Whether coffee as a powder, capsules, pads, or as an instant powder – this product also has an expiry date. Can coffee go bad or does it just lose its aroma? The most important facts about the shelf life of this delicious hot drink are.
The question of whether coffee can go bad mainly arises if you haven’t had coffee for a long time. Can you still use the coffee? When does it go bad and what should you watch out for with the different types of coffee such as powder, capsules, or pads? This overview explains how long coffee can be used.
Can coffee go bad? And how long does it last?
Can coffee go bad and what about the shelf life of the product? Very few people think about the shelf life of coffee. Because most people drink their cup of coffee every day and therefore have few problems with coffee that is too old. Everyone has phases when the filter coffee is not used that often, but the capsules are. If you want to brew filter coffee again after a few weeks, you smell the powder and don’t know whether the coffee can still be kept. When decanting into a storage jar, you may throw away the packaging and have no idea when the coffee will expire.
This is how you can tell if the coffee is bad
Coffee hardly changes its properties and appearance over time. The smell alone can be an indicator. Does the coffee no longer smell as aromatic or rancid? Or does it emit some other unpleasant odor? Or is it lumpy and soggy? Then you should rather forego the pleasure.
There is always a discussion about whether coffee is contaminated with mold during the production process. According to the journal “Food Control”, scientists from the University of Valencia found mycotoxins, i.e. various mold toxins, in the samples examined in a study. In higher doses, these can be harmful to health. However, the limits were only exceeded in one decaffeinated product. There are currently no known cases of contamination of coffee with mold.
When storing it in your household, you should note that coffee contains many sensitive ingredients such as coffee oils and other fats. They can oxidize, become rancid and thus make the coffee undrinkable.
Can coffee beans go bad?
Coffee comes to us from distant continents like South America. The raw coffee beans are transported to Germany by sea. In this form, time cannot harm the beans, they can be kept almost indefinitely. However, they are not edible as they are, they go through chemical processes in addition to roasting.
Roasted coffee can no longer be kept indefinitely. In Germany, there is an approximate best-before date of 2 years. However, this is not stipulated by law, the roasters can set the best-before date for coffee beans themselves. according to dr Johannes Hielscher, Managing Director of the German Coffee Association, many roasters opt for a shorter BBD. However, coffee beans can often still be used after this period. This applies to unopened packaging.
With a little luck, the coffee beans will still taste and smell aromatic even after the best-before date has passed. However, there are noticeable differences in taste. Because the fresher the coffee is roasted, the more aromatic it tastes.
When are ground coffee and coffee powder bad?
For closed packs, the best-before date is a guideline, but the ground coffee can still taste good after that. The smell reveals whether it is still edible.
When coffee packaging is opened, there is a risk of moisture penetrating the product and affecting its shelf life. Coffee powder is usually still aromatic two months after opening, but then it quickly loses its taste. Because grinding fats and aromas escape and evaporate. If the ground powder has been stored airtight and dry and there are no spices nearby, it can be kept for longer, around two to four months. Since coffee is a product that stands out not only because of its taste but also because of its smell, coffee connoisseurs will usually fall back on fresher powder.