Does Ground Coffee Go Bad?

Does ground coffee go bad or not? Ground coffee does go bad and it's very easy to tell when it has gone bad. Here's a simple guide.

Full of calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and many other nutritious minerals, coffee grounds are a quick and healthy way to make your perfect cup of joe.

You’re probably here because you’ve dug out some old coffee grounds in the cupboard and are left wondering:

When did I put this here, and how long do coffee grounds last?

Want us to spill the beans? The bad news is, coffee grounds do go bad.

The good news is we’ll show you how to store and use your coffee grounds, as well as how to tell if they’re off, below.

Related:Do Coffee Beans Go Bad?Does Coffee Creamer Go Bad?Does Sugar Go Bad?

How To Tell If Coffee Grounds Have Gone Off

ground coffee in cup
  • Smell: Coffee grounds contain an oil that can go rancid, which is when the fats oxidize. If your coffee beans are exuding a weird aroma, be sure to bin them!
  • Taste: Are your coffee grounds starting to taste sour? If they are, it’s time to chuck them.
  • Mold: Whilst coffee grounds tend to not get direct mold, if any water has gotten into the container and mold is visible, make sure not to use the coffee grounds.

How To Store Coffee Grounds

ground coffee in cup and empty mug

Your best bet is to store coffee grounds in an opaque airtight container in a pantry shelf.

Light, heat and moisture are the worst enemies of coffee grounds, so whatever you do, keep it shelved, not on the counter.

If you’re looking for long-term coffee ground preservation, then pop the coffee grounds in an airtight bag or container, and put it in the freezer.

The fridge is not the place to store coffee grounds, even if it is in an airtight container. The coffee grounds will absorb all the other scents in the fridge, and this can be impactful on the taste and molding process of the coffee grounds!

How Long Coffee Grounds Last

jar of ground coffee

Coffee grounds last from one to two weeks if it’s stored properly. However, if you’re ever in doubt it’s the best to use the coffee grounds within one week, for the peak of its flavor.

If you’re going to store your coffee grounds in the freezer, they can last up to one month, and sometimes be good for up to five months!

Using Leftover Coffee Grounds

roasted coffee beans ground coffee and cup of coffee

But you’ve got a problem! You don’t want to keep your coffee grounds lying around and want to use them as quickly as possible. Lucky for you we have a few solutions, below.

  • Garden pest repellent: Simply sprinkle the coffee grounds around your plants, flowers, or around the garden, to deter insects.
  • Fertilizer: Coffee grounds make for an excellent fertiliser for the soil, because they contain key minerals for plant growth.
  • Compost: If you don’t want a fertilizer, composting the coffee grounds for later use might be the best option.
  • Reusing Coffee Grounds: You can reuse coffee grounds to make more coffee. Whilst the cup might not be as flavorsome, it’s still drinkable (even though this is a last resort).

So, Do Coffee Grounds Go Bad?

The answer is a definite yes, coffee grounds do go bad, and it’s pretty easy to tell if they have.

Plus there’s plenty of ways to preserve your coffee grounds and, otherwise, use the leftovers.

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Alisa Shimoyama
Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.