Ground coffee looses quickly its flavour. It's especially painful for singles living in rented apartment (no coffee machine) and having only big packages in nearby groceries...

But what actually happens to that coffee? What is lost, other then flavour? How the taste is affected? Does the caffeine amount also changes? Do some chemical processes happen, that can make such an old coffee unhealthy?

1 Answer 1


As far as I know the aroma is gone first, the oils begin to dry out and the taste goes down as well. I don't know how long it takes the caffeine to go away. I have drunk coffee over a year old and there still was caffeine. (I go camping and there was a bag left over from the previous year.)

On a different note - as a lifelong NYer I don't see how living in a small space precludes having a grinder. Even - gasp - a cheap krup kitchen grinder is better than buying bags of store ground coffee. (IMHO) Although I would buy a hand grinder instead.

  • What does it mean for oil to dry out? Are the oils all volatile?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 20:57
  • 1
    I don't know. My chemistry is not the best but I would suspect that it is a glyceride. A volatile oil, as far as I know, is distilled.
    – Mayo
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 21:36

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