What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee

  • By: Rob
  • Date: November 6, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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When you become a coffee person, your pallet starts to notice the difference between types of coffee. You can tell the difference between a dark roast, medium roast, even the location of where the coffee bean was grown. But what happens if you drink expired coffee?

If you drink expired coffee, you should be fine as long as the coffee has not been exposed to moisture or additives. The flavor may be stale and not as robust as fresh coffee would taste. But you can still try to enjoy a cup of expired coffee without getting sick. 

Freshly ground coffee is always best, but expired coffee can still be ok to drink. Read along to see the most asked questions about drinking expired coffee.

What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee

When you drink expired coffee, nothing serious should happen to your body. Unless the coffee has been exposed to moisture and has grown mold, you should be fine to drink it. If the coffee has grown mold or mildew, throw the coffee in the trash. Mold exposure can harm your lungs and respiratory system. 

Do you drink pod coffee? considered if Nespresso coffee pods expire?

When you drink expired coffee, you may experience sickness caused by your own mental realization that the coffee is expired. Sometimes our brains can trick us into becoming sick because we think we consumed something unsafe. If you are the type of person who causes your own sickness due to the thoughts of being sick, throw out your expired coffee to prevent this from happening.

Ever considered if old coffee loses caffeine? If so I wrote an in-depth article on that very topic – be sure to check it out!

Is Expired Coffee Still Good

Expired coffee can still be safe to drink as long as it has been stored properly and hasn’t been exposed to moisture. Yes, it is still good to drink, but the taste may not be as good.

Expired coffee will eventually begin to lose its bold flavor. Sometimes expired coffee will taste rancid or bland. If you want the best cup of coffee, toss out your old and expired coffee and buy new.

If you drink expired coffee remember that the taste may be altered. The coffee will break down over time and the exposure to oxygen will cause the coffee to become stale. Stale coffee isn’t necessarily good when it comes to how it will taste, so you may not enjoy the coffee as much as you would with a fresh cup.

Even brewed coffee wont stay fresh if you leave a pot out for a few hours. If you leave any coffee out without protection, it will lose its taste.

Does Coffee Expire If Unopened

Coffee can go bad. All coffee has a shelf life. This includes coffee that is vacuum-sealed and unopened. Coffee will begin to break down over time, losing its flavor and beneficial health properties. While it may not be bad for you to drink, it will not taste as fresh as when you first bought it.

unopened bag of coffee beans

We all have that one bag of coffee in the cabinet that has been there for half a decade! This may make you curious about the shelf life of coffee. Have you ever asked yourself if coffee expires even if it is unopened?

Unopened coffee will last longer than coffee that has been opened. A bag of unopened coffee has a shelf-life of up to 2 years if left in the freezer. The timeline decreases rapidly if the coffee is left in a cabinet. When a bag of unopened coffee is left in the cabinet, its shelf life is only about six months. 

The coffee itself is not the only thing that goes bad with an unopened package. Did you know that packaging also has a shelf life? Plastics and other materials used when packaging coffee can also break down, essentially contaminating the coffee. 

Does Instant Coffee Go Bad

All things eventually go bad but instant coffee can have a shelf life of up to 20 years! The USDA classifies instant coffee as being a shelf-stable item. That means when it is unopened, it can last for many years. Obviously, this will depend on other factors, so do assume that what you have in your cabinet is still drinkable. 

instant coffee

Instant coffee must be stored properly to retain its shelf life. It must be in an airtight container with no exposure to moisture or contaminants to last beyond its expiration date. Once your instant coffee has been opened, its shelf life will decrease because of moisture in the air, exposure to sunlight, and other contamination. 

Ever wondered, Can you make instant coffee with cold water? Well wonder no more coffee lovers, click the link to find out more!

Can Expired Coffee Give You Diarrhea

Expired coffee won’t necessarily give you diarrhea, but coffee does contain caffeine. The caffeine in coffee often acts as a laxative for most people. If you are sensitive to the laxative properties that coffee can have, a cup or two of coffee even if it is not expired may cause diarrhea. 

Coffee stimulates motion in your gastrointestinal tract which causes your stomach and intestinal muscles to contract and release. These motions within your body speed up bowel movements, and if your body completes this process too quickly, you can have an upset stomach or diarrhea.

If you are going to drink expired coffee, limit yourself to one cup to see how your body reacts to it. If you are okay after a few hours and must have more, slowly consume another cup.

You may want to find out How to stop coffee from making you poop – If so be sure to check out this!

How Can I Store Ground Coffee

Ground coffee should be stored in an air-tight jar container (Amazon link). You want to keep your coffee in a container that is made of dark material such as tin or non-see-through plastic. You do not want to expose your coffee to sunlight, so keeping it in a cabinet or inside the freezer will maximize its shelf life. 

Also, keep your ground coffee free from exposure to any type of moisture. When you want to use coffee from your coffee tin, be sure to use a clean and dry spoon or scoop to measure out the amount of coffee needed. You can either keep the scoop inside the container with the coffee or clean it and use it as needed.

What We Learned

In this article, we took a look at what happens If you drink expired coffee? If you have an old bag of coffee that has been in the cabinet well beyond its expiration date, it still may be drinkable. It most likely won’t make you sick, but it may not be very palatable. 

Always remember to toss out any coffee that has been exposed to moisture, this can cause the coffee to grow mold and will harm your lungs and respiratory system. 

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