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How Long Do Coffee Pods Last: Your Questions Answered

by Alex Bider 28 Jan 2021
How Long Do Coffee Pods Last: Your Questions Answered


How long do coffee pods last? Coffee Pods contain labels with shelf dates which usually expire several months after you buy them. Typically, the individual packaging of coffee pods is designed to provide maximum freshness and preserves the coffee’s crisp taste.

Any time you open the package, conventional coffee ground packaging loses freshness. It is here that you may begin to ask questions about how long your coffee pods are supposed to last.

In this article, you will learn about when coffee pods expire. We will also explore all there is to know about the shelf life of coffee pods. Just to make sure your coffee pods last longer, we will also discuss the best storage and preservation techniques for coffee pods. Let’s get in!

Do Coffee Pods Expire?

The expiry date on individual pods can be available as a print on the coffee pods. This gives you knowledge on how long the coffee pods last. However, the expiration can appear on the outer package box of some coffee pods. 

In the event that you are without access to the outer wrapper of your coffee pods, you can work with a timeline. Usually, the 'best before' date is around 1 year from the date of production. Furthermore, coffee capsules undergo a hermetically sealing process. This shields the coffee from the sun, oxygen and moisture.

A coffee pod can stay fresh to drink for years after the 'best before' date. Sometimes, you may have coffee capsules with a rip in the foil of the capsule. In this case, the pod may not be safe for use anymore as air may be present in the pod.

Pushing lightly against the silver membrane is a way to test the coffee pod. It helps to determine if an expired coffee capsule is safe for use. You can still use the capsule if it offers resistance to your push.

A 'best of' date is common on many coffee machine brands instead of an expiration date. This means that using the pod after the ‘best of’ date may not taste as fresh. The coffee pod may not retain its original properties and therefore, it may not provide you with the ideal cup of coffee.

You may also wonder how long coffee pods can last if it contains milk. For your coffee pods to contain milk, it has to be Ultra Heat Treated. This treatment process ensures that your coffee pods will last for a very long time.

Related Article: Here’s How You Can Make The Best Coffee from Coffee Pods

How Long Do Coffee Pods Last

The next thing to explore is the comprehensive meaning of the dates on your coffee pod packaging? How long do coffee pods last? After the expiry date, do coffee pods "go bad"? Will they be undrinkable? Will you get hurt by them?

The determinant factors here are the integrity of the pod's seal and packaging. As long as they are intact, these pods will remain relatively fresh. They will normally not go bad for a minimum of eight months to a year. This is regardless of what the box date suggests. However, it is always best to follow the recommendations on the coffee pod wrapper. 

During the manufacture date, coffee pods undergo a nitrogen-flushing process. This securely seals the pod against oxygen, sun, and moisture. The design is deliberate, designed to make sure the coffee pods last for a long time and to preserve the product.

This date is actually just a rough guess. However, it is the date up until which you can be confident of the freshness of your coffee. That does not mean your coffee will still not taste good after that date.

For example, the pod may have been sitting in your pantry for months. In this case, you may not feel a difference. Basically, it comes down to your taste when it comes to coffee pods’ longevity. Additionally, you can drink a coffee pod that's a couple of months past the expiry date. You won't get sick from it.

However, you may notice a drop in taste in the pod. Other factors determine how long coffee pods remain fresh. These factors are largely external and can significantly hamper the integrity of your pod. Make sure to take note of these factors.

  • Moisture
  • Oxygen
  • Heat
  • Puncture

We will go individually into each of the above factors. The shelf life of your coffee pods will extend exceptionally as long as you work within these factors.


Water is said to be life. However, it can be a destructive agent in the wrong place and time. The presence of water in any vicinity can lead to the growth of microbes. This in turn will surely negatively impact how long your coffee pod lasts. Such microbes can tamper with and interfere with the integrity and quality of your coffee pods.

