One of the most frequently asked question about coffee is “does coffee go bad?” It’s then followed up by some other questions like “How can I make sure my coffee doesn’t go bad? How to store it properly so it won’t go bad?” and many others. If you too have ever wondered about those questions, you are not alone. Let’s find out the answers of those questions now!
Does Coffee Go Bad?
Before we answer this question, we have to determine what does “go bad” mean. Does it simply mean the coffee taste bad? Or does it mean whether the coffee will spoil and make you sick if you drink it?
Based on thesaurus, go bad means spoil, which means food deteriorates to the point in which it is not edible to humans or its quality of edibility becomes reduced. We will go by this definition, that the coffee will no longer drinkable1.
So, the answer to this question is both yes and no. The answer will depend a lot on how the coffee is stored. Another factor is the type of coffee.
Does Old Coffee Equal Coffee Going Bad?
You may have wondered about the expiration of those coffee you have in your cupboard. You may find some of them are old stocks and thus make you worry to use them. Do you think it is safe to drink old coffee? Is old coffee the same with coffee that goes bad?
No, old coffee doesn’t mean spoiled coffee. However old coffee more likely to lose its delicious taste and its nice smell. Properly kept gound coffee typically still good 1 to 2 years after printed date, roasted coffee beans will good for 2 to 3 years after printed date. However there are cases where it’s still good longer than that.
There’s one type of coffee that different with the others, that is freeze dried coffee, this coffee have almost indefinite shelf life. Read more about this here.
So, does coffee go bad? By now you can answer this question. You can tell that coffee already bad by checking its color, smell, and taste.
How to Prevent Coffee from Going Bad
If you are a kind of coffee lover who really values the flavor of your coffee, you will probably brew a new batch of coffee every day, you will brew the amount of coffee you will drink at a time, and or you will grind your own coffee beans. Those are actually the key parts of how to keep coffee fresh.
One thing you should always remember is that coffee beans have oils in them. Those oils could turn your beloved coffee beans into rancid coffee beans, just like how it is in other kinds of oil. The best treatment to make sure you drink fresh and delicious coffee is to consume the coffee beans within 2 weeks to 2 months after roasting date. Although if you are willing to drink tasteless cofee, you can still drink it within 2 years after the expiration date.
Freezing coffee could certainly make them good longer. However, you should expect the loss of the coffee beans’ flavor by doing so because this technique is a bit tricky especially to make sure that the bag or packaging totally air-tight. Any small leak will cause the coffee exposed to moisture, one of coffee’s worst enemy.
The best way storing to make sure your coffee fresh is by sealing it in a can or an airtight container. The can that most types of coffee come with is usually airtight and is able to keep the coffee fresh longer. Yet, once it’s opened, the freshness will start decreasing in two weeks. The loss of the aroma and flavor seems quick, that’s why you need to pay attention to how you store it. Read more: the best way to store coffee.
Does coffee go bad? Yes it does when you don’t store it properly. However, if you have stored your (old) coffee properly but you are still unsure whether the coffee is safe, you will need to do an inspection first. Make sure you are not brewing the coffee if it: (a) has been stored in a non-airtight container, (b) is wet, and (c) develops mold and mildew smell.
The answer to the question of “does coffee go bad” depends on many factors, one of which is how you store it. If you think you’ve stored it properly but not sure whether it’s gone bad or not, do the inspection!