Coffee is nearly the world's most popular beverage, and in addition to its many benefits, its taste has been unanimously agreed upon by the vast majority of people, with a total consumption of two billion cups of coffee per day, according to the British Coffee Association.

But if you drink ready-made coffee or make it at home, you may be wondering how long it can last once you buy it, and how to store it properly.

General guidelines on the shelf life of coffee

When stored properly, whole coffee beans and even ground coffee can last a long time under normal household conditions.

Because the coffee is dry, the ones you buy for home use are unlikely to be susceptible to mold or other moisture damage.

However, the shelf life of coffee varies with the way it is prepared.

In general, unbrewed coffee lasts longer than brewed coffee (instant coffee).

The place where coffee is stored has a role in its shelf life;

Whether it's on the kitchen table, in the pantry, fridge or freezer, each setting makes a huge difference in the flavor of your coffee.

If coffee is not kept in an airtight, airtight container, its freshness and strong flavor can begin to wane.

Cold temperatures in the refrigerator or freezer may affect the taste of dry coffee, but they can also keep coffee longer than usual in dry conditions.

Whole roasted coffee beans can last from a few weeks to months or even years (networking sites)

Shelf life of whole coffee beans

Depending on how you store them, whole roasted coffee beans can last from a few weeks to months or even years.

Unopened roasted coffee beans should be kept tightly closed and stored at room temperature away from heat, moisture and direct light.

But once you open a package of roasted coffee beans, the beans remain fresh for 1 to 3 weeks before they start to lose their flavor and quality, according to the American Chemical Society.

For best results, transfer the opened coffee beans to a dry, airtight container that blocks the light, and keep the container at room temperature away from any heat sources.

You can also keep coffee beans in the freezer in airtight containers for 3-4 months in their original quality, but make sure there is no water in the container before freezing.

However, freezing is not the best way to preserve quality and taste.

Coffee beans kept after these periods of time may taste stale, not fresh and not strong, and usually only decrease in quality but still be safe to consume.

Unroasted coffee beans stay fresh much longer than roasted (German) beans

Storing ground coffee and instant coffee

Similar to coffee beans, unopened packets of ground coffee must remain fresh until the expiry date stated on the packet at purchase.

Open packets of ground coffee should be stored in a light-tight, airtight container at room temperature, according to the Healthline Healthline website.

Ground coffee should also be kept away from heat, light, and moisture, so that ground coffee stored in this way will stay fresh for about one to two weeks.

If you live in a humid environment and don't want to risk spoiling the ground coffee, you can keep it in the refrigerator or freezer in airtight containers;

This way the coffee will stay fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, and one month in the freezer.

Instant coffee is a type of ground coffee with a longer shelf life.

Open cans of instant coffee are believed to last for years, so check the packaging to see what the manufacturer recommends.

instant coffee capsules

Coffee capsules, such as those used in a one-cup coffee maker, are another type of ground coffee, and usually stay fresh for months or years, depending on what is written on the sales packages.

It is recommended to store coffee capsules in a container or drawer away from heat and direct light, and because they are individually tightly closed, it is not important to keep them in an airtight container.

Also remember that ground coffee is usually safe to drink even after the recommended expiration date on the packages, similar to coffee beans.

However, the taste may not remain fresh or strong.

Coffee capsules are recommended to be stored in a container or drawer away from heat and direct light (Pixabe)

Roasted or unroasted coffee?

Unroasted coffee beans stay fresh much longer than roasted beans, but when we talk about unroasted beans, we mean green coffee in its natural, unexposed state, according to the Adams & Russell coffee website.

Although roasting makes coffee delicious, it also makes coffee beans brittle and weak, which lose their flavor more quickly over time.

Green (unroasted) coffee can last two years or more, while roasted beans can last from 2 to 6 months depending on the conditions of preservation and storage.

​​Factors that affect the freshness of coffee

The factors that affect coffee are the following, according to the coffee website The Roasterie:

Sunlight:

Exposing your coffee to heat and UV rays can quickly erode the flavor of your coffee beans.


Oxygen:

As with most perishable foods, organic molecules inside coffee break down completely and lose their flavor when exposed to oxygen for a long time, a process called oxidation.


Aging:

Over time, coffee loses its freshness, becomes lower in quality and has a weaker flavour.


Humidity:

Like any porous material, coffee beans absorb the flavor of things around them when exposed to damp conditions.

Dangers of drinking expired coffee

If coffee is stored properly, it is safe to consume even if it has exceeded the recommended shelf life.

Although it may not taste as good as coffee made with fresh beans, it usually won't be as dangerous to your health.

However, it is still important to check the coffee before brewing for any signs of spoilage such as traces of mold, discoloration or odor, as the coffee is completely spoiled and should be discarded.

Keywords: