Coffee is one of the few things that you can find in every home, and sometimes a batch of ground coffee stays for a long time unused but has it gone bad, is it unusable, and how long of a window do you you have before its has gone bad? I’m going to try to answer all these questions today, try to give you some storage suggestions and try to explain to you how you can keep the coffee usable as long as possible.
First things first, yes ground coffee will go bad, well even unground coffee will go bad eventually, like any food. However, the length of time before it will go bad will actually depend on a large number of factors. But then again the roasting process of the coffee decreases the moisture level of the ripe beans and it actually eliminates a large number of potential contaminants that can make the coffee go bad. This means that bacteria and mold won’t grow around your ground coffee, however, you should still keep them out of excess moisture, since this can reintroduce that problem.
From the first moment of roasting the coffee starts to age and the flavor and aroma compounds start to disappear over time, this doesn’t mean that the coffee has gone bad, but it will just take the things that make coffee, such as its taste smell and most of the caffeine kick. However, I can comfortably say that the shelf life for ground coffee is at 6 months maximum at room temperature, and up to a year in the freezer. But if you open the package the shelf life will be halved, even in the freezer.
If you follow some simple tips and store them properly, coffee will stay fresh for a longer time. The most important thing you can do is to buy whole beans instead of buying pre-ground coffee, and there are tons of affordable grinders you can buy, be sure to check out the best coffee grinders under $100, to get an idea about some of the best grinders in the market.
Grinding increases the surface area of the coffee and exposure to light, heat, and air, is greater, accelerating the process. Also be sure to invest in an airtight container that releases the CO2 from inside, and make sure to store it in a cool and dry room. Freezing for everyday use is also not beneficial and you might be better of without repeating that every day, but for long term storage the freezer is a good idea.
While you may think that you can see if the coffee has gone bad or not, it is better to rely on your sense of smell to get a better idea of whether your coffee has gone bad or not. You will notice a rancid smell coming from the container, a little sour, acidic and really unpleasant, meaning that you should discard your beans.