If you own a single-serve coffee maker, chances are you have a few stray pods in the back of your cupboard that haven’t been used. But before you use old pods to brew your next beverage, it’s important to determine whether or not they’re safe to enjoy.
So, do coffee pods expire? Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about coffee pod expiration dates.
Pay Attention to Expiration Dates
To determine what should be done with old coffee pods, you must first understand the type of expiration date they come with. Single-serve coffee pods typically include a “best by” date, which means that the product will meet quality standards until that specific day. Any time after that, the product may deteriorate beyond the manufacturer’s standards and consumers’ expectations.
Best by dates are often found printed on each cup, or on the box that they came in. If your stray pod doesn’t have anything printed on it, and you no longer have the original packaging, don’t worry. While the quality of your product may have diminished, you can still enjoy it safely, even if the date has passed.
Coffee Pods Often Last Long After Their Printed Best By Dates
In many cases, coffee pods remain safe to drink long after their best by dates. This is because they are hermetically sealed to protect against moisture, which reduces the chance of mold and bacteria growth. Additionally, when stored properly, you can even maintain the pod’s original quality after the best by date.
Here’s a quick guide to help you determine whether or not it’s worth brewing your old single-serve pods.
- Coffee pods often last for three to eight months beyond their expiration date.
- Tea Pods can be enjoyed six to 12 months after their expiration date.
- Hot chocolate pods maintain their quality for six to 12 months beyond their expiration date.
- Apple cider pods can last for eight to 12 months after their expiration date.
Keep in mind that these ranges only apply if the pods are stored in a cool and dry place.
Why Proper Storage Matters
As previously mentioned, moisture can cause coffee pods to go bad, as it allows for the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. This poses a significant health risk if the pod is brewed and ingested. Therefore, it’s important to store all of your pods, old and new, in a place that is free of moisture and maintains a steady temperature.
Additionally, you should always check your pods to make sure their seal is still intact. If it’s broken, the contents inside have likely been contaminated by moisture. If you notice that one of your pods is broken, you should discard it (regardless of its printed expiration date).
And when it comes time to discard used or damaged coffee pods, don’t just throw them in the trash. If you do, they’ll end up in landfills, where they could remain for years. Instead, use the Recycle A Cup® cutter to separate the pod’s components and dispose of them responsibly.