Can coffee beans go bad? Not exactly…
Coffee is a food and as such, when we buy it, it bears an expiry date on the package beyond which the product should no longer be consumed. However, this refers to the whole package, because once opened, the coffee must be used relatively quickly. The coffee pods can be kept up to the expiration date without problems, because the pods are individually packed so they remain sealed until use. Even coffee beans are easily preserved, as long as they are kept in a cool and dry place as far as possible and away from direct light sources.
As with all food products, it is also good practice for coffee to check the expiry date printed on the packaging. The maximum storage time of the coffee indicated on the bags is 18 months, in the case of ecological bags it can go down to 12 months.
However, it should be remembered that coffee is part of those products that do not have a real expiry date but are “To be consumed preferably by …”, and this wording represents a usage advice to inform the consumer that beyond that date the company does not guarantee the conservation status and organoleptic properties of the product.
Coffee can also be consumed after the expiration date, provided that the vacuum packaging has remained intact all the time and has not been stored in damp places or in contact with heat sources.
The state of conservation is important to outline if the product is still good, in fact the only problem that expired coffee can generate is the loss of aroma and taste but in any case NEVER consume it AFTER 6 MONTHS from the expiry date.
When we talk about its expiry, in fact, we do not speak at all that it cannot be assumed because it went badly and therefore harmful, but because over time it has lost its organoleptic characteristics that result to be tasteless and without aroma, unless having stored it badly or in humid environments is now moldy. Better to store coffee in containers with thermal closure, perhaps vacuum-packed, to prevent humidity, light and air from altering the quality of the coffee: it is usually sold in this way and not in bulk, so you prefer this packaging.
Coffee in general is sensitive to air, cold, heat and light. This is because it is rich in fats, which during the roasting process concentrate on the surface. The fat in contact with the air becomes rancid and oxidizes; humidity and heat only speed up this process. In addition, the roasting process increases the volume of the coffee, which becomes more porous and more penetrable by the air and humidity than the freshly harvested bean.
In short, coffee should be consumed as soon as possible, given that it degrades rapidly, as the so-called “rule of 2” says: “50% of the aromas of coffee beans degrade in 2 days, 50% of the ground coffee degrades in 2 hours, in the espresso in the cup 50% will degrade in 2 minutes. “.