Signs Your Coffee Beans Have Gone Bad

Coffee is one of the most beloved beverages in the world, but as with any food or drink, it can go bad if it isn't stored properly. Fresh coffee beans are essential for a delicious cup of coffee, but how can you tell if your beans have gone bad? There are several signs to look out for — that don't include referencing the expiration date.

It is, however, important to note that these signs are not always clear-cut. Certain types of beans may have different characteristics, but there are some general indicators that the beans may have gone bad. 

One sign of bad coffee beans is a musty or moldy smell, according to Home Grounds. If that's the case, then they have likely gone bad. Coffee beans should have a rich, earthy aroma. If you are not sure based on the smell, you can also look for a few key indicators. Coffee beans that are oily or discolored won't deliver the best cup of coffee either (via Good Coffee Roasting Company). Beans that look shiny might also smell rancid because of the oils seeping out and spoiling.

Carefully inspect coffee beans for these indicators

Coffee beans can start to go bad as early as two weeks after being roasted. So, if your bag was roasted longer than two weeks before, you will want to look for these signs of spoiled coffee beans. In addition to inspecting and smelling the beans, you can also feel and taste them. Coffee beans should feel crisp rather than soft when you press them between your fingers (via Caffé Nero).  And if you go as far as to brew a cup from questionable coffee beans, then expect a very bitter flavor to shine through (via Coffee Craft Code). The coffee might even have a weak aroma as it brews according to Well+Good

By keeping an eye out for these signs such as moldy smells, oiliness, and discoloration among others, you can ensure that you're always drinking fresh, delicious coffee. Remember to store your beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and use them within two weeks of the roast date (via Well+Good). With these tips, you'll be sure to enjoy a perfect cup of coffee every time.