How Long Does Coffee Last?

If you are taking a look at your coffee beans, you make yourself wondering, how long does coffee last? There are a few important points you should keep in mind. 

How Long Does Coffee Last
Several factors should be considered if you wanted your coffee beans to last long

There is nothing quite like a great cup of coffee in the morning. For coffee lovers, a cup of joe made from whole beans is delicious. Even the smell of freshly brewed coffee is enough to wake up a coffee drinker. At the same time, fresh coffee only tastes good if it has been made from coffee beans that are still good.

Therefore, how long do coffee grounds last? Do whole beans last longer? There are several important factors that play a role in how long coffee beans last. 

The Shelf Life Of Coffee In All Forms

The expiration date of coffee is going to vary depending on its current state. For example, brewed coffee, ground coffee, whole beans, and instant coffee all have different expiration dates. A few important points to keep in mind include: 

Instant Coffee

warm instant coffee in a coffee glass
Adding dairy to your instant coffee makes it expire faster

If you are in a pinch, you may reach for instant coffee. Sure, this does not taste as great as fresh coffee; however, it will still get the job done. If you have to drink instant coffee, try to consume it within two weeks of opening. If you have added dairy to your instant coffee, it may expire faster than that. 

Ground Coffee

Use a grinder to freshly grind your beans every day. Once you grind your coffee, it will expire faster. More surface area is exposed to the air. If you have already purchased ground coffee, you should use it within two weeks of opening the can or package. 

Whole Beans

Out of all types of coffee, whole bean coffee will last the longest. You have to keep your beans on hold until you brew them if you want your coffee to be as fresh as possible. Store them in an airtight container to increase the shelf life.

When it is ready for you to make your morning cup of coffee, grind only what you need for that day. If you do have whole beans, try to use them within three to four weeks of purchasing to produce a high-quality cup of coffee. If you store them properly, they may last a bit longer; however, the flavor will start to degrade. 

Brewed Coffee

If you have already brewed your coffee, go ahead and drink it! After all, that is the reason why you made it. After you have made your cup of coffee, try to consume it within 12 hours, when it is the freshest. If you do need to store it for later, try to store it in the refrigerator.

It could last three to four days, but it may still taste like stale coffee. 

When Does Coffee Expire: Degradation Factors

If you would like your coffee to last as long as possible, limit light and heat exposure. Coffee tends to do best if you stored in a dark, cool, dry place. If you do not store your coffee beans properly, they will lose their freshness and taste quickly. 

There are several factors that will lead to rancid coffee beans. They include: 

Light Exposure

Coffee beans sure look pretty when you store them in a glass jar! On the other hand, glass jars let in light. If you store your coffee beans in direct light, they will go stale quickly. If you would like your coffee beans to last as long as possible, place them in a dark jar in a dark room. 

Oxygen And Carbon Dioxide Exposure

As the name suggests, oxygen will lead to oxidation, which will cause your coffee beans to go stale. Coffee beans and oxygen are not friends. If you expose whole beans to oxygen, they will go bad in just a few days. 


Coffee beans go bad faster if they are exposed to moist environments. Humid conditions can cause your coffee beans to grow mold, mildew, and other types of pathogens that will ruin them quickly. Store your coffee beans in a dry location to prevent this from happening. 

Heat Exposure 

Unless you are actively brewing your coffee, do not expose it to heat. He can sap the coffee beans of all their flavor. Keep your coffee beans stored in a cool location to avoid this. 

How To Store Coffee

coffee beans sealed inside a jar
Use an airtight, opaque container or a vacuum-sealed bag

If you would like to store your coffee beans appropriately, there are several tips you should keep in mind. These include: 

  • Always make sure your coffee is sealed appropriately. Use an airtight, opaque container or a vacuum-sealed bag. That way, the light will not penetrate it. 
  • Try to avoid purchasing more coffee than you need. Because even whole coffee beans will go bad in a few weeks, try to avoid buying in bulk. You may even want to use a subscription service if you want to have fresh coffee every morning. 
  • If you put a bag of open coffee beans in the fridge, it may last a few extra days; however, the stark temperature difference will damage beans, causing them to lose their flavor. Try to avoid placing coffee beans in the fridge or freezer. If you do, seal the bag to keep it airtight. This could mitigate some of the harm.
  • Minimize heat and humidity exposure. Store your coffee jar in a cabinet to prevent a high room temperature from ruining your coffee beans. 

If you follow these tips, you can stop your coffee beans from going bad too quickly. 

Final Word On How Long Does Coffee Last

There are a lot of factors that influence the shelf life of coffee. Whole beans tend to last longer than ground coffee. Try to consume brewed coffee in approximately 12 hours. If you store your coffee beans in a cool, dry, dark location, they will last as long as possible.

Remember to store them in an airtight container to minimize oxygen exposure. 

FAQs About How Long Does Coffee Last

Is coffee still good after two years?

The vast majority of coffee is going to go bad in just a few weeks. If you freeze your coffee, you may get it to last longer; however, this can also destroy some of the flavors. 

How long can black coffee sit out?

Old coffee that has been brewed will last about 12 hours. If you move it to the refrigerator, it may last for a few days.


  • David R

    Job experience includes extensive work as a teaching assistant, tutor, and guest lecturer and extensive employment in the healthcare field. Have published multiple research papers and numerous poster presentations on various healthcare research topics.