How Long Does Coffee Last? 8 Storage Tips

How Long Does Coffee Last? 8 Storage Tips

Is there anything better than that first cup of coffee? We don’t think so. While we can’t get enough Javy Coffee, we know plenty of coffee varieties are out there. If you’ve ever wondered how long coffee lasts, we’ve got the answers. 

Today, we’re going to walk through the details of how long coffee lasts and how you can store it to maximize the life of your coffee. Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Coffee Beans

Let’s start by talking about the most basic form of coffee: whole beans. These beautiful little treasures are what make coffee, coffee. Later, we’ll grind them up to make coffee, but first, let’s look at how long coffee beans last.

How Long Do Coffee Beans Last?

Of all the forms of coffee we will talk about today, coffee beans have the longest shelf life. Coffee beans are fairly easy to store, and when stored properly, they can last for years. 

Many YouTubers and coffee influencers have made videos about drinking old coffee made from beans roasted all the way back in the 1930s. Thanks to proper storage, they were still safe to drink 90 years later.

But that doesn’t mean those old beans made coffee worth drinking. Over time, coffee beans go through a process called oxidation, where the oxygen in the air breaks down certain antioxidants in the coffee responsible for its flavor

That means that whole bean coffee, when properly stored, will always be safe to drink, even after the expiration date on the bag. But after about two months after the roasting date, even the best coffee beans will lose some of their flavors over time. 

Bottom line: the shelf life of coffee beans is roughly two months with proper storage. 

How To Store Coffee Beans

The best way to store your coffee beans is in a cool, dry place with little to no light. You can keep your beans stored at room temperature in a cabinet, preferably in an airtight container. If you follow these simple principles, your coffee will stay the freshest for those full two months.

Coffee Grounds

You’re already familiar with coffee grounds. Before Javy Coffee came along, it was a convenient way to have coffee on-hand without needing another small kitchen appliance (hello, coffee grinder). Pre-ground coffee is easy to find, but is it easy to store? 

How Long Do Coffee Grounds Last?

Grounds don’t keep for nearly as long as coffee beans do. Once the coffee is ground, there is so much more surface area of the bean that’s exposed to the air. More air means more oxidation, so ground coffee loses its flavors far quicker than beans. 

When you buy a bag of grounds at the store, they are kept in an airtight container or bag. In this state, they can last for several months. But once you open your grounds, they will age far quicker. It doesn’t take long.

Grounds start to oxidize and lose their flavor within hours of being opened or ground. This makes for something of a stale coffee and not the aromatic hot coffee you were hoping for.

How To Store Coffee Grounds

Luckily, there is still a lot you can do to slow the aging process. It all comes back to vacuum-sealed or airtight containers. If you can remove most of the air from the grounds while storing them, they can keep for much longer. 

Grounds still stay food-safe for several months when stored properly. So to keep your coffee good for longer, it’s a great idea to invest in an airtight or even vacuum-sealed coffee container. 

Brewed Coffee

Now let’s talk about brewed coffee. A pot of fresh coffee is part of the morning routine in American households every morning. Sometimes, those pots go unfinished. What do you do with that extra coffee?

How Long Does Brewed Coffee Last?

The length of time that your coffee lasts depends on a lot of factors. First, does your brewer keep it hot? If you have a hot plate on your brewer keeping the brewed coffee warm, it will last a lot longer than if you were to just leave it at room temperature. 

Hot coffee technically only stays hot and fresh for about 20 minutes. But you can also take your hot brewed coffee and turn it into iced coffee, which can keep in the fridge for a few days. Just put your coffee in an airtight container or carafe in the fridge to help keep it fresh, and you’ll have iced coffee ready to roll the next day. 

How To Store Brewed Coffee

There are a lot of ways to keep your cup of coffee fresh. We’ve already talked about the hot plate on the coffee maker as an option, but you can also keep your coffee in an insulated mug or a thermos to keep it hot for much longer. Some electric mugs even heat themselves. 

But if you want to store your hot coffee and turn it into some yummy iced coffee, put it in an airtight container in the fridge, and it will stay good for up to four days. 

Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is one of the best ways to drink coffee. Cold, refreshing, and caffeinated? Sign me up! 

How Long Does Iced Coffee Last?

When stored in the fridge, iced coffee will last for about four days. After that, it could go rancid and start to taste sour. Blech! Of course, the awful taste isn’t the only issue. It even runs the risk of not being safe for consumption. 

After you make iced coffee, you have one or two days to drink it. 

How To Store Iced Coffee

As we mentioned above, the best place to store your iced coffee is in the fridge in an airtight container. This can be an airtight pitcher, but the best option would be a jar or some other container with a screw-on lid and a solid, airtight seal. 

Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is packed with caffeine, and a cup of cold brew is ready to carry your brain through the most basic days at the office. There isn’t anything quite like that refreshing cup of cold coffee that sends your brain into hyper-focus overdrive mode.

How Long Does Cold Brew Last?

Cold brew is a bit of a different animal than iced coffee. While iced coffee is hot coffee that is then cooled down in the fridge, cold brew is brewed at a cold temperature, not a hot one. Because of this, the reactions in the coffee brewing process are slightly different. This process creates distinct compounds and oils that stay fresher longer. 

That’s a fancy way of saying that cold brew is going to last an extra day when compared to iced coffee. So your cold brew will keep in the fridge for about five days if you store it the right way. 

How To Store Cold Brew

Once again, with cold brew, you’re going to want to keep it in an airtight container (that’s becoming a bit of a theme, isn’t it?). Put your cold brew in your container in the fridge, and you can have the cold brew you crave whenever you want — at least for the next five days.

Lattes

We’ve all been there. You go through the drive-through and order your favorite latte with your favorite milk and those delicious sweet flavors. But maybe you ordered a size too big and just can’t bring yourself to finish the whole thing. What do you do with that leftover latte?

How Long Do Lattes Last?

Now we’re not only talking about coffee anymore. We’re also talking about milk, so the game has changed here. Milk and coffee together aren’t going to stay good for nearly as long as either ingredient can on its own. 

This is because coffee, especially the espresso in a latte, is an acidic drink. The heat, combined with the acidity in the coffee, makes the milk spoil faster than it normally would. Normal milk lasts for a week or two when opened, but a latte will only last for two days, max. 

How To Store Lattes

The best way to store your latte is, you guessed it, in an airtight container in the fridge. This is extremely important when you’re working with a latte because of the risk of milk spoilage. Just make sure you keep it cold. 

It’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t let your latte sit out for too long before you store it. If you’re working with a latte that’s been sitting out at room temp for two hours or more, there’s a good chance it’s already spoiled. Drink your latte or store it within an hour of the liquid getting to room temperature. Be safe with your milk.

Instant Coffee

Now let’s talk about the infamous instant coffee. 

While this is not most people’s first choice of coffee, many of us still have some instant coffee in the back of our pantry in case of an emergency. Until Javy Coffee came along, people often had to turn to instant coffee for their daily dose of caffeine when camping. 

How Long Does Instant Coffee Last?

Instant coffee is made by either freeze-drying or dehydrating coffee, so it can last for a really long time. When you buy instant coffee, the expiration date on the package is usually between six months and two years. But in reality, it can last for far longer than that. 

If you keep your instant coffee in the package it came in, unopened, it can last for a couple of decades. Who would have thought?

The dehydration or the freeze-drying process removes many of the coffee’s antioxidants. Antioxidants cause the oxidation process in coffee, but they happen to be the major source of coffee’s flavor and aromas. That’s why instant coffee doesn’t taste quite as robust as other forms of coffee. 

How To Store Instant Coffee

The best way to keep your instant coffee good for as long as possible is to keep it sealed in the container it came in. Most instant coffee already comes in an airtight container, allowing you to easily store it in a cool, dry place. If you do this, your instant coffee can stay good for years.

Coffee Concentrate

Now let’s talk about our favorite way to make coffee: coffee concentrate. A coffee concentrate is absolutely amazing because it allows you to create any coffee drink you want in mere seconds! It’s flexible, delicious, and super fun to use!

How Long Does Coffee Concentrate Last?

A coffee concentrate is exactly what it sounds like: concentrated coffee. Because of its nature (with it being super strong and all), it lasts a lot longer than your typical coffee. 

You can keep an unopened bottle of concentrate in the fridge and still use it after six months. But once you open the bottle, the clock starts ticking, and you have about four to six weeks to use it up. 

A coffee concentrate is an incredibly convenient form of coffee to drink. This nearly ready-made coffee can be on standby at all times, ready to meet your caffeine needs. 

How To Store Coffee Concentrate

Storing a coffee concentrate like Javy Coffee is easy. Simply keep your coffee concentrate in the container that it came in and put it in the fridge. The airtight container was made to keep it fresh, and keeping it in the fridge keeps it conveniently cold for whenever you want to make your iced coffee, latte, or cup of black coffee.

Storing Your Coffee

Now you know how to store all the different types of coffee drinks. No matter what coffee you have lying around, you can keep it safe and tasty for as long as possible. Now go and enjoy your properly stored coffee drinks.

 

Sources:

Changes in Sensory Quality Characteristics of Coffee During Storage | PubMed Central

How Long Do Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans Last? | Buy Organic Coffee

Keeping School Milk Tasting Good | Cornell University


Featured collection

View all