The best way to store your coffee pods is far away from moisture. Moisture can cause mould to grow on the surface of the pod. This may in turn lead to the altering of the coffee grounds in the pod. It will also affect the chemical makeup of the coffee grounds and change their taste.

If you notice any moisture on your coffee pod pack, make sure to dry them quickly. You may test one pod to see if its taste is still fresh. 


Basic chemistry tells us of the properties of oxygen. Every living thing needs oxygen to survive. However, it’s presence in the seal of your coffee pod can spell doom for it.

Oxygen can prematurely oxidize your coffee grounds. This can increase the acidity of the coffee grounds. Eventually, this will lead to coffee brew tasting sour.

The coffee pods go through a flushing process under nitrogen to fight off any staleness. However, oxygen will significantly alter how long your coffee pods last. It can lead to a sharp and nearly bitter taste for the coffee pods.

When you buy coffee pods in Canada, check for rips in the packaging. This due diligence should extend to when you want to use the coffee pods. Before you press the button on the coffee machine, check the entirety of the pod. Make sure that it’s dry and void of any contusions.

Sometimes, you may want to make your coffee without a machine. In this case, you will have to peel the lid and pour out the contents of your coffee pods manually. If you’re using this method, it’s important to use the exposed coffee grounds as soon as possible in this case.


Everyone likes a good tan. The same cannot be said for coffee pods though. Heat can impact how long your coffee pods last in the wrong way. The sun’s rays are extremely powerful and full of radiation. These heat rays can alter the chemical makeup of your coffee pod.

Heat can also make the coffee pods ‘sweat’. This can in turn cause the coffee grounds to stick to each other. When this happens, it will affect the smoothness of the final coffee brew.

Excessive heat can also severely weaken the capacity of a pod to hold the coffee grounds. This means that the pod may spill open inside the machine and cause a mess. This can happen in the case of plastic pods.


This is often the biggest issue that can hinder how long your coffee pods will last. It can also determine the influence of the factors above. A puncture can be a tear or breach in the pods.

This kind of puncture can allow in air, moisture and heat. This will overexpose the coffee grounds and cause them to result in a poor brew. As such, make sure to store your pods away from sharp objects.

Furthermore, inspect each pod before you use them. A breach will negate any method you employ on how to preserve the coffee pods. If you find a puncture in your coffee pod, it’s best to open the seal. 

Doing this can allow you to manually test the integrity of your coffee grounds. If it’s still good, you can still enjoy your cup of joe the traditional way.

Coffee capsules can be made from a range of various products. This can directly influence the flavour of coffee and how long the coffee pods last. Compostable (plant or cornstarch-based), Aluminum and PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) Plastic are commonly used products.

Aluminum coffee pods 

Aluminum pods are airtight, 100% plastic-free and entirely recyclable. With a fast rinse, you can even bring them in with your household recycling. This is after you extract the spent coffee inside.

This capsule-style is popular because they sound 'more premium'. It also ensures that your coffee pods do not expire prematurely. Additionally, it helps the roasters to pack more coffee in at the same time. Coffees enjoyed from an aluminum capsule have richer and bolder tastes with a stronger aroma.

Compostable coffee capsules

Compostable capsules come from different recycled raw materials. These materials undergo degradation by industrial composting within six months. This can be an addition to the local inventory of food waste.

Furthermore, to preserve the coffee's freshness, compostable capsules come in nitrogen-flushed air-tight containers. After opening the container, keep the compostable coffee capsules packed in an airtight jar and at room temperature. The paper seal generates clean coffee with a low to medium body.

PBT Plastic

PBT, short for Polybutylene Terephthalate, is a food grade plastic with aluminum foil lids. Most PBT pods are airtight and exist in an oxygen-free atmosphere, similar to aluminum pods. This enables the interior of the coffee to remain fresher for longer.

The Importance of Storing Your Coffee Pods

This is simply a quick recap of all you have learnt so far. Ordinarily, a coffee pod past its date may pose no initial threats. However, further interference from several factors may change this fact.

