Are you wondering how long does coffee last? If you are asking yourself this question, do not worry. Do not feel dumb. A lot of people are actually asking the same thing. If you go online, you will see a lot of articles explaining the shelf life of coffee, which only means that a lot of people are interested in knowing the answer.
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We are here to make your life a lot easier. Keep on reading and we will provide you with some of the most important things that you should know. We hope that this is going to be an informative article, and by the time you are finished reading, may you find the answer to your question.
So, How Long Does Coffee Last?
It depends – this is the answer to the question. We cannot give you a straightforward answer as there are generally different things that will be contributory to the right response. The manner of preparation or the type of coffee, for instance, will have an effect on its shelf life. Also, it will depend on how it is stored. Generally speaking, the following are some of the most important things that you should keep in mind.
- If we are talking about freshly-brewed coffee, it can last only from four to six hours. It is important to keep it hot, such as in a coffee machine that has the ability to keep your drink hot even after several hours of brewing. Take note of the fact that the longer it is left unconsumed, the worse it will taste.
- This is basically because of the fact that freshness will be altered. It is also important to note that reheating coffee is one thing that you should never do as it will affect its quality. Investing in a thermos can also be a good idea to keep it warm.
- If it is in its packaging and left unopened, on the other hand, ground coffee is best until the best before date or the date of expiration that is shown in the packaging. Once the time has lapsed, however, it does not mean that you should just throw it.
- Ground coffee can last up to five months after the printed expiration date if it is kept in the pantry and up to three years when it is in the freezer. Whole coffee beans, on the other hand, can last for six months in the pantry and three years in the freezer. Lastly, instant coffee will last for two to 20 years in the pantry and its shelf life is indefinite if it is kept in the freezer.
- If in case the packaging has already been opened, on the other hand, ground coffee will last three to five months after the time it is opened if it is kept in the pantry and three to five months when kept in the freezer.
- For coffee beans, meanwhile, it can last up to six months after opening when in the pantry and up to two years when in the freezer. Lastly, for instant coffee, specifically one that has been freeze-dried, it can last from two to 20 years after opening when in the pantry and indefinitely when left in the freezer.
What Happens If It Goes Bad
Aside from knowing how long does coffee last, many people are also interested on what will happen once coffee has been stored for a long time. When it comes to health concerns, you generally have nothing to be worried about. You will not die or suffer from serious health problems.
However, the taste and the aroma will definitely suffer. It will no longer smell good, and worse, the taste will be bland. Coffee connoisseurs will surely easily notice if coffee has been left for a long time because it will demonstrate lack of character.
How To Make Coffee Last Longer
Generally speaking, it would last longer with proper storage and handling. As it has been earlier discussed, if it is left unopened and put in the freezer, it will generally be longer lasting. Whole beans, essentially, have longer life span than ground beans.
It would be best to buy whole beans and just grind them whenever you need to prepare your coffee. When stored in the kitchen cabinet, make sure that it is not going to be affected by moisture and extreme temperature.
Coffee is wonderful because of its long life span. However, there is one thing that we would like to emphasize – fresh is still the best. Once you have brewed your coffee, consume it immediately. Also, do not buy too much coffee, especially if you know that it will just be left untouched for a long time. Always handle and store it properly, preferably, inside the freezer.