Coffee shelf lifeCoffee is one of those products that one can safely describe as having a cult following. Rabid, impassioned coffee-drinkers will find no shortage of comrades on the internet, and thus, an inexhaustible supply of tips, advice, and anecdotal evidence on every aspect of it imaginable, including the ideal means and duration of storage. To give you the most reliable advice, we’ve consulted food scientists and university websites for most of the information provided in our Q/As.

Though different sites give somewhat different advice, everyone DOES seem to agree on is that air and moisture are not coffee's friends. Therefore, your coffee beans should be stored in an air-tight container, such as a vacuum-sealed ceramic canister. Don’t use a glass one; everyone also agrees that light and heat are not kind to coffee.

Coffee Shelf Life
Coffee cans, beans, opened3-4 weeksDo not store. -3 months
Coffee cans, ground, opened 7-10 days3 weeksDo not store. -
Coffee cans, unopened2 years- -- -
Coffee, vacuum-packed*1 year- -- -
Instant Coffee, opened2-4 weeks- -- -
Instant Coffee, unopened 6 months- -- -
Coffee Lighteners (dry), opened6 months- -- -
Coffee Lighteners (dry), unopened9 months- -1 year
Handling Tips: 
*Refrigerate after opening
Boyer, Renee, and Julie McKinney. "Food Storage Guidelines for Consumers." Virginia Cooperative Extension (2009): n. pag. Web. 7 Dec 2009.

Ockerman, H. Source Book for Food Scientists. Volume 1. 1978. The AVI Publishing Co., Inc.

"Surprising Expiration Dates."

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