Moisture can cause coffee pods to go bad, as it encourages mildew and bacteria to spread. If you brew such a pod, it can present a substantial health risk. Therefore you should store all your pods in a position that is free of moisture.

Eventually, it can extend how long your coffee pods last. Additionally, to ensure their seal is still intact, you can still search your pods. If there is damage, moisture may be present. This can potentially pollute the contents inside. If you find that one of your pods is broken, you can discard it. This is regardless of its printed expiration date.

And don't simply dump them in the garbage when it is time to dispose of spent coffee pods. They could end up in landfills if you do. Here, they can sit for years. Alternatively, you can use a knife to remove the parts of the pod and responsibly dispose of them.

How to Preserve Coffee Pods

So you've got a coffee machine and all the amazing little coffee pods. Apparently, maybe even hundreds of these little pods. It's nice to be able to taste all the different flavours. But how long do the coffee pods last? How do you store these things?

On the sides of coffee pods, there are "best by" dates. However, they can be difficult to read since they may write it in a hard impression on the body. Alternatively, it may be written in a colour that resembles the cup closely.

But the “best by” day is the last day that the maker can vouch for the taste of the coffee. As long as the coffee pod is still intact, it can last for at least eight months. This is way past the "best by" period but the coffee can still be good. It is safe to use, as long as the seal hasn't broken. The only fear is that it may lose some of its taste after some time.

In this segment, we will be discussing how to preserve your coffee pods. There are tons of creative ways to ensure your coffee pods stay fresh. It may be simple hacks or even DIY methods. Regardless, you can ensure you get the best out of your coffee pods.

Here is a quick rundown of the various types of preservation methods. We will dive into them further down the article:

  • A pull drawer under the machine
  • Elaborate hanging storage solutions
  • Glass jars
  • Reusable cookie tins
  • Over the door organizers
  • DIY dividers
  • Freezing the pods
  • Silverware trays
  • Clear basket
  • Custom décor
  • Spice rack

Each of these storage techniques comes with its unique perks. You may combine some to get the best preservation period.

Pull Out Drawer Under the Coffee Machine

At times, it’s best to have everything in one place. For ease, you can create a drawer underneath your coffee machine. This way it makes it easy to pluck on out and brew in a jiffy.

Make sure the drawer can easily pull out to avoid any jamming. Additionally, since the drawer will be under the machine, ensure to always keep the machine clean. Wipe off any standing liquid or fluids that are a result of a spillover.

Liquid spillage from the machine base can seep into the pods underneath. This will not bode well for the pods and can affect how long your coffee pods last. Additionally, you can make the drawer out of transparent plastic for visibility and aesthetic beauty.

Reuse Cookie Tins

We are all about recycling as often as possible. To properly store your coffee pods, you can repurpose old cookie tins. This is one easy way of ensuring how long your coffee pods will last. You will simply require standard household tools.

Start by drilling holes into the base of the tin. Make sure the holes are big enough to allow the rod to sit in. Furthermore, you do not want them too large that they fall through.

Next, you place a metal rod on the base and secure it firmly with a nut and washer. Further, add the nut a few inches above the base and place the largest tin. Secure the largest tin with a washer.

Repeat the process for the smaller tins. Once you are done, marvel at your new makeshift coffee pod rack. You can place it next to your machine for ease.

Glass Jars

This will cost you just a few dollars. Mason jars can be gotten from just about any store around. These glass jars can make for great storage and ensure how long the coffee pods remain fresh.

You can buy about three or four glass jars. Place them next to your machines. Next, you fill each jar about three quarters way up with your coffee pods. Make sure to check that the lid is firmly secured. The airtight nature of the jar will determine the conservation of the pods.

Additionally, make sure not to fill up the entire jar. This might lead to stuffiness for the pods. Ergo, the pods may begin to ‘sweat’ which can attract moisture. You can use flowerpots or buckets as well with lids.

