Canned Ready-To-Drink Coffee Has A Surprisingly Long Shelf Life

Canned, ready-to-drink coffee can be extraordinarily convenient. You can find just about every type of coffee you might want to drink — creamy, sweetened, black, cold-brewed — on grocery store shelves, packed in a can that you can store until you're ready to drink it. When you are, just pop the top and get your daily caffeine buzz immediately, no brewing or waiting required.

But what if you bought a few cans of your favorite ready-to-drink coffee and let them linger in the back of your fridge for a bit? How long will they stay good? Are you still safe to drink them a few months after their purchase date? Well, thankfully, canned, ready-to-drink coffee has a surprisingly long shelf life. You can drink regular, canned coffee up to two years from the manufacturing date, with proper storage. Cans of cold brew or nitro coffee won't last quite as long, but still a while — up to 90 days in the fridge for some brands and up to 120 days for others.

Coffee that lasts the longest

If you do pop open a can of coffee after it's past its expiration or best-by date, though, it's not likely to kill you, unless the coffee has been opened and kept outside the fridge. However, you may notice that the taste is a little funky.

If you need a coffee option that's going to stay fresh for longer than 90 days in the fridge, you do have a few other options, but you might not like them. Instant coffee, when stored correctly, can last potentially up to 20 years. However, the quality of that 20-year instant coffee has likely deteriorated greatly. Otherwise, other, more popular forms of coffee like beans and grounds are more likely to last around the same amount of time as canned, ready-to-drink coffee — a few months at most if unopened and stored in a cool, dry place. Once you've brewed your coffee, you have a few days to drink it, if it's refrigerated.