waste.

A coffee already prepared loses its delicacy when it is prepared. If you have a lot leftover, it should be consumed before 12 o’clock, only if it has been kept out of the refrigerator. If it has been refrigerated, it can be used for up to 24 hours. Of course, it will hardly retain the flavor.

How to know if expired coffee is bad?

In any case, to know if the expired coffee can be consumed, or if it is in good condition, you should be attentive to the following signs. Although we recommend, preserving the hygiene and food safety indications, the exception may arise if you pass the following evaluation.

First of all, evaluate if it maintains its characteristic aroma if you do not notice any smell different from the natural one. Remember that the coffee loses the strength of the aroma once it is ground.

Then look at its appearance, if it is ground, check that it maintains a loose texture, it should not be compact, or polished.

Also observe its color, which will also depend on the level of toasting. Remember that it can vary from a dark brown to a lighter one, without any other shade.

If it is grain, it must maintain its compact shape, dry appearance, and aroma and color somewhat more intense than the ground.

How to recover expired coffee?

I reiterate that it is advisable to respect the food safety indications and consume products that still have the expiration date in force.

Once roasted coffee is as if it woke up and released its essence in aroma and flavor. Hence, the importance of preserving it from the factors that accelerate the degradation process.

The coffee expired can not be recovered, on the contrary, every day that passes will be releasing more of its essence.

Ideally, buy the amount of coffee that you are safe to consume for up to three months.

Keep it protected in an airtight container, protected from air, light, and heat.

And remember, the fresher it is, the more you can enjoy the magic of coffee. So we invite you not to lose the habit of checking the coffee’s expiration date on the packaging.

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