how long go coffee beans last

How Long Do Coffee Beans Last?

While coffee is a universal drink beloved by people from all around the world, North America seems to appreciate it the most. After all, due to the high consumption of coffee North America had the share 29.2%, being the largest coffee beans market in 2018. And the market continues to grow! So what is the reason for that?

Simple: strong and flavorful coffee gets our mental engine going in the morning (and, let’s be honest, not only in the morning!). And in addition to the caffeine, what awakens us and gives us an energy boost is the delicious aroma and taste. Lack of it can ruin your entire coffee experience. 

That is why so many of us opt for only the best beans for espresso since they give the most delicious and rich aroma. All coffee fans agree that fresh coffee beans taste best. But how long does coffee last before they officially become flavorless and not as good? Unfortunately, there is no short answer – the shelf life of coffee beans depends on numerous factors. So to figure whether do coffee beans go bad, we’ve decided to investigate, and learn not only about the shelf life of coffee beans but also about how to preserve coffee freshness for longer. And now, we wish to share our findings with you!

Why Does Coffee Need To Be Fresh?

Some people may wonder: “Why keep your coffee fresh?” – the answer is simple – freshly roasted coffee beans provide 10x better taste and flavor. You’ll get an incredibly smooth and delicious joe that will make your experience 10 times richer and delicious.

That is the reason you need to know how long do coffee beans last, so that they will always be fresh, and for you to enjoy only the best coffee!

What Factors Degrade Coffee Beans?

There are several factors that determine how long do roasted coffee beans last:

  • Open space: Volatile aroma molecules of freshly roasted coffee always escape into any open space available around the beans.
  • Oxygen: Contact of coffee beans with oxygen causes degradation of the sensitive aroma elements. Plus, oxidation of the coffee oil can produce a very unpleasant, rancid taste.
  • Temperature: How long can you store coffee beans heavily depends on the temperature. So if the temperature is hotter, molecules will move faster, making aroma escape; that is why it is recommended to store your coffee beans in a cold place.
  • Humidity and strong light: These two factors also increase aroma loss, especially in ground coffee. So always remember to keep your coffee beans in a dark place and cold place.
  • Time: All the upper mentioned processes aren’t instant, they take some time to destroy coffee aroma and taste.

How To Tell If Your Coffee Beans Have Gone Off?

Stale coffee beans are easy to identify when you know how to do it. Here what you should consider:

  • Package: Pay attention to the bag, it must have an air valve. After the roast, coffee needs to keep releasing gases to stay fresh. Therefore, no air valve on the bag means not too fresh coffee beans.
  • Appearance: If coffee beans look dull, matte, or have mold or rancid, that means that they have gone bad. 
  • Residue: Feel a coffee bean and see whether it leaves a residue on your fingers. Freshly roasted beans still have oils present.
  • Smell: If the coffee has a funny smell or lacks the smell of pure coffee, it means it’s stale.
  • Taste: This sign is the easiest to identify for everyone: stale beans leave a bad, bitter taste in your mouth.

How Long Do Coffee Beans Last?

If you wonder “How long are coffee beans good for consumption?”, experts tell that freshly roasted coffee beans are good for 7-10 days, however, they are still flavorful for up to thirty days post-roast. After this period, beans lose lots of their flavor and become stale although they may take years to become bad and undrinkable.

Another popular question a lot of coffee lovers ask is “How long do green coffee beans last?”. Well, this type of beans can be store for as long as 12 months, but only if you can provide a pest-free, dark and cool environment for them.

Will Freezing Coffee Beans Make Them Last Longer?

Now when you know for how long do coffee beans stay fresh, it’s time to learn what we can do to preserve them for longer. Luckily, it’s totally possible, no need to buy new beans every week!

One of the greatest ways to extend the shelf life of coffee beans is by storing them in a freezer since freezing preserves fresh qualities. However, do make sure to repackage and keep beans in a truly airtight container. They can stay in a freezer for up to a month before the quality deteriorates.

Extra Tip: Coffee Types Shelf Lives

How long you can store coffee beans depends on the package and storage place:

  • Sealed package
Coffee typeFood storeFreezer
Whole bean coffeeUp to 10 monthsUp to 4 years
Ground coffeeUp to 6 monthsUp to 2  years
Instant coffeeUp to 20 yearsInfinite
  • Not sealed package
Coffee typeFood storeFreezer
Whole bean coffeeUp to 30 daysUp to 3 years
Ground coffeeUp to 6 monthUp to 6 months
Instant coffeeUp to 20 yearsInfinite

How Should You Store Coffee?

If you are planning to store your coffee for a maximally long period, then you need to keep in mind several important tips. So, let’s take a look at how to store coffee the right way:

  • Choose an airtight, opaque container so that no light can penetrate
  • Keep the container in a dark, cool cabinet
  • Keep oxygen, humidity, and heat low
  • Grind the amount you need for the brew
  • Brew only the amount you’ll drink at one time


So all and all, how long do coffee beans lasts depends entirely on what type of coffee you have, as well as how you store it. It’s always best to make sure your coffee beans are properly sealed and are stored in a freezer – that way they won’t lose their aroma and/or spoil as fast.

Overall, make sure to keep in mind all the essential tips for storing coffee beans, and you can enjoy some delicious cup of joe whenever you feel like it!

Perhaps you also know some methods of how to store coffee beans so they would last longer? Then feel free to share them with us too, we would love to know!

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