How Long Does Ground Coffee Stay Fresh?

How Long Does Ground Coffee Stay Fresh?

Coffee will usually last between 1-3 months after it’s been ground. There are a number of factors to consider when storing coffee properly to ensure freshness for long periods of time. Unfortunately, as soon as coffee roasting process is complete, the coffee will continually degrade over time, regardless of how well it’s packed. Coffee continues to release C02 as part of the roasting the beans, and when storing coffee for long periods of time, the best method is to use a container that has a C02 valve built-in to release gasses but not let any inside. Consider the table below as a guideline for coffee grounds freshness. Of course with good storage practice, you can achieve maximum storage time and freshness for your coffee beans.

Coffee Container Top 3 Picks

I personally use Coffee Gator coffee containers and can attest to its durability, quality and ability to keep coffee fresh. Like any perishable item, the roast and freshness of the beans will matter more than the tool itself. So if the beans being stored have already been exposed to open air by grinding it, then it won’t last nearly as long no matter how good the container is.

Veken Coffee CanisterCheck Price
Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Coffee Container Check Price
MOICO Coffee Stainless Steel Container Check Price

Unopened Coffee

This is usually the scenario when buying coffee from the grocery store or local roaster. The roasting date and packaging method will also play a big role in how long the coffee beans last after it’s been ground. I’ll make an assumption here that the bag was bought already with ground beans and should remain unopened until desired use.

Unopened CoffeeRoom TempFreezer
Whole Bean Coffee6-9 Months12-18 Months
Ground Coffee3-6 Months9-12 Months

Opened Bag of Coffee

An opened bag of coffee will not last nearly as long, this is because exposure to open-air will accelerate the process of degrading the beans. Expect for an open bag of coffee ground beans to last about 4-5 weeks and after 2-3 weeks the beans will start to lose a lot of its flavor if left in the bag.

Opened CoffeeRoom TempFreezer
Whole Bean Coffee3-6 Months9-15 Months
Ground Coffee1-3 Months6-9 Months

Why Does Ground Coffee Spoils Faster?

The grinding process accelerates the release of C02 from the coffee causing it stale quicker. Depending on the roast method and care after the coffee was roasted could determine the maximum life you can get from a bag of unopened ground coffee. Most modern manufacturing methods and packages are good at keeping coffee fresh. The best rule of thumb is to only buy coffee as much as you can drink in a month or less. If your goal is to store coffee for a long period of time, then put it in the freezer right away to ensure the longevity of your coffee beans.

Coffee that’s been exposed to open air after roasting will degrade much faster and will begin to lose its flavor daily. You slow the flavor degrading process by using an airtight container with a C02 valve built-in, but unfortunately, it will still lose flavor over time. Since fresh coffee is a perishable product, it will eventually go bad regardless of what you do. The colder and tighter the environment the longer it will last.

Coffee Storage Ideas

I have a lengthy post here that goes over the best methods to keep your coffee fresh longer. If you have curious, check out the post (How to Store Coffee Beans to Maintain Freshness).

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

Hopefully, the tables above helped you determine how long you can keep coffee grounds fresh. Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer to this, as you can imagine there are too many variables to account for. But the timelines listed above should be a good guideline on what to expect from an opened or un-opened bag of ground coffee beans.

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Featured Photo by David Rayas on Unsplash

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