Storing coffee correctly is key to maintaining the taste and aroma you love. Our tips and timelines will help you keep Folgers® coffee fresh for maximum enjoyment in every cup.

Factors That Affect Coffee Freshness

As sad as it is to admit, coffee does have an expiration date. There are also certain factors that can affect coffee freshness before that date arrives. Do your best to avoid these things when storing coffee to preserve that amazing flavor and aroma for as long as possible. 

Exposing coffee to air makes it more likely to go stale and lose its flavor.

Coffee exposed to moisture can spoil and develop a moldy, unpleasant taste.

Coffee beans and grounds can easily absorb heat, which causes them to lose their flavor.

Sunlight (and even artificial light) exposure can impact freshness, leaving your coffee with a bland or stale taste.

Coffee Storage Best Practices

Knowing how to keep coffee fresh means understanding the right ways to store it. Use these tips to store coffee so it stays flavorful to the last scoop.

Use an airtight container
Air exposure is one of the biggest enemies of coffee freshness, so choosing an airtight container is always the first step. Pro tip: choose a container with a one-way valve that lets out trapped carbon dioxide while preventing oxygen from getting in.

Store in a cool, dark place
Since heat and light should also be avoided, choose a cool, dark place to store your airtight container of coffee. A pantry or cupboard away from direct sunlight and heat sources, like ovens or stoves, should do the trick. 

Don’t refrigerate
Contrary to popular belief, storing coffee in the fridge can actually harm your ground coffee by exposing it to moisture and odors from other food items.

Know the expiration date
Coffee packaging always includes an expiration date and roast date. Keep these dates in mind and aim to use your coffee before time is up. Ground coffee is typically at its freshest within two weeks of being roasted, while whole bean coffee can last longer—up to 4-6 weeks after being roasted.

Wait to grind
This is for our whole bean coffee lovers. Rather than buying coffee beans and grinding them all at once, try grinding the amount you want right before brewing. This will help preserve your coffee’s flavor and freshness.

If you’re someone who likes to buy in bulk, it’s even more important to learn how to store coffee properly. Coffee is freshest when it’s just roasted, so buying in bulk can mean you’re storing coffee that’s already losing some of its fresh taste. But, hey, bulk buying can be more economical. To reduce air exposure, store your ground coffee in multiple small containers that you use one at a time. Keep this coffee shelf life timeline in mind, too.



Refer to “best-by” date

1-3 weeks

Refer to “best-by” date

Up to 1 month

Refer to “best-by” date

Up to 1 year

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I store ground coffee?
Ground coffee is freshest within two weeks of being roasted. Storing it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place can extend its shelf life by a few more weeks. Consider buying coffee in small batches and using it within a few weeks for optimal freshness.

Can coffee expire?
After a product’s “best by” date, we cannot guarantee the same taste, quality and performance. Using unopened coffee before the “best by” date (or opened coffee according to the “use by” information on-pack) will help make sure you have the freshest coffee experience possible.

How can I tell if my ground coffee has gone bad?
If your ground coffee has gone bad, it may have a stale or musty smell and the flavor may be dull or bitter. If your ground coffee doesn’t smell or taste right, pitch it.

Should I store whole coffee beans or ground coffee?
Whole coffee beans are generally considered more resilient. They can last longer compared to ground coffee (4-6 weeks vs. 1-3 weeks after being roasted). No matter which you prefer, proper storage will help keep your coffee fresh.

Can I freeze ground coffee? 
Freezing ground coffee can cause moisture to develop, which can negatively affect the flavor. Like fridge storage, freezer storage also runs the risk of your coffee absorbing odors from the other food items stored there. If you do want to freeze your coffee for long-term storage, just be sure to use an airtight container. You should also still plan to use your coffee within a few weeks of freezing.

How do you store instant coffee? 
Like ground coffee, instant coffee should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Keep it away from moisture and humidity, too, since exposure may cause instant coffee to clump or lose its flavor.

How long does ground coffee last?
If kept sealed, cool and dry, Folgers ground coffee will remain fresh until the “best by” date printed on the package. Our ground coffees can typically be enjoyed for 1-3 weeks after opening.

What is the best container for storing ground coffee?
An airtight container is best—something that will keep oxygen and moisture out. Glass and ceramic containers are great options because they’re non-reactive and won’t affect the taste of the coffee. Stainless steel containers also work well since they’re durable and can still protect coffee from air and moisture. You should also choose a container that’s the right size for the amount of coffee you’re storing—anything too big will allow excess air to hang out, which could affect taste of your coffee.

Can you vacuum seal coffee grounds?
Yes, vacuum sealing is a great option. It removes excess air from your storage bag or container, which can help preserve the freshness of your coffee for longer. This is especially helpful if you buy in bulk.

How do you store ground coffee long term?
Long-term ground coffee storage is tricky. You could freeze your coffee in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag. When you’re ready to use it, let it come to room temperature before opening to avoid letting moisture in. You could also place an oxygen absorber in an airtight container. As always, store it in a cool, dark place. But, no matter which methods you use and how well you store it, keep in mind that coffee will eventually lose its flavor and aroma. Don’t wait too long to enjoy it.