Does Ground Coffee Go Bad

Does Ground Coffee Go Bad? And How To Store It?

Coffee is a beverage that many people love to drink, but not all know the intricacies of. Does ground coffee go bad? This blog will teach you about how and when to use it as well as what happens if you leave it out for too long. Read on to learn more!

Does Ground Coffee Go Bad?

Although coffee has a limited shelf life, it doesn’t mean that it goes bad right away. In fact, coffee can last for up to a year if it’s stored properly.

coffee goes bad is because of its exposure to oxygen
Coffee goes bad is because of its exposure to oxygen

The main reason coffee goes bad is because of its exposure to oxygen, moisture and the environment. Once these elements start to break down the coffee’s chemical and physical compounds, the coffee will begin to spoil. Most roasters include an expiration date on their coffee bags.

It’s usually about one year from the date the coffee was roasted. However, once the bag is opened, the coffee will start to spoil more quickly due to its exposure to outside elements. If your coffee starts looking or smelling strange, it might be time to throw it out. If your coffee is moldy or mildewed, it should be thrown out.

Does Instant Coffee Go Bad?

Instant coffee is a type of coffee that has been ground into a powder or granules. It can come in a variety of flavors and be mixed with either hot or cold water. People often mix it with hot water to make iced coffee. Instant coffee can last longer than traditionally brewed coffee because it does not have all the added chemicals that brews have, such as oils and fats from the beans. A brand called “Nescafe” claims their instant coffe will last for two years if unopened.

However, just like traditionally brewed coffee, flavored instant coffees have a shelf life of about one year while regular instant coffees should be used within six months. Just like other types of dried food products, instant coffee can go bad. It will usually have a sour smell and can taste bitter. If it smells rancid, it is best to discard it.

How to Tell If Your Coffee Is Rancid

There is no way of physically determining if coffee has gone rancid. However, the aroma and taste of the coffee will give you a good idea as to whether it is still fresh or not.

Do not drink coffee if it smells dusty and sour
Do not drink coffee if it smells dusty and sour

If you think your coffee has gone bad, take a whiff of it before drinking it. If it smells powerful and caramel-like, then it’s okay to drink. Otherwise, its best to avoid taking a sip. Do not drink it if it smells dusty and sour as this means that the oils have reached their peak and are already losing their strength. After letting the coffee sit for an hour or so, bring some to your lips and test its bitterness and sourness. If your cup of joe is extremely sour and bitter, it means that the coffee has gone rancid. Otherwise, it should be safe to drink. Just be sure not to let it sit for too long.

So those are some ways to tell if your coffee has gone bad. If you’re not sure whether or not your coffee is still fresh, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and just throw it out. Rancid coffee can taste pretty gross, so you’re better off not drinking it.

How Long Does Ground Coffee Last?

Ground coffee can last for up to six months without going rancid.

The taste is affected by the quality of beans and how they are stored. Premium ground beans last longer when in an airtight container. If you have a lot of ground coffee and don’t want to use it all in a few days, freezing the coffee is an option. Freeze coffee and it will still taste great and is safe to drink even after many months.

It’s best to get as close as possible to roast date if possible though since roasted premium bean increases shelf life significantly since freshness begins to decline once opened.

One thing to remember is the roasting date (the date the coffee was roasted) as well as the expiration date. The best time to drink ground coffee according to connoisseurs is seven to fourteen days after roasting. Be sure not to confuse ‘roasting date’ with ‘expiration date’. Again, it must have been kept from exposure to water and oxygen for a longer lifespan.

Ground coffee can still be used after roast or use-by dates but has likely been exposed to those two things. It does not last as long as premium beans though since there’s no way of telling how old it is unless you inspect packaging information such as roasting date (not an expiration date).

Unopened Ground Coffee3-5 months past the use-by date1-2 years past the use-by date
Opened Ground Coffee3-5 months past the use-by date3-5 months past the use-by date

How to Store Ground Coffee?

Storing ground coffee is a little different than storing whole beans. It’s still important to keep it in an airtight container and away from heat, moisture, and light. However, it’s also important to prevent the coffee from being exposed to air. This can be done by using a tightly sealed glass jar or one of the airtight kitchen storage containers. If you don’t have a sealed container, you can wrap the bag tightly with tape or rubber bands.

keep coffee in an airtight container and away from heat, moisture
Keep coffee in an airtight container and away from heat, moisture

Freezing coffee is not the best way to store it for daily use. Excess moisture can be introduced to coffee grounds by repeatedly removing it from the freezer and replacing it. The coffee will have a bitter taste due to this moisture. For long-term storage, it’s fine to freeze ground coffee or coffee beans. However, the container should not be opened frequently.

Ground coffee can also be stored in bulk if you want it to last longer. To do this, grab some freezer bags and a permanent marker. You can put a week’s worth coffee in each freezer bag. Seal it tightly, seal it, and then press out any air. Then, write the date on the bag. You can now remove the bags when you need them. This will limit the coffee’s exposure both to moisture and air.

Whichever method you choose for storing your ground coffee, make sure to use it within a few weeks of opening to get the best flavor possible. Coffee is a perishable product, so make sure to always use it as soon as possible after making a fresh pot.

Is There a Risk in Drinking Expired Ground Coffee?

Brewing coffee that has been expired can cause adverse effects on your health. This is because, as coffee beans age, the level of antioxidants decreases, which could potentially lead to certain illnesses. Additionally, if coffee has been exposed to moisture and air, it can form mold – a known carcinogen.

If consumed, this mold can cause a wide array of health problems, from respiratory issues to more serious infections. As such, it is best to discard any expired coffee and purchase fresh beans or grounds instead. You may also want to consider purchasing coffee directly from local roasters in order to ensure the freshest possible product.

Doing so will allow you to enjoy your favorite caffeinated beverage for weeks after roast date.


Can coffee go bad? Yes, it can. With time, ground coffee will lose its appealing flavor and fragrance. Drinking stale coffee is not harmful, but moldy grounds should be discarded. Ground beans can keep fresh for a long time if properly stored either in the pantry or freezer!

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