Flavouring a coffee involves introducing flavour oils to the beans after roasting.

I am assuming that the shelf life of an object is measured as the minimum shelf life of its components, so is it possible for these flavour oils to reduce the longevity of the roasted bean, or do flavour oils have as long, if not longer shelf lives?

By shelf life, I mean the length of time before it is unsafe for consumption. Whether the flavour of flavoured coffee degrades at a different rate to unflavoured coffee is most likely a whole new question entirely.

1 Answer 1


You are quite right - the flavouring does indeed change the shelf life in a certain way. It is necessary to look at this from two perspectives.

Shelf Life by Safe Consumption:

The flavouring compounds used to flavour coffees last longer without degrading. This means that they ARE NOT the limiting factor when it comes to the shelf life of a coffee. Therefore, shelf life is not changed by flavouring the coffee as these compounds degrade (or go bad) after the coffee itself.

Shelf Life by Taste:

Because the coffee has been treated with flavouring compounds, it will hide certain aspects of degradation of the coffee due to aging, decaffeination, and oxidation.

In addition, these flavors help extend the shelf life of coffee by disguising changes in flavor due to decaffeination, oxidation, or aging processes.

Source: How Products are Made

Therefore, shelf life by taste is changed, as the flavouring compounds mask the degradation and therefore the bad tastes of the aging coffee.

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