How Long Do Starbucks Coffee Beans Typically Last?


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How Long Do Starbucks Coffee Beans Typically Last?

Maybe you got a bag of Starbucks coffee beans last Christmas, and you’ve just now found them in the back of your pantry. Or maybe you’ve opened up your coffee beans and smelled something a little rank. Regardless, you may wonder how long your Starbucks coffee beans typically last, but the answer is a little complicated.

Starbucks Coffee beans will typically last around three years if stored unopened in the freezer, nine months if unopened outside the freezer, or six months if opened. However, your coffee beans taste better the sooner you use them. Try to consume them within two weeks. 

So how long will a bag of Starbucks coffee beans last before they become stale? And what can you do to make sure they stay fresh? Let’s find out!

Average Shelf-Life of Coffee Beans

To be clear: when it comes to freshness in your coffee beans, the sooner, the better. If you want to compost them, there’s no expiration date. However, they’ll typically last much longer than they’ll be fresh. Coffee can last in the freezer unopened for 2-3 years. Outside of the freezer, it’s usually safe for nine months. 

The answer to this question is a little tricky, though. Coffee beans have an extremely long shelf life, meaning they can stay fresh after being roasted. Still, they’ll only stay good if stored properly and kept away from excess light or heat. So they’ll last a long time, but the quality doesn’t.

Freshness is the most important thing when it comes to coffee beans. Freshness is determined by both quality and roast date. The fresher the bean, the better tasting your coffee will be.

Generally, you should use your coffee within two weeks of purchasing it. This means that if you buy one pound (0.45 kg) at once, you should be able to drink your entire pound (0.45 kg) within two weeks of buying it (if not sooner). 

If you want your favorite Starbucks brew to taste its best when made with freshly-ground beans, keeping them in their original packaging until opened helps retain their freshness for longer than other packaging methods allow unless you have a container specifically used for keeping coffee fresh.

Freshness vs. Shelf-Life

It’s important not to confuse the concept of “freshness” with how long something can be stored before going bad. Many foods out there are past their prime even though still edible, and vice versa.

If whole-bean coffee is kept in an airtight container and stored in a cool, dry place, it can stay fresh for up to two weeks after its roast date.

Oxidation caused by exposing coffee beans to oxygen, light, moisture, and heat makes them go stale very quickly. However, if you’re prepared for this process to happen over time, you may not notice a difference in taste at all!

The quality of a coffee bean is determined by how long it’s been since it was roasted, so if your beans have been sitting around for too long, they’re probably not very good anymore. But even if they were roasted recently, there are still some roasts that will taste better than others—we’ll talk about that below! 

What To Expect From Starbucks Coffee Beans

Starbucks is one of the most popular coffee brands in the world. The global coffeehouse chain has more than 28,000 stores across 70 countries, making it the largest coffeehouse company in the world. Their coffee beans are more quality than your discount or dollar store beans. 

Starbucks uses vacuum-sealed bags that help keep their coffee fresh between roasting and serving it to you, so this helps with the freshness factor. Generally, you can keep the beans in a vacuum-sealed bag for about three months. Still, when you open it, the date changes significantly. 

If you are a true coffee lover and want to take your home brewing seriously, you might want to invest in a coffee maker that allows you to choose the grind size and brew strength. Then buy your beans from a store that has them stored under suitable conditions and grind them yourself at home before brewing up your cup of joy.

The Oxidation Process in Coffee Beans

Exposure to oxygen, light, and moisture can cause coffee beans to oxidize. 

Oxidation is the process that makes food go stale and causes it to lose its flavor. When coffee beans are exposed to oxygen, they will turn brown (though it’s tricky to see) as carbon dioxide leaves them and becomes more acidic. This is why your office coffee pot tasted so bad after having sat out a few hours—not only are the grounds probably done before going in the pot, but the extra oxidation makes it taste off. 

Light also speeds up the oxidation process by breaking down chlorogenic acids in coffee beans into quinic acid (which tastes sour) and caffeic acid (which tastes bitter). Moisture can also lead to oxidation, as it helps speed up the chemical reactions when you brew coffee.

