It happens to us all sooner or later…you buy some ground coffee, then forget about it in the back of the cupboard and only notice it again when it’s out-of-date. So now what? Is drinking out-of-date coffee safe or is it bad for you? Well, before we go on let’s first put your mind at rest: drinking out-of-date coffee is not risky for your health, but can also be drunk after the expiry date indicated on the packaging.
Of course, we can’t expect it to taste like an excellent espresso. Out-of-date coffee often loses its original aroma, and this affects its flavour, often making it taste off and spoiled. In this case, you don’t have to dispose of it in the bin, but can use it for different things instead.
But first of all, let’s rewind for a second: are we sure we’re storing our packet of ground coffee properly?
Storing ground coffee
The famous statement “best before” is not the only element to which you should be paying attention. First, it is important for you to understand how to store ground coffee properly to prevent the liquid we pour into our espresso cup from losing its original taste even before its best before date.
Can coffee be stored in the fridge?
There’s no use denying it, this is a question we have all wondered about at some point. Can coffee be stored in the fridge? It’s better not to: the cold atmosphere and the sudden changes in temperature which occur when coffee is put into and removed from the fridge play a part in making its aroma vanish. Just as excessive heat can launch chemical processes that lead to the grounds spoiling.
A much better option is the shelf of a cupboard or, in any case, somewhere cool and dry, sheltered from direct sunlight.
What kind of jar should be used to store ground coffee in?
Our choice of coffee jar is another important aspect to consider when learning how to store ground coffee correctly.
The container should definitely not be transparent because light makes the blend age. And then it must be tightly closed, to minimise the contact with oxygen, which causes a gradual loss of aroma.
These are characteristics found in the charming tin box of our Espresso Collection, an excellent aid for preserving all the organoleptic properties of your ground coffee.
Once coffee is opened, how long does it last?
Even if we follow all of the above rules, the original aroma will inevitably tend to wane gradually so, once you have opened a packet of coffee, it is advisable to finish its contents as soon as possible. In any case, it can take many months before the difference in taste becomes drastic.
How to understand whether out-of-date coffee is suitable for drinking
If we open a packet of coffee and in the meantime it expires, how do we know whether we can still drink it without worrying? Or, if the packet has remained closed and we have stored it away from humidity, but it has expired. Is it still good to drink?
In both cases, unfortunately there are no sure-fire methods for understanding this at first sight. We can only check that there are no lumps in the grounds, and then the only infallible test is always the coffee cup: if both taste and aroma have remained intact, we can still consume the contents of the packet worry-free.
How to use out-of-date coffee: alternative uses
And if by now our out-of-date coffee tastes foul? There’s no need to give in and throw it away. Instead, there are many truly valuable alternative uses for coffee, including:
- Remedy for eradicating ants;
- Tool for counteracting the odours in the refrigerator;
- Solution for removing limescale from dishes;
- Basic ingredient for hair creams and dyes.
And that’s not all: it’s also an excellent natural fertiliser for the soil in your garden when you grow flowers or fruit and vegetables. Just like coffee grounds: discover 7 ways for recycling them.