The Shelf Life of Coffee

The shelf life of coffee is pretty different to what some supermarkets will have you believe.

Sure, roasted coffee will last a long time, but it is always best fresh. Although it’s pretty convenient to pick up a bag during your weekly shop, it may be worth getting your coffee elsewhere. In this blog, we take a look at the shelf life of coffee and how it may be misleading.



The Shelf Life of Coffee From the Supermarket

The coffees you find in supermarkets are often pretty deceptive when it comes to freshness. Things such as misleading labels are among the many ways that coffee brands try to convince customers they have a quality product when really, it’s the opposite.

You will often find in supermarkets that coffee bags will have a “use by” or “best before” date on them, often up to a year from the purchase date. This gives customers the impression that the coffee they are buying will last a lot longer than freshly roasted coffee.

To get the shelf life of coffee to a year, often supermarket coffee is nitrogen flushed when packed. This removes the oxygen from the coffee bag, effectively pausing the staling process. As soon as the pack is opened, however, this catches up pretty quickly.


espresso pouring from an espresso machine


If you’re looking for speciality coffee, the supermarket probably won’t be the place to find it. Instead, you will discover coffees labelled as premium or high-grade coffee, which could lead you to think you are purchasing speciality coffee, but more often than not, you are not.

It’s often the case that supermarkets will buy lower grade coffee to avoid high coffee prices and word the coffee cleverly using words customers want to see, such as the aforementioned ‘premium’.

The Shelf Life of Two Chimps Coffee

Here at Two Chimps Coffee, we don’t give an unrealistic “use by” or “best before” date to our whole bean and ground coffee. Instead, we sticker all of our coffee bags with the roast date, along with who the coffee was roasted by. This is to show how fresh our coffee is.


green coffee in hands


Sure, this tells you how fresh the coffee is, but this alone doesn’t tell you how long we believe coffee will stay at its best for. After extensive testing, we can reveal that freshly roasted coffee is best within four weeks and, if it is not possible to consume it all within this time, we recommend using it within eight weeks.

Although it won’t harm you if you drink freshly roasted coffee after eight weeks, you will find that the natural flavours the coffee once had will have deteriorated and will be muted.

As mentioned, the fresher the coffee, the better the taste. To help with the coffee freshness, there are many things that we do before the coffee leaves the roastery. There are also things that you can do to ensure coffee is always the freshest it can be.


portafilter with coffee

What can you do?

The first thing we would recommend is to order little and often from us. Although it may seem like a good idea to order your coffee in bulk to keep you going for months, coffee loses its freshness, natural flavours and aromas over time so you could be left with an amount of old, stale coffee.

Instead, we recommend buying smaller bags of fresh coffee from us to last a shorter period. If you worry about running out, and to be quite honest, who wouldn’t (!), then check out our coffee subscription. This way, you can always stay topped up with just the right amount of freshly roasted coffee.

What do we do?

When it comes to roasting, we freshly roast to order multiple times each week. For our wholesale customers, we contact them once a week to see if they require any coffee for that week. If they do, great! We will roast what is needed and deliver it the next day. Equally, if they don’t need any, that’s fine too.



On every two chimps coffee bag, there is a one-way valve. This lets the natural gasses escape from the coffee while stopping oxygen from entering the bag. Although oxygen is good for most things, with coffee, it takes the freshness, taste and aroma away.

So there you have it, next time you need some coffee, have freshly roasted coffee delivered straight to your door. Buy coffee online with free 1st class tracked delivery when you spend £25

Check out our shop to find a full list of our coffees.

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