Oxidation occurs more quickly in espresso than whole-bean coffee because espresso contains less surface area, so there’s less room for air, light, and moisture penetration during brewing.

Do you know how long the caffeine in coffee lasts? Read my guide on how the expiration date of coffee beans affects their caffeine. You’ll also learn about coffee compounds affected by expiration. [Does Expired Coffee Lose Its Caffeine?]

Tools To Keep Your Coffee Beans Fresh for Longer

It turns out that storing your beans properly can make a massive difference in both the quality of your cup and how much money it costs you in the long run! Let’s look at ways to store your favorite brew for longer than just one morning.

You can also store your beans in a tightly sealed, airtight container outside the fridge or freezer. This will help ensure that no moisture gets into the bag and causes mold to grow, which is always bad news for coffee.

We recommend storing your whole-bean coffee in a tightly sealed, airtight container outside your refrigerator or freezer. The colder temps will cause more condensation than average room temperature, and you don’t want moisture getting into the bag. While they’ll have a better shelf-life inside the freezer, the freshness will go way down.

Another tool is your discretion. Sometimes coffee beans will be way less expensive in bulk if you think about it in the grand scheme. Maybe you see a bag of coffee beans for five bucks, but the website offers ten bags for only twenty-five bucks. While it may save you money to get the bulk deal, you may find that the quality will have gone way down by the time you get to your second or third bag of coffee.

Keep your coffee beans fresh longer by buying only what you can finish within a week. Be wary of bulk deals—unless you want to vacuum seal all of your coffee by a vacuum sealer and then freezing it adds to your protection for super fresh coffee when you are ready to consume it:

Product Recommendations for Long-Term Freshness 

Remember that you don’t want to store your coffee in plastic bags or paper bags. These can let air in and cause the coffee to go stale quicker than it usually would. While you should always aim to keep your coffee beans in the best condition possible, it’s easy to underestimate how quickly they can go stale if not stored properly. 

As mentioned above, coffee beans are particularly susceptible to oxidation, which causes them to lose their flavor and aroma. The best way to prevent this is with an airtight container so no oxygen can get in or out.

In addition to preventing oxidation, an oxygen absorber will help remove excess moisture from the container. This prevents condensation buildup that could lead to mildew forming on your coffee beans.

Using a Vacuum Sealer

A vacuum sealer is a great way to store coffee beans. It removes all of the air from a bag, preventing oxidation from affecting your beans’ quality.

Coffee retains its flavor for about four weeks after it’s been roasted. It lasts even longer if you freeze it first, but freezing can cause water molecules in the beans’ shells to expand and burst through them. If you choose to use a vacuum sealer, store your bags in a cool place away from sunlight or heat sources. This Mesliese Vacuum Sealer Machine on Amazon is high performing.

Using an Airtight Glass or Ceramic Jar

Using an airtight glass or ceramic jar is one of the best ways to keep coffee beans fresh. Keep them away from light, heat, and moisture. They should stay fresh for up to 1-2 months. You can use a mason jar or even reuse old airtight jars. And, if you want to go the extra mile, you can purchase a jar vacuum sealer

Using a Sealed Plastic Container

When choosing a container for storing your coffee beans long-term, look for one made from thick plastic and with an airtight seal at the top. It doesn’t have to be expensive—a simple zip-top bag will do just fine as well. However, consider that a transparent container can let light and affect the taste of your coffee. This Lunar Seal Upgraded Automatic Vacuum Sealed Coffee Canister is rechargeable and works to keep your beans safe if you want a little upgrade from to a plain zip-top bag.

Do you ever wonder why some coffee beans are oilier than others? I recommend reading my in-depth guide to learn more about the factors affecting the oiliness of beans. You’ll also learn how the oiliness of beans affects the taste of coffee. [Why Are Starbucks Coffee Beans So Oily?]


Your coffee beans can last long in terms of shelf-life. They’ll be “good” for years if you keep them unopened and put them in the fridge.

However, freshness is a huge factor in the quality of your coffee cup, and though your beans may not have gone wrong, they still might not taste great. Take this into consideration when buying your beans! Finding the correct container for your coffee beans can make all the difference in freshness.