How Long Can Ground Coffee Last?

Coffee is a beverage that many of us love to drink. Some people drink it every day, others only on the weekends, but no matter how often you drink coffee, you're bound to have some coffee grinds leftover. How long does ground coffee last? We investigate just what the shelf life of ground coffee is and how long it can be safely stored for!

How long can ground coffee last?

The shelf life of unopened bags, cans and jars of ground coffee is mighty long. While there's no definite expiration date stamped on the package you've got sitting in your pantry, generally speaking, you can expect each to stay fresh for about...

Twelve months for opened bags of ground coffee

Two years for unopened bags of ground coffee

The trick here is what kind of coffee it is, because how the coffee is sealed makes a huge difference.  For example, if we're talking about a can of coffee that has been sealed, it will still be useable 3-5 months beyond its sell by date which can be pretty long!

This also applies to commercially vacuum sealed bags of coffee.  Most coffee you find in the grocery store will have a very long shelf life, last time I looked at common supermarket coffee brands, the expiration dates ranged from around 1 to 2 years from the current date!  This is why some people tend to favor specialty coffees.

If we're talking fresh roasted coffee beans that are ground from a specialty coffee brand, those coffees have a much shorter shelf life.  In this case the shelf life is much shorter - around a week, two weeks will be pushing it unless proper storage is used.

How long does ground coffee last once it is opened?

Once you have opened your ground coffee, it only lasts about a week unless you take steps to prolong its life.  Wondering how to tell if that coffee is still good or not?

Smell can be a very helpful indicator of freshness; however, sometimes ground coffee's pungent aroma isn't enough to clue us in on how old it is. To make sure your ground coffee hasn't spoiled check its consistency. Ground coffee that has gone bad will have lost much of its original strength- you'll know it's toast if the granules are no longer oily or fragrant.

Storage guidelines and tips for ground coffee

Looking to make the most out of your ground coffee?  Here are some tips and tricks when it comes to storing your coffee.

  • Keep opened bags in an airtight container out of direct sunlight
  • Keep unopened bags in an airtight container out of direct sunlight
  • Store opened bags in the fridge to keep ground coffee fresh for up to two weeks
  • Store unopened bags in the freezer to keep ground coffee fresh for longer than twelve months

While there are no official food safety guidelines for how long you can safely leave ground coffee out on the counter or in the pantry, it's wise to err on the side of caution.

Ground coffee is best kept in its original packaging or an airtight container out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources - temperature plays a huge role when it comes to the freshness of your coffee.

Veken Coffee Canister, Airtight Stainless Steel Kitchen Food Storage Container with Date Tracker and Scoop for Beans, Grounds, Tea, Flour, Cereal, Sugar, 22OZ, Silver

Whether you've got a half empty bag stuck under your cabinet or a canister on your countertop, these tips will help keep your ground coffee fresh for as long as possible.

More questions about ground coffee? We have the answers!

What is ground coffee?  Why do people use it?

Pre-ground coffee is a coffee bean that has been roasted, and ground before it is purchased and brewed. It is a popular beverage choice for many people due to convince, since you don't need a coffee grinder.

When the once oily granules look dry and lack their fragrant aroma, you've got some old ground coffee on your hands. It's time to say goodbye!

Is ground coffee still good after 2 years?

While there is no definite answer to this question, it is generally recommended that ground coffee be consumed within 12 months of opening. If it is stored in a cool, dark place and kept in an airtight container, it may last for up to 2 years. However, if it has been exposed to heat or sunlight, it will spoil sooner.

If you want your coffee to last longer, consider storing it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Does ground coffee go bad if unopened?

No, ground coffee is typically good for up to two years when kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.  The key here is understanding that it is the exposure to oxygen that turns ground coffee bad.

Can you drink ground coffee if it has gone bad?

If the once oily granules look dry and lack their fragrant aroma, you've got some old ground coffee on your hands. It's time to say goodbye!  Stale coffee will not make a good cup of coffee, as ground coffee loses flavor over time.

Is expired ground coffee safe to drink?

While there is no official food safety guidelines for how long you can safely leave ground coffee beans out on the counter or in your pantry, it's wise to err on the side of caution. If the ground coffee has gone bad or expired, its strength will have waned- you'll know it's toast if the granules are no longer oily or fragrant.

How does ground coffee go bad?

Ground coffee is best kept in its original packaging or an airtight container out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources. Freshly ground coffee goes bad when it is exposed to oxygen, just like many other foods and spices.

Does canned ground coffee expire?

Every ground coffee can will have an expiration date on it, but it is typically good for up to two years when kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.  Vacuum-sealed coffee has the longest shelf life compared to any other storage method.

What does expired ground coffee smell like?

When exposed to heat or sunlight for prolonged periods of time, ground coffee will lose its strength and to go bad- it will no longer be oily and will lack its fragrant aroma. If the ground coffee looks oily and smells fragrant, it is still good to go!

How long does ground coffee last in the freezer?

Ground coffee can be stored in an airtight container in your freezer for up to 2 months if it has already been opened. This works especially well if you plan on using the coffee as a cold brew!  Consider an air tight container in the freezer to extend the life of your coffee grounds even longer.

Does ground coffee expire after opening?

While there is no official food safety guidelines for how long you can safely keep ground coffee out on the counter or in your pantry, it's wise to err on the side of caution.

If exposed to heat and light, ground coffee should be used within one week. If kept under ideal conditions (cool and dry),  it can last longer.

How does ground coffee go bad if unopened?

Ground coffee is best kept in its original packaging or an airtight container out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources.  This is because the process of oxidation - or exposing the coffee to oxygen - is what makes it go bad.  Even when stored in its original packaging, some oxygen will eventually get into the coffee in the home environment.

Ground coffee can be a great way to get a jump start on the coffee brewing process.  It can also be economical too!  Now that you know how long coffee can last, you can take the proper steps to make sure you always have a great cup of coffee, no matter how much time has passed.

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