Do Keurig K Cups Expire? How To Easily Tell If They Are Still Safe To Drink

Mike C
Written By Mike C

I've been writing about coffee and espresso machines for 3 years. My goal is to provide you with helpful content that you can trust based on my own personal experiences, information from manufacturers, and tips and tricks I've gathered from other coffee and espresso machine users.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Understanding Keurig K-Cup Expiration Date

Did you make or are you thinking about making a really large bulk order of K-cups? Or did you recently uncover a treasure of old Keurig pods in the back of a kitchen drawer? Either way, you are here because you are wondering if Keurig k-cups expire. After all, these pods are not cheap. You don’t want to have to throw them away if they are still good to drink. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

The Best By Date On K-Cups

Keurig labels every K-cup box and individual pod with a “best before” date. The best before date is determined by each roaster, but will typically be 8 to 12 months after the production date. This date is different than a true expiration date like you might find on foods that spoil. The K-cup best by date is a signal for how long the roaster guarantees the pod will have its optimal freshness, flavor and aroma. Coffee K-cups don’t go bad after this best before date, meaning they won’t make you sick. They just might not taste as great. This is true for other types of K-cups as well, like tea pods. Even hot chocolate pods with powdered milk should be fine.

If you have the box your pods came in, the date will be on the bottom. If you don’t store your K-cups in the box, you can find the best before date on the pod. There will be a small impression with a date on the side of the pod. If you are having a hard time finding it, try holding the pod under a bright light.

Is It Safe To Drink K-Cups After They Expire?

Keurig flushes the K-cups with nitrogen and hermetically seals them to maintain the best freshness possible. This seal protects the coffee grinds inside from light, moisture and oxidation. As long as that seal has been maintained and there are no holes, you can still brew the K-cups after they expire. They might taste flatter and not as great as they would have been before the printed date. But there is no safety concern.

Testing to see whether the K-cup seal is still in place is easy. Pick up a pod and gently press on the foil lid membrane. If it has some resistance and pushes back, then the seal is still in place and you can use the pod. If not, then the lid has loosened or there is a hole somewhere. It is best to throw the K-cup away in this case. The coffee probably would not have tasted that great anyways. When oxygen gets into the pods, the grinds can produce a coffee that tastes bitter or bad.

How To Store Keurig Pods To Preserve Freshness

Storing your K-cups the right way can help you extend the life of them. You just want to keep them in a cool, dry and dark place. Make sure they are not next to any sharp objects that could scratch or puncture the foil and let oxygen into the pods. You want to keep them out of direct sunlight and away from any heat source. Heat exposure can negatively impact the pod flavor. A pantry, cabinet or cupboard should be fine. There’s no need to store Keurig pods in the refrigerator or freezer. Doing so might actually negatively impact the flavor.

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