How Long Is Coffee Good For (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 To 2 Weeks

Generally, coffee stays good for about 1 to 2 weeks. However, many factors determine the shelf life of coffee by either increasing it or decreasing it. These factors could be storage conditions if the coffee is opened or unopened if it is brewed or not, some other such factors.

There are many types of coffee like whole bean coffee, ground coffee, brewed coffee, and instant coffee.

How Long Is Coffee Good For?

Type Of CoffeeShelf Life
Whole bean coffee3 to 4 weeks
Ground Coffee2 to 3 weeks
Brewed Coffee3 to 4 days
Instant Coffee1 to 2 weeks

Whole bean coffee has the longest shelf life among all other types of coffee. The shelf life of whole bean coffee ranges between a minimum of 3 weeks to a maximum of 4 weeks once opened. When the whole bean coffee is kept in a sealed packaging then it can last for about 3 to 4 months. Moreover, it is always recommended to grind the whole beans only the specific amount you’ll need to make coffee and only at that particular time when you want to make a coffee.

Ground coffee has a shelf life of about 2 to 3 weeks when the coffee is kept open. Whereas, if the coffee is kept in sealed packaging or an airtight container then it can easily last for about 2 to 3 months.

Brewed coffee is important to be consumed within 12 hours if stored at room temperature. However, if you store brewed coffee in the fridge then its shelf life can be increased up to 3 to 4 days.

Lastly, instant coffee has a shelf life ranging between 1 to 2 weeks. 

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Why Does Coffee Stay Good For That Long?

Coffee has an average shelf life of 2 to 3 weeks. But it is important to understand that storage conditions always play a major role in determining the shelf life. If the coffee is stored under proper storage conditions then it will easily last up to a month, and if not, it would go bad within a week only. While knowing about proper storage conditions for coffee, it is always said that darkness and cool temperatures are coffee’s best friends. 

Generally, if the bottle of coffee is opened and left in exposure to the atmosphere, then the coffee can go bad within a couple of days only. The reason behind that is major because of the oxygen present in the atmosphere. Coffee does not pair well with oxygen and thus exposure to air results in making coffee go bad. To help your coffee not go bad by getting exposed to air, you can store it either in sealed packaging or an airtight container.

Another thing when exposed coffee to air is that the moisture present in the air reacts with coffee as well. Thus it is important to store coffee in a dry place, completely away from moisture. Furthermore, one must be extra careful during humid conditions.

Lastly, heat and light are other major storage factors which one should consider while storing coffee. Heat and light are the conditions that can result in coffee going stale and losing its authentic flavor. Therefore, it is not recommended to store coffee in a glass jar or in a place that encounters light or high temperatures.

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Conclusion

If the coffee goes bad, it is not necessarily a fact that it becomes unfit for consumption. However, if the coffee goes bad, then it would not taste up to its authentic taste, smell, and consistency. Thus, it is always important to try to make the shelf life of coffee last longer. To achieve that, many ways can extend the shelf life of coffee. Some of these ways could be, storing coffee in a sealed and airtight container, keeping it away from moisture, heat, and light, and not making brewed coffee more than the needed amount. Following these steps can help you sustain your coffee and thus, enjoy it for a significantly longer duration than usual.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=oJxpQX4ko7cC&oi=fnd&pg=PT1&dq=coffee&ots=Ojc-D-07ZU&sig=iogphTfmGYvuOee-sB7E3zhzMPw
  2. http://www.sidalc.net/cgi-bin/wxis.exe/?IsisScript=CAFE.xis&method=post&formato=2&cantidad=1&expresion=mfn=000418
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