How Long Does Ground Coffee Last

How Long Does Ground Coffee Last?

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 14:20

How long does ground coffee last? This is a question that coffee lovers and enthusiasts ask ourselves before wondering what it is we can do to store them in optimal conditions.

This article deals with that question in detail and gives you some excellent advice on how to store your coffee perfectly with the goal of maintaining optimal freshness and peak flavor.

Keep reading to find out how long coffee lasts!

How Long Does Ground Coffee Last In Airtight Container

When you grind your coffee, you increase the surface area which increases its exposure to oxygen and accelerates the chemical reaction known as oxidation leading to the deterioration of your coffee grounds.

When stored well and in an opaque airtight container, your coffee grounds can last up to 5 months beyond the expiration date.

To store well keep your coffee away from moisture, air, strong lights and heat.

Storing your coffee in the fridge is advantageous as it eliminates the problem of heat.

If you do try your coffee 5 months after the expiry date, expect it to have lost some flavor.

How Long Does Ground Coffee Last In Airtight Container
A Professional Coffee Container

Read: Can you drink expired coffee?

How Long Does Ground Coffee Last Unopened?

While unopened, your coffee grounds will last for three to five months beyond the expiration date.

How long your ground coffee will last in their original packaging while unopened is the same as the period of time they will last while stored in an opaque airtight container when opened. Which is testament to how well professional coffee canisters work to store your coffee.

If you are trying your coffee on, near of after the use by date, be it opened or unopened, expect it to taste flat.

How Long Does Ground Coffee Last Unopened?

While unopened, your coffee grounds will last for three to five months beyond the expiration date.

How long your ground coffee will last in their original packaging while unopened is the same as the period of time they will last while stored in an opaque airtight container when opened. Which is testament to how well professional coffee canisters work to store your coffee.

If you are trying your coffee on, near of after the use by date, be it opened or unopened, expect it to taste flat.

How Long Does Unopened Ground Coffee Last In The Freezer

How long your coffee lasts while unopened and stored in your freezer is not something that you should do as the original packaging is not designed to store your coffee beans or coffee grounds in the freezer.

Stored in the original packaging, while unopened and in your freezer, I really would not expect your coffee to last at all.

The moisture in the air and freezer burn would ruin your beans. While you can store coffee in your freezer is something that you can do to help prolong their freshness, it’s best that you remove them from the original packaging and use a proper coffee canister with an airtight lid.

Stored well, you can expect your coffee to stay well for 2 years after the expiration date.

How Long Does Ground Coffee Last In The Freezer
You Can Freeze Coffee

How To Store Ground Coffee Long Term

Storing coffee long term is easy, as easy as keeping it safe from the elements that negatively affect its freshness.

The enemies of coffee are:

  • Air.
  • Moisture.
  • Heat.
  • Strong lights.

The obvious thing that is going to help you a lot is a professional coffee canister that is opaque as it achieves all but one of the goals of keeping your coffee away from all but one of the enemies that threaten its freshness – heat.

The best way of mitigating heat is to store your coffee in your freezer. Since it is in a coffee canister, it is airtight and protected from aromas and moisture that is in the air.

An even more effective way, particularly when you have a lot of excess coffee beans or grounds, is to use a second coffee canister and remove enough from the canister that you store in your freezer to last you 15 days and store them in the second canister and keep the second canister in your fridge.

This is effective as it keeps your beans in the freezer perfectly fresh as the freezing cold temperature halts the oxidation process to a snail’s pace while they are there waiting a week or two to be used. At Latte Love Brew we encourage you to store your coffee under optimal conditions.

How To Tell If Your Coffee Grounds Are Off

There are a few simple tests that you can run that will tell you with certainty if your coffee grounds are off.

Start by examining your coffee beans or grounds for mold. Mold is bad, so if there is any slight sign of it, discard your coffee grounds.

Sniff your coffee and check for any off-and-rancid smells. If your coffee smells bad, forget about brewing with them as they will likely taste bad.

Then rub some grounds of beans between your finger and thumb. The goal is to check for the presence of oil. If there is no oil, it is probable that your coffee will be flat and flavorless.

Finally, run a taste test.

Brew a small cup of coffee using your preferred brewing method. Check the aroma and how it smells. If it smells off or rancid, there is no need for the next step, a taste test.

If it smells flat, there is no danger in proceeding to the taste test. The important thing is that it doesn’t smell rancid or off in any way.

Take a taste test. Take a few sips and simply check how it tastes. Don’t gulp it down, simply taste test it by sipping a few times.

Again, if it tastes off or rancid, there is no need for you to proceed. If it tastes fine, you can use the rest of your coffee beans or grounds.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Does Ground Coffee Last?

Is Ground Coffee Still Good After 2 Years?

Ground coffee is still good for 3 to 5 months beyond their expiration date. How they taste 2 years after their expiration date is likely to be flat and certainly not as good as they would have been.

The quality of the brew will depend on how well you have stored your coffee. Storing in an airtight container and keeping your container in your fridge or freezer will help to keep their flavor for longer.

How Long Does Ground Coffee Stay Fresh After Grinding?

Ground coffee does not stay fresh as long as whole beans. Once you grind your coffee, you can expect it to stay for approximately one week.

How Do You Store Ground Coffee Long Term?

The best way of storing your ground coffee is to keep them in a professional coffee canister that is opaque, airtight and has a one-way valve. Then store your coffee canister in your freezer.

Your coffee canister keeps your coffee grounds dry, away from strong lights and moisture. Storing in your freezer keeps your coffee away from sources of heat and in a controlled environment.

Does Ground Coffee Lose Freshness?

Yes, all coffee, be they coffee grounds, instant coffee or coffee beans, will eventually lose their freshness. It is only a matter of time.

Store your coffee grounds in optimal conditions in order to ensure that they maintain their freshness. For maximum freshness, it is best that you enjoy and use your ground coffee within 1 to 2 weeks of opening.

Keep your coffee away from moisture, heat, air and strong light.

Yes, but with the caveat that you must store your ground coffee in an opaque airtight container. Heat is an enemy of coffee and its freshness factor and while we can’t control the temperature of our pantry due to the natural temperature of the environment and the desire to use central heating during the winter and the heat of a hot summer. A fridge provides a cold environment.

Some coffee lovers are concerned about their coffee absorbing the aromas and flavor of food that is nearby. Due to the airtight lid this is not a concern.

A jar, even a mason jar that is not an opaque container, does not provide the ideal environment for storing ground coffee. I’d expect my coffee to last a week or two when stored in a normal container in regular conditions like being stored in the pantry.

Proper storage can prolong how long your coffee stays at peak freshness.

Final Thoughts – How Long Does Ground Coffee Last?

How long does ground coffee last shouldn’t be too much of a concern for you if you store them in perfect conditions.

Put in the effort to store your coffee in the perfect conditions; your taste buds will appreciate it!

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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