Have you ever picked up a bag of roasted coffee beans from the store or found a bag of coffee beans at the back of your pantry and wondered if they were still good or asked yourself how long do roasted coffee beans last?
Well, that answer depends on a couple of factors, mainly how the roasted coffee beans are being stored.
Roasted coffee starts out as green coffee beans until they are roasted which changes the chemicals in the bean and brings out the flavor of coffee.
The beans are heated up using a variety of different heat sources for a variety of time to create a specific roast. Such as light roast, medium roast, dark roast, etc.
Some coffee junkies even roast their own beans at home, otherwise, as you probably already know, it’s common to find a bag of roasted coffee beans at coffee shops or grocery stores.
How Long Do Roasted Coffee Beans Last?
How long roasted coffee beans last depends on how they are stored or packaged.
If you are storing your beans in an ordinary paper bag or a box or you open your packaged roasted coffee beans you picked up, your freshly roasted beans will last about 10-14 days.
If you pick up beans that are packaged in heat-sealable bags with a foil base, you can store your beans for up to 12 months with no problems.
If they are in a sturdy sealed four-layer paper bag your beans can last up 6 months.
Technically roasted coffee beans don’t expire. But if they are not stored properly or you wait a very long time to use them, the flavor will decline over time and the coffee may not taste good at all.
One thing to pay attention to is the roast date on your bag of beans. This will help you determine when you should brew the coffee for the best flavor.
You want to wait to use your coffee beans a couple of days after the beans have been roasted so the flavor compounds can be extracted to create a flavorful and delicious coffee bean.
You should also wait to grind your coffee beans until close to the time you are ready to use them. This will help keep them fresher longer. When your ground coffee is exposed to oxygen for too long it will start to oxidize which creates a more rancid flavor, which happens quicker with grounds than with whole beans.
Sooner is always better than later, so try to grind your beans right before you brew them. If you must grind your beans prior, like the night before you plan to use them, make sure to store them in an opaque air-tight container to prevent as much oxygen exposure as possible.
You can store your grounds for about 1-2 weeks but you will definitely lose a lot of the richness in flavor as time passes.
How Do You Store Roasted Coffee Beans?
The best way to store roasted coffee beans so that they are kept fresh is at room temperature in an air-tight opaque container.
You don’t want the temperature to compromise your coffee beans so try to store it away in a cool part of the kitchen in a cabinet if you have space.
Don’t let it sit anywhere that the sun will shine on it for a few hours a day or by the oven. The heat can ruin the taste of your roasted beans.
You want to avoid oxygen, heat, light, and moisture if you want to keep your beans fresh and tasty.
Can You Roast Coffee Beans Twice?
It depends on how it’s done. A coffee shop or coffee business might roast the coffee beans twice to create a different flavor. For example, doing it with a dark roast to create a more sweet flavor.
However, experts advise that you do not roast already roasted coffee beans at your home. This is because of the large amount of time that has passed from when it is first roasted and then roasted a second time.
Roasting it a second time will likely only result in breaking down the compounds in the coffee and ultimately ruining the taste.
How to Determine If Coffee Beans Have Gone Bad
You can determine if coffee beans have gone bad from the smell. Your coffee will taste similar to the smell, so if it smells bad, dull, rancid, musty, or even just a little bit off or not appetizing, get rid of it.
This is because that is likely how your coffee is going to taste, regardless of how much creamer you put in it.
Can Old Coffee Beans Make You Sick?
If it’s moldy, yes. If it was kept in a moist area and you can see fuzzy things growing on it, obviously don’t drink it, consuming mold will make you sick. I
t also depends on the person on if old coffee will make you sick (like having to puke or have diarrhea) or if it will just taste terrible.
A good rule of thumb would be to just get rid of your old coffee beans and not brew them.
How Long Do Unroasted Coffee Beans Last?
Unroasted coffee beans can last for up to 5 years. They have about 1 year for all of the flavor properties to be preserved, but most of the flavor will still remain for up to 3 years before the flavor starts to disappear.
To preserve unroasted coffee beans in the best state, make sure to keep them in a tightly sealed or vacuum-packed bag.
How Long Do Ground Coffee Beans Last?
Unopened and airtight packaged ground coffee can last for about 3 to 5 months. Once it’s opened and stored in an airtight opaque container, it can last for up to 1-2 weeks.
Do Coffee Beans Lose Caffeine Over Time?
Yes, they do. But you can help preserve the caffeine in your coffee beans by storing them properly. As mentioned, in an opaque airtight concealer away from light and heat.
As well as waiting to grind your coffee beans until you are ready to brew a cup. You have a small window of when your coffee is ground and if you leave it sitting out, it will begin to oxidize which will change the flavor, freshness, and it will slowly start to reduce the caffeine content.
What to Do With Old Coffee Beans?
You can throw them away, use them as decor, grind them and use them as plant fertilizer (yes, really!) or even create a coffee scrub to use in the shower. Y
ou can use it if you compost, or use it’s abrasive and acidic compounds to clean your kitchen or dishes. If you’re creative you can probably think of other ways you can use your old coffee beans around your house!
How Long Do Coffee Beans Last in the Freezer
If you put your whole roasted beans in an airtight container and freeze them they can stay fresh for about 3 to 4 months.
However, don’t forget about them, if you leave them too long in the freezer they may get freezer burned which will ruin their taste.
Roasted coffee is one of life’s many joys. Now that you know how long roasted coffee beans last, make sure you’re keeping your roasted beans properly stored and used within the timeframes mentioned above you will be able to enjoy fresh delicious coffee and be able to keep the integrity of the roasted coffee beans.