Shelf Life of

How Long Do K-Cups Last?

How Long Do K-Cups Last?

Shelf Life of K-Cups

How long do K-cups last? The shelf life of K-cups is influenced mainly by the best by date and your taste buds. K-cups are individually sealed pods of ground coffee, tea, hot chocolate or apple cider. These products do not actually go bad for a very long time, but the flavor and quality do decrease over time. Each K-cup is sealed and impermeable to moisture, oxygen and light after being nitrogen-flushed to ensure its freshness. Because of this, they actually stay fresher longer than a regular size packages which are constantly exposed to air and other contaminants once the package is opened. They are so well packaged that it makes you wonder if K-cups go bad. So, how long do K cups last?

When properly stored, K-cup containers last for:

Past Printed Date
K Cups Coffee last for 3-8 Months
K Cups Tea last for 6-12 Months
K Cups Hot Chocolate last for 6-12 Months
K Cups Apple Cider last for 8-12 Months

Of course, K cups last for a shorter period of time if they not stored properly or if their original seal is somehow broken. But remember, K cups, like a lot of other drinks, usually have a best by date which is simply the last day a manufacturer will vouch for their optimal quality and flavor, not their safety. This date is printed on each K cup, but some manufacturer’s make it very hard to read by printing with white ink on white containers or black on black. You may safely use K Cups in your single brew machine even after its best by date has lapsed. The Best-If-Used-by-Date is a guideline for optimal freshness recommended by the Roaster, it’s not an expiration date. According to Keurig, K-Cup® packs are flushed with nitrogen and then sealed for freshness. The resulting K-Cup® package is impermeable to oxygen, moisture and light.

How to tell if a K-cup is bad, rotten or spoiled?

A K-cup has gone bad if the seal has been broken and moisture has gotten inside. If the K cup became wet inside then mold can and will grow there. There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled K cups, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your K cups prior to their expiration.

How to store K cups to extend their shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the shelf life of K cups.
K-Cups should be kept in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. A pantry works perfect.

Interesting facts about the shelf life of K cups:

  • Since K-Cups are packaged with nitrogen, which keeps them fresh longer than product exposed to air.
  • K-cups can be re-used within 2 hours of the first brew (although the coffee will be weaker and not as flavorful), but after that they should be thrown away.

  •  How long are K-cups good for when prepared in a dish?

    Yeah, that question doesn’t make sense for K-cups. But, how long does coffee last? In general, coffee lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient it is mixed with. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below! Additionally, if you are looking for a great Keurig brewer, see our Keurig Platinum B70 Review.

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    What are our shelf life resources?

    Our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scour the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of K-cups.

    *An important note about the expiration date of K cups …

    Although the K-cup shelf life information provided by Eat By Date is generally reliable, it is only an opinion and should be used as a guideline. It is in no way intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified health care provider.  Please drink responsibly.