Perhaps you’d like to save money by purchasing your K-Cups in bulk. Or maybe you found a forgotten K-Cup in the back of your cupboard. In either situation, you are probably wondering, “How long will my K-Cups stay fresh?” The answer is multifaceted and leaves you some room to make your own judgement call. Keep reading to receive the information that you need in order to decide for yourself how long your K-Cups will stay fresh.
All K-Cups have a “best-used-by-date” printed on them. This date is also printed on the box they came in. It is worth noting that this date is not an expiration date. Rather, the printed date is a recommendation from the roaster. The roaster claims that the coffee will retain optimal flavor and freshness by the printed date.
If you’d like to brew your K-Cups prior to the “use-by” date, consider purchasing them at a local store. When doing so, you can check the date on the box. If you order online, you have no control over which box, and therefore which date, you get.
Packaging and Storage
Coffee grounds in Keurig K-Cups stay fresh for a long time because of the way that they are packaged. The cups are sealed in a such a way that makes them impervious to light, water, and air. Also, K-Cups are flushed with nitrogen prior to sealing. This step is essential to extending shelf life. Oxygen causes food to deteriorate. Therefore, many packaged foods, including chips, nuts, and crackers, are stored in nitrogen-filled containers. When a package is “flushed” with nitrogen, regular air is forced out of the container and nitrogen gas is inserted. This nitrogen then helps to keep the sealed food fresher longer. Therefore, the coffee grounds in a Keurig K-Cup will keep longer compared to coffee stored in other packaging methods.
Due to the packaging method, coffee in K-Cups is not likely to spoil. However, if there is any opening in the K-Cup through which water, light, or air could enter, the coffee will not last long. Storing undamaged K-Cups in a dry, dark, cool place can improve their longevity.
Choosing To Drink Older Coffee
As was stated above, the “best-used-by-date” is the time period in which the roasters recommend drinking the coffee in order to obtain full flavor and freshness. It is not an expiration date. No one can verify that K-Cups are safe to drink past their “best-used-by-date.” That is a judgement that you must make on your own. If you’d like to rely on testimony, then know that many people brew K-Cups past their “best-used-by” date and noticed no difference in flavor. The folks at Eat By Date believe that K-Cups will remain fresh up to 8 months past their “use-by” date. Visit their website to learn more about why they believe this is the case.
Because of the way the are packaged, K-Cups are not likely to spoil. Roasters provide a recommended “use-by” date on each K-Cup. You can decide for yourself whether it is worth it to brew K-Cups past that date.