What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee? You May Want to Reconsider

Are you someone who likes to drink coffee? Do you ever wonder what would happen if you drink expired coffee? You may think that coffee is safe to drink even if it has expired, but that is not always the case.

Coffee is consumed by millions of people around the world every day, and it is one of the most popular beverages. It is a drink that is loved not just for its taste but also its stimulating properties. However, not everyone knows the risks of drinking expired coffee. In this article, we will be discussing what happens if you drink expired coffee and why you may want to reconsider. So, read on to find out more.

What happens when you drink expired coffee?

There are several potential risks associated with drinking expired coffee. Here are some of the things that you may experience:

1. Changes to the Taste and Smell of Coffee

When coffee expires, it doesn’t necessarily become harmful, but the taste and smell of the coffee would be different. The coffee may taste stale, rancid, or like cardboard rather than the rich, flavorful coffee you’re used to drinking.

2. Stomach Upset

Drinking expired coffee can cause stomach upset in some people. This is because expired coffee contains more acid than fresh coffee, which can cause gastrointestinal issues such as stomach aches, cramps, and bloating.

3. Dehydration

Caffeine is a natural diuretic, which means it can dehydrate your body. Drinking expired coffee can increase the risk of dehydration, leading to symptoms such as headaches, thirst, and fatigue.

4. Increased Risk of Food Poisoning

Drinking expired coffee can also increase the risk of food poisoning. Coffee, like any other food, can grow harmful bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli. If these bacteria are present in expired coffee, drinking it can lead to food poisoning symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Why does coffee expire?

Coffee, like any other food or drink, loses its freshness over time. The coffee bean oils that give coffee its unique flavor and aroma will start to break down and evaporate over time. This will cause coffee to taste different than what you are used to. However, if coffee is stored properly, it can last a while before going bad.

Factors That Contribute to Coffee Expiration

  • Exposure to Oxygen – When coffee beans are exposed to oxygen, they will begin to oxidize, which will cause the coffee flavor to change, making it taste flat.
  • Humidity – Coffee beans absorb moisture from the air, which can cause them to mold or deteriorate.
  • Light – Exposure to light, particularly sunlight, can cause coffee flavor to degrade over time.
  • Heat – Exposure to high temperatures can accelerate the degradation of coffee flavor.

How long does coffee last?

The shelf life of coffee depends on its storage and how long the beans or grounds and coffee concentrate are exposed to air, humidity, heat, and light. Generally, coffee can last for several months past its expiration date if it is stored in an airtight container, in a cool and dry place, away from light. Here are some guidelines:

1. Ground Coffee

Ground coffee has a shorter shelf life than whole coffee beans, typically lasting three to five months past the expiration date.

2. Whole Bean Coffee

Whole bean coffee can last up to six months past its expiration date.

3. Instant Coffee

Instant coffee typically lasts longer than ground or whole bean coffee because it is already brewed and dehydrated. It can last up to 20 years if stored properly.

How to tell if coffee has gone bad?

It can be difficult to tell if coffee has gone bad just by looking at it. Here are some tips on how to tell if coffee has gone bad:

1. Smell

The easiest way to tell if coffee has gone bad is by smelling it. Expired coffee will have a stale or rancid smell.

2. Taste

When coffee goes bad, the taste will be different than fresh coffee. It may taste flat or stale, or it may not have any flavor at all.

3. Appearance

Expired coffee may have mold or black spots on the beans or the coffee grinds.


Expired coffee may not always be harmful to drink, but it can cause some unpleasant side effects such as stomach upset and dehydration. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check the expiration date before drinking coffee. It is also essential to store coffee properly to ensure that it stays fresh as long as possible.


  • Q1. Can you get sick from drinking expired coffee?
  • A1. Drinking expired coffee can increase the risk of food poisoning if harmful bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli are present in the coffee.
  • Q2. How long does coffee last in the refrigerator?
  • A2. Storing coffee in the refrigerator is not recommended as it can lead to moisture buildup, making the coffee taste bad. However, if you must, coffee can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container.
  • Q3. Can you use expired coffee for cooking?
  • A3. Yes, you can use expired coffee for cooking, but it may not taste as good as fresh coffee, so it may affect the flavor of your dish.
  • Q4. Is it safe to drink coffee that has been sitting out overnight?
  • A4. Coffee that has been sitting out overnight can grow bacteria, which can cause food poisoning symptoms. Therefore, it is not recommended to drink coffee that has been sitting out overnight.
  • Q5. Where should I store coffee to make it last longer?
  • A5. Coffee should be stored in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place, away from light, moisture, and heat.


1. What Happens If You Drink Expired Coffee? You May Want to Reconsider – Eat This, Not That!

2. Can You Drink Expired Coffee? Here’s What You Need To Know – Bustle

3. Here’s How Long Your Coffee Will Last – Time

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