Stale Grocery Store Coffee

in Buying Coffee


Question: I had an argument with [grocery store chain]. I think selling thanksgiving coffee and chrismas coffee in July is a little late, they are selling old coffee instead of sending it back to the vendor or throwing it away. I think if you are paying for something it should be fresh. This is a low income area and I think they are misinterpreting the people who live here as stupid. Just how long can coffee stay on a shelf.I believe in fresh roasted beans ground just prior to (I use a french press) brewing. I was astonished they were putting off 6/7 month old ground coffee at .00 for 13 ounces. You are an expert and in a grocery store it is hard to find fresh roasted beans and not everyone has a grinder, but under just normal circumstances what do you think? — Hallie



Answer: You are absolutely correct Hallie, no vendor should be selling 6-7 month old coffee.  Before coffee is roasted, it keeps for 1-2 years without going stale.  After it’s been roasted, it’s good for 2-3 weeks.  If they have some kind of vacuum packaging, this will extend the life of the coffee but certainly not by that long a period.  They shouldn’t be selling this coffee.  If you buy it from them already ground, then it’s even less fresh – coffee expires at a faster rate after it’s been ground so you have even less than 2-3 weeks from that point.  By then, it’s lost alot of its flavor and I wouldn’t buy that coffee even at a discount.  At least you are brewing your coffee by french press which is one of the best ways to brew coffee, but won’t save the flavor that’s already been lost in coffee that old.  I hope this helps.

Click to learn more about the Golden Rules of Coffee and making sure it’s fresh and full of flavor.

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