What Expired Coffee Tastes Like

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I was looking through my stored items and noticed my Starbucks instant coffee stash had expired.  I started accumulating supplies a couple of years ago, and sure enough, some of those expiration dates are starting to creep up.  This one expired in October 2010.


Expired Starbucks Instant Coffee

The package felt hard and dried and it seemed there were clumpy bits of instant coffee.  Normally being the coffee snob that I am I would have tossed it.  But what if that is all you have?  I decided to use it anyway.



Expired Starbucks Instant Coffee contentsI poured it into my cup and the coffee did fall out in clumps.  Then I poured very hot water into the coffee bits and started stirring…  and stirring… and stirring for a several minutes.  Those chunks took a while to dissolve.  You can still see bits floating.  Satisfied that most of it was mixed, I added cream and sugar.  I took a taste, and found out it wasn’t bad at all.   The taste was pleasingly strong and there was nothing odd about it.  Once the coffee was mixed with the water, cream and sugar, it was fine.

Expired Starbucks Instant Coffee Prepared
Expired Starbucks Instant Coffee Prepared-looks normal!

I am not going to take any more chances though.  I am rotating my stock by using up this expired batch within the next few days and replacing it with a fresh box.  Do I recommend making a habit of drinking expired coffee?  No, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.  I do recommend looking through your supplies and making sure you use them up in time.


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  1. Oh my gosh – another caffeine addict. Seriously, we have stored 40 pounds of sealed Starbucks French Roast beans in our long term storage pantry. Each bag (which comes already sealed in mylar) is dated (by us) with a sharpie and each week we pull from our stock, using the oldest first. When we are down to 25 pounds, we purchase additional stock.

    Now truth be told, we also stored a few tins of Yuban which should last forever.

    But my beloved French roast and a hand grinder for the beans? Well, that will provide me with ultimate comfort beverage if SHTF.


    1. Wow 40 lbs is a nice stash. More like 10 lbs for me. I am the only coffee addict in the family, so I just have to make sure I have enough. I get pressured to just give it up, but not planning on it anytime soon, I like it too much! 🙂

      1. Wow, Bernie, that new background makes it almost impossible to read your posting.

        Aside from that, I believe if you stored the packets in a vacuum sealed quart jar, you might be surprised how long they would stay good. We sealed some Starbucks beans unground in mylar with an Oxygen absorber. Over a year later, the coffee tasted great to me. DW complained that it lacked a little taste, but I could not tell the difference.

        1. Hi Doug in Arkansas, I haven’t changed anything since the blog redesign in April. This is the first report of difficulty in reading the post. Please let me know if it continues. Regarding the coffee, I have some grounds stored in mylar bags that have not expired yet; I do think unground beans store much better. I think I will seal up the packets in mylar as well. Thanks!

  2. That’s good to know. I have heard instant coffee could be stored a long time past “expiration ” date. Some foods will make you sick. Others will go for a very long time.

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