I buy this coffee jar 3 months ago and now coffee is turned into solid round balls is this expired? I can use or not is this good for use?enter image description here


2 Answers 2


I am afraid that there are two misconceptions

One, what you have in the jar are not coffee beans, it’s freeze-dried prepared coffee. Think of it as the coffee equivalent of bullion cubes.

Two, the date on the container is almost certainly not an “expiry date” (Microbes don’t use calendars), but a “best before” date, which is fundamentally different.

  • Some foods have a “use by” date, after which the food is no longer “safe”’by food safety standards. Minced meat (aka hamburger) is a classic example.
  • Instant coffee doesn’t fall into the same category of very easily spoiling food, hence the “best before”, which is a recommendation given by the manufacturer to ensure that the product is in optimal condition. After that, the quality may be somewhat decreased, but the product is usually not “unsafe”. Other examples are pasta (keeps for years if stored properly) or beans (may take longer to soften after some time, but are perfectly fine to use still).

The lumps you see in your jar are caused by moisture, which made some of the granules sticky. Maybe you left it open or used a damp spoon to scoop out some instant coffee? Try to break it up gently. If there’s only very little humidity, this should be fairly easy and could already solve the issue. If not, just use the lump(s) as you would the finer granules, they will dissolve in hot water without a problem. I suggest you are a bit more careful about keeping your powder dry when handling the jar in the future.


If you leave your instant coffee in its airtight container open or not fully tightened,it will become solid reason being its full of additives & preservatives and its most likely to have a bitter taste but for the real coffee beans/ground coffee,once left in an open container it will still be ground not solid but all its fragrances and aromas will evaporate & once tasted,it will be flat with just the coffee colour. Instant coffees are not good for health in the long run. They're addictive & have side effects that come along with their endless addiction.

  • 2
    I must disagree with your reasoning. Unless you are talking about special „cappuccino“ or flavored preparations, instant coffee is simply freeze-dried brewed coffee, without the additives or preservatives you mention. (Food-safety-wise, instant coffee is quite stable and not susceptible to fungal or bacteria decay.) Apart from that, I am missing an actual answer to at least the part of the asker’s question - is the product still fit for consumption?
    – Stephie
    Sep 3, 2019 at 18:01
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    – Stephie
    Sep 3, 2019 at 18:03
  • 1
    "Additives & preservatives"?? Really? The ingredients list from Nescafé Gold Blend [chosen almost at random as being well-known] Soluble Coffee, Roast and Ground Coffee (3%) …so it contains coffee & only coffee, with some presumably residual unfiltered grounds, giving the 3%. 'addictive & have side effects' I'm just going to ignore.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 27, 2020 at 12:23

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