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How Long Does Coffee Last? It Depends Mostly On Mold (Gross)

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and for good reason. But like other food products, coffee beans (ground or whole) have a shelf-life. Coffee beans are one of the most likely places for mold to develop. Since most of us drink coffee on a regular basis, it’s important to know how to properly store, brew, and buy your coffee.

Mold? Seriously? 

Mold is present in the beans of almost all mainstream coffee brands. The body can handle mostly handle it (think of how many toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis), but the mold can cause issues over time. It is also the reason for bitter taste and extreme crashes in energy after consumption. If you want to avoid mold in coffee beans, you need to look for products that specifically mention its absence. Otherwise, chances are very high that the company just considers it a part of the manufacturing process.

Bottom line: you want to avoid mold whenever possible. If you can’t buy coffee that is specifically mold-free, preserving freshness is the next best thing.

How to Buy Mold-Free

Thankfully, there are several brands of tested mold-free coffee on the market today. If you cannot find any of these brands at your local grocery store or market, you aren’t at a total loss. You can buy many of these coffee options online as well as in stores. And in general, opting for organic coffee will reduce your chances at significant mold present in your beans. 

How to Store Coffee to Keep It Fresh

Storing coffee matters just as much as finding a mold-free option. Whole coffee beans can last for a few weeks so long as they are stored in an air-tight container in a dry, room-temperature environment. Freshly ground coffee should be kept in an opaque airtight container, away from heat, light, & moisture. Stored this way, the beans will usually stay fresh for 1-2 weeks. Coffee pods (stored similarly) will stay fresh until their best-by date on the packaging, but you may be ingesting micro-plastics by using pods

How to Brew Better Coffee

Mold and other toxins are most likely to build up in multi-cup or single-pod coffee makers (like traditional drip coffee or Keurig). These machines are typically made with plastic parts and are incredibly hard to clean. Essentially, this is a breeding ground for toxins. Swap to a French Press made from glass or stainless steel, or Pour Over like a Chemex to reduce overall toxin exposure. Plus, you’ll really up-level your coffee game! 

Ultimately, you need to decide what level of exposure to toxins you are comfortable with. For me, I had to pay really close attention to these details in coffee when I was experiencing a lot of autoimmune symptoms after having an EBV flare-up a few years ago. Since becoming pregnant, mold is again something I am paying attention to (even if I am not drinking coffee as often as I did pre-pregnancy). Either way, having the information is what matters most, so you can make the most informed choices for your health. 

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