What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee

What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee?

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 14:03

Many coffee lovers have wondered, at least once in their lives, what happens if you drink expired coffee?

This article is focused on that very question, storage times and how to store your coffee beans perfectly with the focus on optimal freshness, flavor and prolonging the life of your coffee beans.

Keep reading to find out what will happen if you drink expired coffee.

What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee?

Not a lot will happen if you drink expired coffee. This of course depends on what kind of coffee, instant coffee, pre-ground coffee, whole roasted coffee beans and canned coffee beverages.

..and of course how far beyond the expiration date your coffee is.

Generally speaking, drinking coffee made from old beans and old coffee grounds won’t make you sick. The taste will be a little flat and less than expected. Sorry to say it, but those specialty grade beans won’t be so special.

If your coffee is off and free from mold and any rancid scents, the worst case situation is you will get a sore stomach and a minor inconvenience caused by the illness.

Simply be eagle eyed and examine your coffee in detail for mold and rancid scents and any imperfections of concern. Brew a test cup of coffee, and before you even sip test give your coffee a good sniff test for awful scents.

If all is fine, sip test your coffee. If it tastes off, stop and don’t proceed. Since coffee does lose its quality over time you will experience a loss in the flavor, and may even taste a little flat, this is due to the natural degradation and the oils in coffee will go off over a period of time.

Can You Drink Expired Ground Coffee
You Can Drink Expired Ground Coffee

Read: How long do coffee beans last?

Can You Drink Expired Ground Coffee?


it is perfectly okay for you to drink expired ground coffee, roasted coffee beans and instant coffee. Coffee is shelf stable, and you need to examine it for mold, and any signs of mold spores both with your eyes and your nose!

As long as your coffee, in whatever form be it instant coffee, ground coffee, roasted coffee beans is free from mold and rancid scents it will be safe for you to brew an initial test cup of coffee.

The reason I insist on a test cup is for flavor reasons, as even the best premium coffee beans will lose flavor, and of course for health reasons. Your beans, or grounds, can still be off even if they pass your visual examination and the aroma test that you run.

How Long Is Coffee Good After The Expiration Date?

How long coffee is good for after their expiration date depends on the type of coffee that you have.

  • Instant coffee: 2 to 20 years.
  • Unroasted green coffee: 18 months to 2 years.
  • Whole bean coffee: 6 to 9 months.
  • Ground coffee: 3 to 5 months.
  • Canned coffee: 2 weeks if stored in your fridge.

These are general guidelines and vary slightly depending on a number of factors, including how well you stored your coffee.

How Long Is Coffee Good After The Expiration Date
Coffee Is Good Long After The Expiration Date

Read: Expired coffee grounds

How To Store Your Coffee Perfectly

There are a few techniques that you can use to extend the life of coffee beans and coffee grounds. By far the best method is to use two professional opaque coffee canisters.

Professional coffee canisters meet all the requirements for coffee storage as they:

  • Block strong lights.
  • Prevent air from getting in.
  • Protect from moisture and air.
  • Have a one-way valve for letting your coffee to degas and let the carbon dioxide escape.

The only thing that they cannot protect from is heat – even though the best ones have insulation against heat. The next step is to fill one of your coffee canisters with your coffee beans and remove 14 to 21 days worth of coffee and store this canister in your fridge. Store the other canister in your freezer.

The canister that you store in your fridge is for your daily coffee for the next 14 to 21 days. The one in your freezer keeps the rest of your beans in perfect storage conditions. The act of not opening and closing this canister every day or week prevents new, fresh oxygen from entering the coffee canister and helps your coffee to stay fresher for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee

If your coffee smells off, it is likely to be off. The smell of coffee plays an important role in the overall flavor profile, which is why you hear and see the word aromatic used a lot when it comes to describing coffee. It is unlikely that you will get sick from drinking expired coffee, unless you see mold, in which case ditch your coffee.

If you don’t see any mold, and it smells fine or flat then proceed to brewing a small test cup of coffee to find out how it tastes. If it tastes okay but has lost some of its flavor it is your decision if you want to use them or not.

If my premium quality coffee beans have expired and lost some flavor, I’ll still use them, just I’ll relegate them to everyday morning coffee and not my evening enjoyment coffee I like to relax, savor and enjoy.

If your test cup ends up being off, a few sips won’t make you sick, a slight upset stomach, sure, very sick no…Just make sure that there is no mold. Of course any sign of rancid coffee, don’t drink it!

If you have stored your coffee well, it will not go bad in the same way as bread, biscuits or that dinner you cooked a few days ago will. Coffee, like rice and pasta, is considered shelf-stable. It can stay good well beyond the expiry date and won’t make you sick. Just keep it away from water and air. It may lose some taste though.

Brew a test cup of coffee after examining your coffee beans or coffee grounds for mold and find out how it tastes.

What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee Creamer?

Drinking expired coffee creamer is different from drinking expired coffee. The time frame in which the various creamers and dairy products expire varies depending on the type of milk, whole milk, skimmed, half-and-half cream, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, soy milk etc.

If your expired coffee creamer or any dairy product starts to get moldy or bacteria starts to form you will be risking food poisoning, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, indigestion and an upset stomach. It’s not a good idea to use expired coffee creamer if there are any signs of mold or bacteria.

Read: How long does ground coffee last?

Individual servings of coffee creamer have a shelf life of approximately 6 months and can easily last a month or two beyond the expiry date. Sniff and check for mold and signs of bacteria. Use the whole serving immediately.

Can You Drink Expired Coffee Pods?

In most cases, it is perfectly fine for you to drink expired coffee pods. Coffee pods are hermetically sealed, which protects them against moisture, and are nitrogen flushed too, which protects against oxygen.

They are a perfect storage unit for coffee grounds and will be likely be very safe to drink beyond their expiry date as long as the coffee pod has not become damaged in any way.

Can You Drink Expired Starbucks Coffee?

Starbucks coffee grounds and coffee beans are the same as other coffee beans and coffee grounds. Examine them for signs of mold and bacteria visually and use your nose to detect any off scents. If all is fine and no rancid scents of signs of mold or bacteria are present make a small test cup of coffee to try it out.

In all probability they will be okay to drink but will have lost a degree of their flavor. Their canned coffee, if it contains dairy product, pour the contents into a glass and check for mold, bacteria and proceed with caution.

Their canned coffee that is free from dairy products are usually fine.

Final Thoughts – What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee?

That question, what happens if you drink expired coffee? I hope that your mind is at rest, and you don’t just rush to throw them out for little or no reason as your coffee may still be good to drink, although it may have lost some of its flavor.

Please do take steps to ensure that you store your coffee beans perfectly and use a professional coffee canister as the coffee packaging that it comes in is good for transportation but not for storing in your pantry, fridge or freezer.

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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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