how long can coffee sit out

Does coffee go bad? Find how long coffee can last before expiring. 

Have you ever wondered if coffee can go bad? It’s a common question that people ask themselves. In this article, we will learn how long coffee can sit out. 

Whether you are talking about grounded or brewed coffee, there is a lot of concern when they overstay. Although it doesn’t ‘expire’ like other commodities, it will eventually do. 

The coffee going bad depends on different factors. If you are eager to learn the expiry of coffee, let’s get down to the full information. 

Does coffee go bad/or expire? 

Coffee, like other products, will eventually expire. Over time, it will degrade whether you store it in bean or grounded form. 

Since the beans are dried before storage, the degradation rate is slowed, especially with correct storage procedures. 

Raw beans have a longer shelf life compared to roasted beans. That is why coffee is mostly stored unroasted and only roasted when needed. 

For roasted coffee to maintain freshness, it is hermetically sealed in nitrogen. However, once opened, it gradually loses flavor due to oxidation. 

Now that we have seen roasted and raw coffee go bad after a while, does ground coffee go bad? 

A short answer is that ground coffee goes bad and at a faster rate than full beans. Normally, ground coffee will lose flavor after two weeks if not vacuum sealed. 

The essential oils in coffee start to degrade; hence it loses its appealing flavor. 

Coffee shelf life explained 

The state of coffee, storage, and other factors determines how long it lasts. You might ask, how long is coffee good for? Or Does instant coffee go bad? 

As we have said earlier, unground beans have excellent storability under the right conditions

However, ground coffee tends to have less shelf life due to quick oxidation. 

On the other hand, instant coffee can last for a long time. In most cases, instant coffee flavor isn’t strong, hence not a priority. It can last for years as long as you store it in a dry and cool place. 

Does brewed coffee go bad? 

Coffee, when brewed, can’t last for long. It is recommended that you brew coffee that you can finish. 

Although coffee doesn’t expire once brewed, it develops an unpleasant taste. If you let it stay overnight, drinking in the morning won’t be appealing. 

If you brew more than you can consume, can you leave the coffee out overnight? Does coffee need to be refrigerated? 

Leaving your coffee overnight will affect the taste. Even more, refrigerating brewed coffee isn’t recommended. 

Although some people might argue freezing coffee will keep it fresh, it does it slightly. 

How long can cold brew sit out if freezing isn’t the solution? Also, how long can black coffee sit out at room temperature? According to professionals, freshly brewed coffee can only last for 30 minutes. 

After half an hour, the flavors will begin to degrade. If you leave the coffee for more hours, the flavor will disappear. Additionally, the beverage will taste rancid, and the coffee smell fades away. 

Apart from black coffee, how long is brewed coffee good for at room temperature? Similarly, brewed coffee doesn’t last long. It can last for up to 4 hours and start degrading. 

Plain coffee without additives has a long time of remaining fresh. However, time shortens when you add other ingredients like milk and creamer

The perishability of milk makes the shelf life of coffee to reduce significantly. 

How to know coffee is expired? 

For ground coffee, one of the ways to know your coffee is expired is loss of flavor and smell. When coffee is stored for long, it tends to degrade slowly. 

Even when stored in the correct state, taste and flavors will degrade but at a slow state. 

If coffee comes into contact with humidity, you might notice mold development. This is an indication that your coffee is no longer fit for consumption. 

On brewed coffee, you can notice the coffee has gone bad by experiencing flavor loss. Also, a funny rancid taste indicates the degradation of your coffee drink.

how long is coffee good for

Can you drink expired coffee?

When ground or unground coffee beans have expired, they don’t have the authentic coffee flavor. The smell and flavor disappear, but caffeine isn’t affected since it’s not volatile. 

If the beans have no mold, drinking expired coffee beans won’t cause any harm. But you won’t enjoy the flavor. However, don’t dare drink that coffee if it’s showing signs of mold development. 

On the other hand, drinking overstayed brewed coffee isn’t also available. Normally, when you make a coffee, consume it within 2 hours. If not, you can refrigerate and consume it within 24 hours. 

Additionally, when you have coffee with milk, it will expire faster than pure coffee brew. Therefore, it’s advisable to consume such coffee as fast as possible within 2 hours.

You might wonder what happens if you drink expired coffee. One of the things is you will experience an unpleasant or rancid taste. Also, the flavor and smell of a coffee won’t be there. 

The more serious issue is experiencing stomach problems. If your coffee has mold, you will likely experience mold exposure symptoms

While drinking expired coffee beans might not be a big deal, moldy ones can cause serious problems.

How to prevent coffee from going bad? 

It’s possible to prevent your coffee from going bad. But first, you need to know what caused coffee to degrade quickly. Some of the largest factors are; 

  • Light 
  • Oxygen 
  • Moisture 
  • Climate 
  • Packaging 

 The combination of these factors leads to accelerated coffee degradation. The faster the rate of oxidation, the more the quality loss. 

To slow the degradation process, the most vital thing is to slow the oxidation. It is achieved by storing well-dried coffee in air-tight containers

You can prevent oxidation by keeping coffee in thermal containers for hot beverages. Cold and iced coffee can last up to 24 hours in a refrigerator while still fresh. 

How long sit out FAQ 

How long can coffee with creamer sit out?

People usually ask how long liquid coffee creamer can sit out. Creamer contains dairy products. Since coffee with milk lasts for 2 hours, the same happens to coffee with creamer. Always consume within two hours. 

How long is coffee good for in the pot?

Without milk, a pure black coffee can sit in a pot for hours without going bad. However, the ideal time is about 4-6 hours. After that, it’s going to suffer flavor and smell degradation. 

How long can coffee beans sit out? 

Unroasted coffee beans can last for up to 1 year with vacuum-sealed storage. Nevertheless, when the beans are roasted, they can still last for 3-5 months in vacuum-sealed containers. 

How long can French press coffee sit out?

If you make coffee using a French press, you aren’t supposed to leave it for long. The coffee can only last fresh in a French press for about 4 hours like any other container. 


Coffee is somehow perishable if not handled well. How you store it determines the freshness and how long its refreshing flavors and smells last. 

While many factors can cause coffee to expire, proper storage will prolong the lifespan and quality. How long can coffee sit out depends on your storage, whether for brewed or coffee beans.