How Long Do Roasted Coffee Beans Last?

Almost everyone loves and takes ridiculous amounts of coffee. A cup of this tasty beverage rejuvenates and gives us the energy to go about our day to day activities. But have you ever asked yourself how long a bag of roast coffee beans can last? It’s a tough question that even the coffee industry experts can’t agree on. Coffee is volatile, and the coffee experts unanimously agree on one fact that coffee changes.

What most people get wrong and should be aware of is that the expiration of coffee is different from other food products. For coffee, it’s more of freshness. As you will notice with most products, once they go bad, they produce a foul smell or a bad taste. Since coffee is volatile, when left open, it loses its rich taste and flavors over time. Once the flavors and taste are depleted, it means the coffee has gone bad or rather expired. Brewing the stale coffee is not dangerous, but no coffee lover would take coffee that has lost its taste.

In this article, we will look at how long coffee beans can last on your shelf, how to tell whether your coffee has gone off and how to properly store your coffee to give it a longer shelf life.

How Long Does it Take for Roasted Coffee Beans to Go Bad?

As I had mentioned, the term expired doesn’t quite apply when it comes to coffee and thus assigning an expiration or best before a defined date can be tricky. For coffee to go off, it all goes down to storage and the type of coffee. Coffee is volatile, and without proper storage, it’s bound to lose its taste rapidly. Ground coffee, for instance, provides a large surface area for oxygen to act on, and thus flavor compounds are quickly depleted. To keep your roasted coffee beans fresh and for long, we recommended that you keep them whole, only grinding them when necessary.

How to Tell Whether Your Coffee Beans have Gone Off?

Coffee that has gone bad implies that it has lost most of its flavors after being exposed to air. There are a couple of ways to tell if the coffee beans have gone off. Tasting them is an option, but still, the human tongue is limited to five tastes. Using your nose is the perfect approach as it can distinguish and remember thousands of various smells. If you realize that the aroma from the beans is gone, be sure that the flavors have also been lost meaning they have gone off. Usually, smell and taste go hand in hand. You may also notice that the beans will lose their deep brown color and change to light brown.

How to Store your Coffee Beans Properly

Ensuring your coffee beans retain their rich flavor, you should always keep them in a cool and dry place away from water and oxygen. These two elements are the most destructive on your beans, and once in contact with them, they begin to extract the flavors. Your packaging should ensure that water and oxygen don’t get through.

Another approach is freezing the coffee; although not recommended, it has some benefits when done correctly. Among the benefits is you can use them for espresso. However, you should be careful not to let moisture get into the beans when you get them out of the freezer as any moisture in the bag extracts flavors from the pods.


Properly storing your roasted coffee beans guarantees your beans a long shelf life. You can always get products that help to flash oxygen from the coffee bean bags. Always remember to measure your coffee beans in small doses for grinding as ground coffee goes stale at a faster rate.

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