What is the Shelf Life for Coffee Beans and Grounds?

One of the most common questions asked about coffee is: does it expire? Well, technically no, coffee doesn’t have a fixed expiry date. However, that doesn’t mean that your 6-month old coffee bean will make the same tasting coffee from a freshly roasted bean. So how long do coffee beans and grounds last, and how do we store them properly to ensure maximum freshness? We explain below.

Rule of Thumb

Essentially, the finer the grind, the shorter the shelf life of your coffee ground. But that doesn’t mean that a whole coffee bean is safe from the elements. The moment coffee beans are roasted, they gradually lose their flavour due to oxidation, heat, light, and moisture in the air. The way you store your beans or ground also plays an important factor on the speed at which they lose their aroma and flavour profiles.

Roasted Coffee Beans

[caption id="attachment_8230" align="alignnone" width="1500"]a shelf filled with coffee bags Consider buying your next batch of coffee beans from specialty cafes or small-batch roasters for fresher beans. Photo from Leilani Angel.[/caption] When purchasing roasted beans, always check the roasting date as its average life span is approximately 4 to 5 weeks. We are familiar with store-bought beans having an expiry date of 12-24 months, which is why they tend to produce less satisfactory brews than our favourite cafes. Consider getting your beans from small-batch roasters that only roast a few kilos of beans each time to ensure none are left on the shelf by the end of the day. Another alternative is specialty cafes like
Read more »