What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee?

What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee

What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee?

What happens if you drink expired coffee? Before answering this question, you may also ask if coffee can go bad too. Here’s how to tell if your coffee is still fresh or not and does it really matter?

Coffees either in bean or ground form. It is made up of as many as thousand different compounds such as carbohydrates, amino acids and lipids. These compounds undergo physical and chemical changes that gives coffee its aroma and taste. Its carb go stale, lipids go rancid, volatile organic compounds evaporate and its other components change. Minute changes can make a significant impact on your coffee’s taste.

In the first place, coffee doesn’t expire, but it will stale. This happens when its volatile compounds evaporate and oxidize with air exposure after opening the bag or can. You may use your electric burr grinder before brewing your coffee. It’s also best to buy smaller quantity of whole beans. If you have a home grinder, you can grind your coffee beans appropriately.  It is not advisable to store large quantities of ground coffee so make sure to keep your coffee well sealed in a cool, dark place.

But how long your coffee will last?

Well, it depends on its form as well as to where and how it’s stored. If you want to preserve its good taste, you can store it in an airtight container and put it in a cool, dry, and dark place. If you stored it this way, your ground coffee can last up to a few months past its expiration date, whole bean up to nine months and instant coffee for up to twenty years. You may also store your coffee in the freezer where it can extend its shelf life up to one to three years for the whole bean and ground coffee. You can freeze your coffee in ice cube trays and use them for cooking. But coffee experts choose to use home ground coffee where the grind should be made the day of use. However, the downside in preserving coffee through freezing, it destroys its flavor, more of its interesting parts vanish and will taste dull.

Flavors also vary on types of beans, roast and brewing method used. However, it is best to choose and use the coffee as close to its roasting date not the expiration date. Expiration date is a year from the date on which the beans were roasted. But if you’re not sure when to use the coffee you’ve bought, you can kept it sealed until you’re ready to use it. Make sure not to break its seal as most coffee are packed with nitrogen to slow spoilage and to maintain its flavor as well.

Fresh ground coffee is still the best above everything if you have beans and grinder, the closest purchase date if you bought it pre-ground. If you find it a bit off like rancid or moldy might throw it out. If it smells flat, it would have flat taste as well. But you wouldn’t get sick from drinking expired coffee but still it’s not a good idea to drink coffee past its expiration date because freshness matters. A ground coffee may lose its freshness over a week or two depending on its storage condition and its grind size.


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What happen if you drink expired coffee? It can go stale at any point from a week to a month. However, you can still brew and drink it, but it won’t taste pleasant. When you take the whole coffee beans and grind them, it starts oxidizing quickly. Its freshness declines and starts to taste stale. A bad stale cup of coffee brings no harm to you physical. It doesn’t have a health threat but has been developed a dull flavor. It has been observed that within a couple of weeks from grinding, its flavor deteriorates twice as fast as unground coffee. A whole coffee beans stored in a brown paper bag it can stay fresh 3-4 weeks.

Coffee’s freshness lasts after roasting depends on roaster’s packaging. In packaging, there are different types of bags that can prevent fresh air from getting in while allowing carbon dioxide out like the triple-ply foil. This is the most common packaging done in any local stores.  On the other hand, there are some that requires nitrogen flushing, where it helps preserve coffee beans by flushing away the oxygen and temporarily eliminates it to become stale. It is temporary because as soon as the bag is open and oxygen enters, it starts to stale your coffee.

Again, to keep your coffee fresh make sure to store it properly. If you kept it anywhere and contact with air, moisture or heat, sooner it will go bad and for sure taste worst.


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