Does coffee go bad?
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  1. #1
    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Question Does coffee go bad?

    Does coffee ever go bad?

    We keep our coffee grounds in the fridge. We don't drink coffee much But when you want it you want it. KWIM

    It says on the bottom best by 11/2008. I opened it and it still smells like coffee.

    Do I need to throw it out and get more or is it still good to use?

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    This gets tricky... especially when you start checking those shelf-life charts, and then compare it to what folks actually do.

    The bottom-line is yes, it "goes bad". The essential oils in coffee can go rancid. Keep in mind, oils don't have to smell rancid to be rancid. It keeps longer if you vacuum-seal it in a canister or bag and then refrigerate or freeze it, which keeps the essential oils from mixing with oxygen. Freezing slows down the degredation of oils more than refrigeration, and both work better for storage than room temperature.

    Coffee beans, just like whole grains/beans/seeds of all kinds, when the protective coating on it gets destroyed during milling, the essential oils in these foods are exposed to oxygen and quickly degrade. "Coffee Experts" will tell you freshly ground coffee is only at it's peek for brewing for 3-hours.

    Coffee is often vacuum packed to lengthen shelf-life and prevent it from oxidizing. Oxygen is the enemy of most foods. Rancid oils are body damaging free-radicals.

    If it were me, I'd toss it.

    Here's what it says at this web site:
    http://www.slashfood.com/2006/03/30/...-pantry-items/

    #
    Ground coffee - 2 years unopened, 2 weeks opened (in refrigerator)
    #
    Instant coffee - 1 year unopened, 3 months opened


    Another site: Ground Coffee Shelf Life

    "Ground coffee will keep in the freezer for about six months. It will keep at room temperature for about one month."

    So even the "experts" don't agree.

    You might find this research interesting:
    http://www.asic-cafe.org/pdf/abstract/C002.pdf

  3. #3
    Rude and Vile Master Greebo's Avatar
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    Registered User Josephhgoins's Avatar
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    I agree when you want Coffee YOU WANT COFFEE!! I had the same problem as you. I would buy the smallest container of the ground beans and then after about a year throw away the coffee (keeping the canister for other uses). Nescafe has started single serving pouches of instant coffee thats pretty good. A small package is $.98 at walmart so you don't feel as bad if you have to throw some of it out.

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    Registered User NewLeaf's Avatar
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    Since you don't drink it often I would buy a bag of beans and store them in the freezer. That's what we do, even though we drink coffee every day. Fresh ground is a nice treat. Coffee can go "stale". To me it smells stale and the taste is horrible!

    I get my beans at the Salvage store. You can get cheaper beans like 8 o clock coffee beans or get Starbucks beans at the regular grocery store. You will have to look for a small grinder.

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    Registered User hotprincesscm's Avatar
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    I have had my coffee go stale before and it's gross...it smells like burned tobacco, and tastes burnt to me. I drink coffee every day, but only one cup, so often times when I buy a large container it goes stale before I have a chance to go through it all. I agree with the lady above who talked about the single serve nescafe. I got a free sample of them in the mail and they are good and easy to prepare, they will stay fresh longer and are relatively inexpensive...also because it's a newer product there is probably some good coupons floating around somewhere for them!

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    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    K, I'm going the opposite of everyone. Yes, it MAY go bad, but in a year??? I've used it and couldn't tell the difference. I use Folgers only tho. I stockpile it and it's never been an issue.

    QUOTE ""Ground coffee will keep in the freezer for about six months. It will keep at room temperature for about one month."END QUOTE from article
    I have 8 of the large canisters ( not opened ) stockpiled now and plan on adding a couple more. I will guarantee that no one will tell the difference in just bought and the last one if they didn't know dates. Mine has never been kept in freezer. Just dark and room temp.

    Have you had it stored in the sunlight? Doubt it.
    In the heat? Doubt it.

    Just make a pot and if it dosen't taste right then throw it away. You'll know. But if I lived next door I'd say give it to me, don't toss it. Bet you it's still fine.
    Last edited by NikoSan999; 12-16-2009 at 12:50 PM.
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    Agree with NikoSan99. Try it. Tastes bad throw it out.

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by imagine View Post
    Does coffee ever go bad?

    We keep our coffee grounds in the fridge. We don't drink coffee much But when you want it you want it. KWIM

    It says on the bottom best by 11/2008. I opened it and it still smells like coffee.

    Do I need to throw it out and get more or is it still good to use?
    GL had some good points but I wouldn't toss it. Since you have kept it in the refer. it could be okay. It will 'smell bad'/smell rancid if it is truly bad.......make a pot and see what it tastes like. I 'import' the coffee that I like when I go to So. Idaho, so I have mine longer than 6 months, but I keep it in the freezer. These are whole beans.

    You mentioned 'coffee grounds' but I am guessing you meant ground coffee............try it before you toss it.

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    Moderator Luckybustert's Avatar
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    Yes, it can get rancid. But if it does, don't just toss it....you can still use it for other purposes:

    http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/loun...eans-1857.html

    http://lifehacker.com/5260189/use-yo...fleas-and-more

    http://www.sustainableenterprises.co...coffeefert.htm

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    Registered User frugal-fannie's Avatar
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    I would probably do the taste test. i haven't had any go bad and we do not drink it that often.

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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    LB - those articles were so interesting - cannot believe all that you can do with the coffee beans and grounds. I'm going to try a facial scrub tomorrow with ours. Mahalo!!
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    I agree with you! I now have 10 cans of coffee stockpiled + a couple of bags of the "good stuff". I have beans in the freezer, also, that are still good.

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