Like any other food or beverage, instant coffee can go bad over time. The shelf life of instant coffee depends on a variety of factors, including how it is stored, the type of packaging it is stored in, and the specific type of instant coffee, most likely the limits of expiry dates.
Instant coffee has a longer shelf life than freshly brewed coffee because the process of making instant coffee involves dehydrating it, which removes the moisture (water) and reduces the risk of spoilage. However, instant coffee can still go bad if it is not stored properly or if it is exposed to moisture, heat, or light.
How Can you Extend the Shelf Life of Instant Coffee?
If stored properly, instant coffee can last for several months or even up to a year. To extend the shelf life of instant coffee, it is important to store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It is also important to avoid exposing the coffee to moisture, heat, or light, as these can all cause the coffee to go bad more quickly.
If you are unsure about the freshness of your favourite instant coffee, you can check for signs of spoilage, such as a change in colour, smell, or taste. If the coffee has any of these signs, it is best to discard it and purchase a fresh supply. It is also a good idea to check the expiration date on the product packaging to ensure that the coffee is still within its shelf life.
How Can you Tell if Instant Coffee has Gone Bad or Expired?
Several signs can indicate that instant coffee has expired and is no longer safe to drink.
- Change in Color: If the colour of the instant coffee has changed from its original dark brown to a lighter brown or yellow, it may be expired.
- Smell Start changing: If the instant coffee smells musty, mouldy, or sour, it may be expired.
- Difference in Taste: If the instant coffee tastes stale, bitter, or sour, it has probably gone bad.
- Mould Presence: If you notice mould growing on the surface of the instant coffee, it is most likely expired and should be thrown.
Is Drinking Expired Instant Coffee Okay?
Drinking expired instant coffee can potentially cause food poisoning or other health problems. This is because expired coffee can harbour bacteria, mould, and other harmful substances that can be harmful to your health if consumed. Additionally, expired coffee can lose its flavour and nutritional value over time, making it less enjoyable to drink.
If you mistakenly consume expired instant coffee, you could get nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, or stomach pain. Following the consumption of expired coffee, it’s crucial to stay hydrated and rest as needed until the symptoms subside. You might need to seek medical help if the situation is serious. You should also throw away any remaining expired coffee and get a fresh supply.
Precautions to Avoid Bad Instant Coffee
It is strongly advised to check the instant coffee product’s expiration date on the box before using it, and the same is true for all packaged processed foods.
- If you are unsure about the freshness of your instant coffee, whether it is still fresh or has beyond its expiration date. You can check for signs of spoilage. If the coffee has any of these signs, it is best to discard it completely.
- It is also worth noting that there is no way to benefit from expired coffee. Once the coffee has gone bad, it is no longer safe or enjoyable to drink and could be the reason for bad health.