Does Instant Coffee Expire? Let’s Find Out!

The Best Answer:

Instant coffee can last for up to 18 months when properly stored in a cool, dry place. However, if left out on its own without protection from light or moisture it will expire within a year! The best way to keep instant coffee is by storing it in an airtight container. This helps because the drying process caused by exposure to air causes flavors and aromas (which are volatile) to evaporate at a much faster rate than when kept under vacuum conditions like you would with fresh ground beans. So keeping your ground instant stored properly should keep it tasting good for years!

Do you ever have those moments where you’re out of coffee and need to make a quick run to the store? Well, instead of opting for the overpriced, pre-packaged coffee at the grocery store, why not try making instant coffee? It’s easy, affordable, and best of all… it doesn’t expire! But does instant coffee expire? Or is it one of those foods that last forever? We did some digging to find out! Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Instant Coffee?

What Is Instant Coffee

First things first, what is instant coffee? Instant coffee is a way to quickly get caffeinated without having to actually brew a cup of coffee. This form of the drink comes in powder or granulated form and you only need hot water to make it. It’s a popular method for those who are always on the go because it takes less than a minute to make. Instant coffee has been around since the 19th century and was invented by chemist George Constant Washington.

Instant coffee can also be found in individual packets so you can easily take it with you on the go. These come in a variety of flavors and brands, from Starbucks to Folgers. You can also purchase jars or tubs that contain multiple packets for your convenience.

How does it taste?

While it’s not the same as freshly brewed coffee, you’ll still benefit from the caffeine boost. When compared to fresh coffee, instant has a milder taste, but it’s still better than nothing when you’re in a pinch! Some people also add cream and sugar to their servings so they can enjoy a more traditional drink. Since instant coffee is not fresh, it has a weaker flavor and more of a powdery taste. However, you can improve the taste by stirring in a bit of milk, sugar, or creamer before adding hot water.

Is Instant Coffee Healthy?

Instant coffee has caffeine like regular coffee, which may offer added health benefits when consumed in moderation. Some studies suggest that moderate consumption (around three cups) can boost your metabolism and improve focus. But make sure to talk to your doctor if you want to start a new coffee routine. They can let you know if there are any risks with drinking this beverage, including potential side effects and interactions with medications.

Does Instant Coffee Actually Expire?

According to manufacturers, instant coffee can be stored for up to two years before going bad. But it’s always best to stay as safe as possible by checking the expiration date on your jar or packet before you drink it. Once opened, most brands recommend using within six months for maximum freshness and taste. That said if you see any signs of mold or the liquid looks cloudy, throw it out.

What are the Best Ways to Store Instant Coffee?

What are the Best Ways to Store Instant Coffee

Now that you know what to look for when checking the expiration date on your instant coffee, let’s talk about how to store it. There are many ways to store instant coffee depending on your preference. Let’s go over the pros and cons of each storage method below.

1) Airtight Containers

Putting your instant coffee in an airtight container, like a plastic jar or glass canister, helps to protect it from exposure to moisture and other contaminants that may cause it to lose flavor. It’s even better if the container has an oxygen absorber packet to help preserve freshness longer. While these packets are most commonly found in pre-packaged survival foods, you can purchase them on their own to use with other products.

Canisters and glass jars with lids make for great storage containers for instant coffee because they seal tightly and protect the contents from outside elements. But some people don’t like the idea of using glass jars because they can break and may not be as portable.

2) Ziplock Bags

Another great way to store instant coffee is in a Ziplock bag. You can place multiple servings of your instant coffee into the bag, then squeeze out any excess air before sealing it. While Ziplock bags are perfect for portability, they don’t protect your instant coffee, as well as other storage containers, do. If you put more than one serving in a bag and seal it right away, it shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you leave the bag open or reseal it multiple times, your instant coffee may lose its flavor more quickly.

3) Plastic Containers

Storing your instant coffee in a plastic container is another option. These containers are typically cheaper than glass jars and often come with a tight-fitting lid to keep out contaminants and preserve freshness. However, plastic does not protect your instant coffee from light and air exposure like glass does, so it’s best to keep the container in a dark and dry room or cupboard when it’s not being used.

4) Freezer

Just like storing it in a Ziplock bag, putting your instant coffee in the freezer is an option if you don’t have any airtight containers. Just make sure to place it in a container or wrap it tightly before freezing so no moisture gets onto the instant coffee. If you do this, your instant coffee should stay fresh for several months.

How Can You Tell if Your Instant Coffee Has Gone Bad?

How Can You Tell if Your Instant Coffee Has Gone Bad

If you don’t drink your instant coffee regularly, it can go bad over time if it’s not stored correctly. There are lots of ways you can tell if your instant coffee has gone bad, which include:

1) Odor

A good indicator of whether or not your instant coffee has gone bad is the smell. If it smells stale, this means it’s either old or exposed to air and moisture for too long. On the other hand, if it smells like chemicals, mold, or yeast, your instant coffee may have gone bad. No matter how it smells, if you notice anything out of the ordinary with your coffee upon opening it up, then throw it away without trying to drink it.

2) Appearance

If your instant coffee has gone bad, some signs will give you a clue. You’ll start to notice that it doesn’t mix well with milk or water anymore. Instead, you might find that your instant coffee has separated into a dark liquid and granules floating at the top. If this is the case, your coffee will taste gritty instead of smooth when you drink it.

3) Taste

As you drink your instant coffee over time, it will begin to lose its flavor and won’t taste as strong anymore. This is a good indicator of whether or not your instant coffee has gone bad. In fact, if you were to brew a cup right after opening the package and another six months later, chances are it wouldn’t taste nearly as good.

4) Color

Instant coffee naturally has a brown color, but if it’s changed to another hue over time, this means there may be something wrong with it. You’ll know your instant coffee has gone bad and probably shouldn’t drink it if it turns green, blue, or black. This is an indication that mold has developed in the product and it’s best to throw it away.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is it OK to drink expired instant coffee?

No, it’s not OK to drink expired instant coffee. Drinking expired instant coffee can make you sick because it may contain mold or bacteria that can cause stomach problems. Even if it doesn’t look moldy, there’s no way of knowing how long the coffee has been sitting in your cabinet without properly sealing the package. Plus, it will never taste as good after the expiration date, so why take the risk?

How long does instant coffee last?

Instant coffee will last for about a year past the expiration date if it is stored correctly. After that point, you should safely throw out your instant coffee without drinking it. As a general rule, though, most people use up their instant coffee within six months of opening the package anyway.

Does unopened instant coffee expire?

No, unopened instant coffee does not expire. Unopened instant coffee will last for several years at room temperature without spoiling or developing mold. You can store it in your pantry or cupboard if you’d like; just make sure the package is tightly sealed when you’re done using it to avoid exposure to air and moisture.

Last Thoughts

You may have been wondering if instant coffee really expires, and the answer is yes. In fact, it only lasts about a year before going bad. But there are ways to store your instant coffee so you can get more use out of it! Instant coffee has many benefits for busy people on the go or those who don’t drink enough water throughout the day. It’s important that we’re aware of how our food products expire in order to not waste them and keep ourselves healthy while still enjoying convenience features like this one!

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