Instant coffee does not expire because it contains no moisture.
Even if the product has passed its "best by" date, it is still safe to consume if it has been properly stored. The date indicates that the product will taste best if consumed before the date, but it is still safe to consume after that date.
However, over time, your instant coffee may begin to lose some of its flavor and aroma, resulting in a bland and occasionally unpleasant taste.
The flavor and body of the product are lost when the volatile compounds that give it flavor and body evaporate and oxidize as a result of exposure to air after the bag or can are opened. Coffee can go bad at any time, from a week (in the case of canned or bagged ground coffee) to a month or so (in the case of freshly ground coffee) (for whole roasted beans). However, it will not be pleasant to brew and drink it at this point.
When it comes to expiration dates, there are two types: "best before" and "use by". The use-by date is the most important because it has been calculated based on the likelihood of spoilage in a product where the toxins and food-borne organisms could cause you to become seriously ill if consumed. Keep that deadline in mind.
In general, the best before date is applied to dried goods such as sugar, grains, rice, dried fruit, flour, tea, ground coffee, and coffee beans. The date indicates that the product will taste best if consumed before the date, but it is still safe to consume after that date; it will just not taste as good as it would if it were consumed sooner.
When it comes to coffee grounds or beans that are past their best before date and there is no evidence of mold or other degradation when you open the packet, it may not taste quite as good as it did when it was fresh, but it won't harm you or cause any other problems unless it's been open for more than a year.
Other Questions about Coffee
Questions not about coffee (but important to coffee)
OCM (OnCoffeeMakers.com) was started in 2007 with the first webpage about coffee machines. And for a number of years, we focused on helping people find their desired coffee machine (we still are helping folks with that! So, if you are looking for coffee machines for office or restaurants - check out the link).
In 2010, we started getting enquiries on restaurant marketing and we start to help food and beverage brands with their marketing. Below are campaigns and events that we have done over the years:
OCM's campaigns: F&B Marketing Ideas by OCM
OCM's Events: F&B Industry events by or with OCM
Check out this restaurant marketing guide to learn more about the many campaigns and companies we have worked with.
Since then, we have also created many marketing workshops and classes for the F&B industry. Many of these modules are still running in tertiary institutions such as Temasek Polytechnic Skillsfuture Academy and also ITE College East COC classes, below are some snippets of our lectures and workshops:
OCM’s F&B workshops: Food and Beverage Marketing Lectures | Workshops - click to watch classes on customer journey map, JTBD and more.
So, if you are looking for industry practitioners to help you scale your coffee or F&B businesses, do drop us a message or book an appointment. Do also check out our various social media platforms on regular F&B and coffee market updates:
For regular coffee (F&B) related videos: OCM Youtube
For Daily Coffee Inspiration (fun coffee content): OCM IG
For insights into the coffee (F&B) industry: OCM LinkedIN
PS: For the coffee lovers, we continue to share coffee articles (and videos) and have also started a free coffee class section (with free online coffee training supported by coffee partners).