Over the Door Organizers

This is yet another relatively cheap option to help you preserve your coffee pods. Once you purchase it, place it above your nearby door or kitchen cabinet. This can hold a significant portion of coffee pods.

In case you are feeling like a handyman, you can build one. With wider customizable options, you may even be able to add the coffee machine as well. The end goal is to ensure that the pods are accessible and free from dampness.

Elaborate Hanging Storage Solutions

These are mostly found in furniture or house interior stores. They are usually metallic horizontal racks consisting of a heavy base. They can also have cup holders that can hold the individual pods. Alternatively, they may feature a spiral design that allows you to place your pods diagonally.

These racks have a very aesthetically pleasing design. It can beautify your kitchen countertop. They can be on the expensive side, but they last an eternity. With this method, there is no doubt on how long your coffee pods will last. Your pods will be free-hanging and away from water or heat. You only have to dust it periodically.

Silverware Trays

There is no better opportunity than a piece of furniture that is multipurpose. Your silverware tray can serve as an ideal spot to preserve your coffee pods. They usually come as racks that can hold materials in suspension.

You can empty a side of the trays and repurpose it solely for your coffee pods. You will be killing two birds with one stone with this method.

Spice Rack

This is yet another case of multipurpose furniture opportunities. Spice racks typically come as a flat board on an inclination. Holes are present along and across the rack for housing your spice containers. However, these holes often share the same size as your coffee pods. As a result, it can be a great way to preserve and store your coffee.

Freezing the Pods

Freezing them may aid a little with preservation. This is because of the production of fungi or spores. These microbes may be present before the capsules’ sealing.

However, this is only a slight probability. Freezing the capsules will not hurt. But before you can brew them, you will need to keep them at room temperature. This is to allow the coffee inside to defrost.

Hanging Baskets

You may have cabinets above or near your coffee machine spot. Try picking up an affordable, plastic-coated wire basket that binds to the bottom. It makes good use of spaces that you often neglect. Additionally, the heavy-duty wire style is ideal for carrying coffee pods.

Related Article: A Comprehensive Guide to Using Coffee Pods

Consequences of Using Expired Coffee Pods

By now, you are familiar with all the various ways to ensure how long your coffee pods last. The ‘best by’ date doesn’t mean the end for your coffee pod. Regardless there are some drawbacks in consuming coffee pods that are beyond their expiry date.

So, when coffee pods expire, are they harmful? The quick response is no, but you might want to be mindful of a bit of a grey area. The coffee pods are not rotting or unhealthy beyond their expiration date. However, in terms of consistency, they can be worse.

Coffee that undergoes exposure to moisture is not as vulnerable to perishing as other foods. Coffee pods are highly long-lasting since they have a hermetic seal. A hermetic seal is impermeable and protects the object from air, light, and moisture exposure.

This traps coffee ground freshness and flavour while holding unhealthy compounds out, but also stops any microbes or fungi from developing. Therefore, if the pods expire naturally, you can use them but it is more likely to yield a poor brew.

However, if the pods get a form of exposure to water, heat or air, this may be risky. Since they did not expire naturally, the nitrogen that preserves them goes away. Hence, you risk ingesting dangerous microbes that may grow in the coffee grounds.

Preserve Your Coffee Pods to Enjoy Them for Longer

Coffee pods have a long period of conservation even way past their due dates. However, ingesting any of these pods does not pose any serious health risk. The most important thing is your preservation of the pods. As long as there is no breach in the pod, they are relatively safe to consume.

Make sure to follow through with the various preservation techniques above. They will help you enjoy the best out of your coffee pods. It’s also easier to enjoy your coffee pods when you buy quality coffee pods.

Here at Invigo Coffee, our collections are home to high-quality coffee pods that will stand the test of time. More importantly, they come in different exciting flavours. Look through our online stores today!

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