I get a lot of questions from our coffee community asking, can you drink expired coffee? It’s a great question and the answer is yes, you can drink expired coffee and, while it can make you sick it is unlikely to and most likely if you do get sick is all that it will do is cause you to have an upset stomach.
Keep reading for more information about expired coffee and its consumption.
Can You Drink Expired Coffee?
Yes, as long as there are no traces of mold or any signs of it visually and by scent, it is perfectly okay to drink expired coffee as long as it is the type that does not have milk or any other addition that can spoil.
The flavor will deteriorate with high quality coffee beans and, depending on how they were stored and how long past their expiry date.
Good storage is critical for getting your coffee to stay fresh and not lose its flavor for a few months beyond the expiry date.
Brewed coffee is good for around 5-6 hours as long as it is not left on the hot plate but in a thermos. If it is left on the hot plate it will after about an hour or two start to give you that stewed taste. For a fresh coffee taste with drip coffee, it is better to use a thermos than a hot plate to keep your coffee warm for a few hours.
Read: How long do coffee beans last?
Can You Drink Expired Ground Coffee?
Yes, you can drink expired ground coffee but of course, exercise caution. Ground coffee is usually good for a few months after the expiration date written on the packaging.
Of course, take a safety first approach and examine your coffee grounds for any signs of mold and brew a precautionary cup of coffee to check that it tastes fine and doesn’t taste off.
Pre-ground coffee will go off quicker than whole beans. This is just another reason for buying whole bean coffee. The principal reason for buying whole beans has nothing to do with their longer expiry date, it is because they produce fresher and better tasting coffee.
How Long Can Ground Coffee Last After Expiration Date
Ground coffee can last for 3-5 months beyond their expiration date. You can push that by about another two to three months with good proper storage and using an airtight container, but not any airtight container.
To improve the shelf life of your ground coffee, use a proper and well-designed opaque coffee canister with a one-way valve and an airtight lid.
Bonus points for storing your canister in the fridge.
Can Old Ground Coffee Make You Sick? – Can Expired Coffee Give You Diarrhea?
Coffee doesn’t go bad in the same way that other food items do and certainly not at the same rate. Sure they will grow mold if they are not stored properly, but they won’t rot and breakdown.
Coffee, be it ground coffee or whole bean coffee, is good to drink long after expiry date has passed, but they will not rot easily, and will certainly lose some of their taste.
The natural oils in coffee will go rancid over time, there is no doubt about that fact, with coffee beans and coffee grounds this takes months and even years. With brewed coffee, that takes a couple of days.
But, hey, who would drink rancid coffee or week-old coffee!
Will drinking old coffee make you sick?
If there is the presence of mold there is the possibility of you getting very sick due to neurotoxins that may be present. This is rare, but it does happen. This is the very reason why we clean and descale our coffee machines frequently: it is to make sure there is no mold stuck on the inside.
Can drinking expired coffee give you diarrhea?
Yes, it is possible. If you brew a cup of coffee with expired coffee, it is possible that you will get a sore stomach and spend a little more time than normal in the restroom.
Both these situations are unlikely, but may happen.
Read: How long does ground coffee last?
How To Tell If Ground Coffee Is Bad
The best way to tell if your ground coffee is bad is to visually examine them and sniff test for rancid smells. If there is no sign of mold and the smell is okay, proceed to the next test of taking a small pinch and checking for signs of coffee oil.
The presence of oil is good. Even if there is no oil, proceed to the taste test and brew a cup of coffee. Take in the aroma; if it smells off, do not proceed.
If there is no aroma, that is okay too. Sip test your coffee a few times to see if it tastes off or rancid. Discard. At this point, it is up to your own judgement if the coffee tastes fine and is acceptable for use or to discard your coffee beans or coffee grounds.
Frequently Asked Questions About Can You Drink Expired Coffee?
How Long Is Coffee Good For After The Expiration Date?
An unsealed bag of ground coffee is good for 3 to 5 months beyond their expiration date. Whole bean coffee can stay fresh for longer, typically from 6 to 9 months beyond the expiry date.
The reason that whole beans can stay fresher for longer is due to the whole beans having a smaller surface area and thus a reduced exposure to oxygen and a delay in the oxidation process. Also, the oils will evaporate at a slower rate.
Can I Drink 2 Year Expired Coffee?
At Latte Love Brew, we encourage you to TAFO, to Test And Find Out.
Although I don’t particularly advise drinking coffee that is years beyond the expiry date. Coffee that has been stored well doesn’t grow mold. Inspect the beans or coffee grounds for mold and sniff them to check if it smells like rancid coffee or traces of mold or off scents.
Brew a cup of coffee and then sip test the coffee. If it tasted bad, then don’t continue to drink it. It may taste fine, it may even taste perfect. You just won’t know until you test it.
Should I Throw Away Expired Coffee?
Brew a cup of coffee and run a taste test to find out if your coffee is off and undrinkable first. It may not taste like fresh coffee but, as I say, waste not, want not! There is no point in wasting your coffee if you can brew a reasonably good cup with it.
Still, there is no point in throwing out your coffee as you can repurpose it and have a secondary use to revitalize your garden soil, add nutrients to your compost pile, and even use it to keep ants and other insects away from your garden and a lot more.
Does Expired Coffee Still Have Caffeine?
Yes, while the flavor and freshness of your coffee will degrade over time, caffeine is a very stable compound and does not degrade so easily. Even if your coffee has expired, there will be little impact on the amount of caffeine it has.
Does Coffee Expire If Unopened?
Yes, eventually and if left for long enough, ground coffee and whole bean coffee will expire. You can still enjoy ground coffee 3 to 5 months beyond the expiration date if they are unopened. Whole beans will still be good to drink 6 to 9 months after their expiry date.
Instant coffee will last from 2 to 20 years beyond the use by date.
What Can I Do With Old Coffee?
There is a lot that you can do with old coffee. Here are some ideas:
- Make ice cream.
- Use it to make a marinade or as a meat rub.
- Make coffee ice cubes.
- Make tiramisu.
- Use them in hot chocolate to make a mocha.
- Add them to baked goods.
- Make a hair, facial and eye scrub.
- Add nutrients to your compost pile.
- Fix scratches on wooden furniture.
- Keep ants away from your garage or home.
- To add nutrients to your soil and help your household plants.
These are only some ideas. There are many more alternative uses for used and expired coffee grounds.
Final Thoughts – Can You Drink Expired Coffee?
If you are skipping and skimming down and missed the answer to the question, can you drink expired coffee the answer is yes, but with caution.
Carefully examine your coffee before you make a cup to test it out. After your test cup, decide how it tastes and then proceed to either enjoy your coffee or throw it out.