How Long Do Raw Coffee Beans Last?

Molds on your coffee beans are a sign that it’s already expired. Get to know the green coffee and answer, “How long do raw coffee beans last?”

How Long Do Raw Coffee Beans Last
Coffee’s taste has a lot to do with its freshness

Are you like me, who always finds it hard to balance when my next coffee purchase is? Coffee’s taste has a lot to do with its freshness. I like to try every variety I can get my hands on; I tend to buy more than I can drink, so it’s hard to make my coffee last longer. 

A great solution is buying green coffee beans rather than pre-roasted ones. Unroasted beans can last for two or more years, but don’t expect them to have the same quality and flavor profile after the first twelve months. Read more to know why green coffee beans are becoming more popular, including the best way to keep them fresh.

The Green Coffee Beans

green coffee beans on display
These green beans are the natural state of coffee beans before roasting

If you’re unfamiliar with green coffee beans, it’s the raw seeds inside coffee cherries. The seeds are then removed from the fruit using various coffee processing methods such as:

  • Naturally-processed
  • Washed
  • Semi-washed

These green beans are the natural state of coffee beans before roasting, which turns them into the brown-colored beans you usually see in stores and online. 

Like roasted beans, green coffee varies in flavor and boldness. For example, raw coffee beans from South America have a mild taste, while African beans have citrus and acidic flavors. The raw coffee beans from Indonesia and Brazil are the best choice if you like an intense and bolder flavor.

Do you like to know more about cultivating coffee? See our guide on how coffee is grown and the process of coffee production.

Green Coffee Bean’s Popularity

While it’s not as familiar as the roasted ones, demand for green coffee beans is steadily increasing as consumers become more aware of its benefits. In 2021, the green coffee beans global market was valued at $35.40 billion, and this growth is expected to continue. 

Here are the top reasons why green coffee beans are getting popular:

Health Benefits

Aside from having a lower caffeine content than roasted coffee, raw coffee beans are also rich in chlorogenic acids. This phenolic compound has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that provide many health benefits, such as:

  • Encourages detox and weight loss
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Delays signs of aging
  • Stabilizes glucose levels
  • Reduces high cholesterol levels
  • Promotes cognitive and cardiovascular benefits

Versatility

Raw coffee beans are not only for brewing coffee. Green Coffee Extract (GCE) can also regulate hormones and tolerate glucose. They’re considered one of the best coffee beans to eat as a snack.

Shelf Life

Compared to roasted ones, raw coffee beans have a longer shelf life. These beans can remain stable for a long time compared to roasted beans or coffee grounds. Some reports say coffee beans will stay fresh even longer in freezers, but it’s still controversial and continues to be investigated by experts.

Raw Coffee Beans And Freshness

You can store the green coffee beans for six to 12 months without losing the bean’s freshness, natural taste, and aroma. Compared to roasted beans, which can last about two to six weeks after opening, and ground coffee, which only lasts seven to 14 days, it’s not surprising that more coffee lovers are switching to raw coffee beans because it’s shelf-stable.

But like roasted beans, green coffee’s shelf life depends on how you store it and its origin. Raw beans from India, Indonesia, and Central and South America are already three to four months old, while beans from African countries are older. 

Signs That Raw Coffee Beans Have Gone Bad

Since raw coffee beans are perishable foods and are prone to damage when incorrectly stored, here are the things you should watch out for:

  • If you notice that the beans turned into a different color, you must stop consuming them.
  • Throw the coffee beans away if they have developed white and gray molds on the packaging or storage containers.
  • If your beans have a strange smell.
  • It’s no longer fresh if your brewed coffee tastes terrible or stale.

Factors To Consider When Storing Raw Coffee Beans At Home

Coffee cherries in a basket
Even with proper storing, the beans can still expire and lose their unique taste, aroma, and overall quality

Some brands claim their green coffee can last longer than a year. However, even with proper storing, the beans can still expire and lose their unique taste, aroma, and overall quality. To ensure they’ll last longer, consider the following factors:

Moisture

Humidity must be at 60% to keep the raw coffee beans stable. You must keep the beans in a cool and dry place. If not, too much moisture can make the beans too soft and lose most of their natural flavor. 

It will also be prone to molds, bacteria, and fungus, accelerating the spoilage.

Temperature

The ideal room temperature for storing raw coffee beans is 60°F to prevent the beans from drying out due to high temperatures.

Sunlight

Place the beans away from direct sunlight as any exposure can cause premature aging. Your kitchen pantry or cabinets are the best places for storing the beans because it’s dry and cool. 

Containers

Another vital factor to consider is a suitable container for storing coffee beans. An airtight jar or sealed container is your best choice, but you have other options such as Ziploc bags. 

Brewing Green Coffee

Now that you know important things about raw coffee beans, it’s time to brew! Follow the easy steps below:

Equipment

  • Whole green coffee beans
  • Water
  • Mason jar
  • Stove
  • Saucepan
  • Filters (Metal, paper, or cloth)
  • Coffee grinder (Optional)
  • Sweetener (Optional)

Method

If you’re using powdered green coffee beans:

  1. Grind the beans into fine or super fine grinds similar to espresso grounds.
  2. Place the freshly ground coffee in a cup.
  3. Heat the water to 194°F.
  4. Slowly pour the water into the cup and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Get a separate cup, pour the beverage through a filter into the other cup, and enjoy.

If you’re using whole raw green coffee beans:

  1. Put one tablespoon of beans in a cup of water and let it soak overnight. It’s alright if the water immediately turns green. Leave the beans covered.
  2. The next day, pour the bean and the water into a saucepan and boil. 
  3. After boiling, let it simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and let it cool off for a few minutes. Make sure it stays warm, not too cool.
  5. Pour the green coffee through a filter to catch the beans and the bean’s outer skin into your cup.
  6. This is optional, but you can enjoy the green coffee on its own or add sweeteners such as honey and sugar.

FAQs About How Long Raw Coffee Beans Last

How Do You Store Raw Coffee Beans?

Store your green coffee beans in a cool, dry place away from the sunlight and in an airtight container

How Long Do Unground Coffee Beans Last?

Roasted coffee beans can last for up to three weeks after roasting. Coffee beans in airtight containers last for six to nine months. In contrast, raw coffee beans can last for up to a year.

Do Fresh Coffee Beans Go Bad?

Yes, fresh coffee beans can go bad if improperly stored. However, if you keep them properly, they can last up to nine months, but the quality will not be the same.

Author

  • Maria Caballero

    Writer and coffee lover, Maria Caballero, is fond of visiting new cafes and trying current trends involving caffeine. She shares amusing experiences to fellow coffee enthusiasts who wants to explore the world of coffee.