Can You Bring Coffee On A Plane?

You can go for a take-out and drink your coffee anywhere, but can you bring coffee on a plane? Read on to know how you can bring coffee on a plane.

Can you bring coffee on a plane?
You can bring a limited amount of coffee on a plane

The rules on what you are only allowed to bring on a plane are a bit complicated! Typically, liquids are not allowed if they are over 3.4 ounces. 

Sadly, this severely limits the amount of coffee you can bring on a plane. After all, 3.4 ounces of coffee is not a lot! That’s close to half a cup of coffee – if that. 

However, there is sometimes coffee available to purchase after security. If you buy the coffee in the airport after you get through security, you can take it on the plane.

Of course, many planes also carry coffee as well. You can order coffee on the airplane once you board if you need your caffeine fix!

With that said, the rules around ground coffee are equally as complicated. 

Can You Bring Coffee On A Plane?

female worker packing coffee beans in a vacuum sealed bag
You can bring ground coffee on a plane

The Transportation Security Administration will typically allow you to bring ground coffee through airport security in your carry-on back. However, we do recommend keeping it to less than 12 ounces of coffee. That’s about the size of a standard soda can. 

If you bring on more than that, the TSA may disallow it if they cannot be assured of its safety. It falls into the category of powdered substances, which come with their sorts of rules. 

Any coffee should be in a resealable bag or pre-packaged. Be sure that it is in a secure container, as bags are sometimes treated rather roughly. 

You can also bring coffee in your checked luggage if you’re boarding a flight within the United States. 

International flights are a bit more complicated. Domestic airports will allow you to take the coffee with you, but not all foreign countries will allow you to bring it into the county. Therefore, be sure to check with the specific country you’re traveling to. 

The same TSA rules apply no matter where your destination is. Once you get to the other country, you’ll have to obey their rules, though.

These are likely different from the TSA rules. Many countries require ground coffee to be in the original packaging and unopened.  

The U.S. usually allows you to bring foreign, ground coffee with you from a foreign country. However, you will still have to declare them to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Coffee counts as a “food item,” even though you don’t technically eat it

The penalty for not declaring food items can be steep. Most of the time, there is no reason to avoid declaring them, either. The CBP can randomly search arriving passengers, so you could be in trouble if you don’t declare the coffee!

Can You Take Coffee On A Plane After Security?

black coffee cup
You can fill your empty bottle and bring it onto the plane with you

Yes, as long as you purchase the coffee after security, you can bring it onto the plane with you. You can even bring your empty bottle or travel mug and fill that up after security. 

You can purchase any drink at the airport and bring it onto the plane with you. If the airport sells coffee, that would be included under this rule. 

Some special “lounges” for frequent flyers also have free coffee in them. If these are located after security, you are free to fill up on coffee there and bring it onto the plane with you. 

Can You Take Drinks On A Plane?

As long as you purchase the drink after security, you can bring it on the plane. No one is going to check your liquid after you’ve passed through security. 

You could bring your own Yeti cup and bring it empty through security. Then, fill it up with coffee from a store inside the airport and bring it to the airport. You can also fill it up with the coffee offered on the plane.

The only rule is that the cup has to be empty when you pass through security. 

Beyond that, you’re free to take liquids on the plane – you just can’t take them through security with you! 

The takeaway: bring your mug and fill it up with coffee after you’ve passed through security. The only people that care about your liquids are those at the security checkpoint so that they will allow you onto the plane with a full mug.  

Resources

Best Travel Coffee Makers

Can You Bring Coffee Beans on a Plane?

Author

  • Kristin first fell in love with coffee on a trip to Brazil - where she learned that the ground coffee found on American shelves was not the end-all. Today, she loves educating other coffee-lovers on how to make the best cup of coffee, no matter what you enjoy.