What To Do With Expired Coffee Beans? Creative Uses

As coffee lovers, we often find ourselves with a stash of coffee beans that we’ve purchased but haven’t gotten around to using. 

Over time, these beans will inevitably lose their freshness and flavor. But what should you do with expired coffee beans? 

The good news is that you don’t have to throw them away! There are a number of creative and practical ways to repurpose your old coffee beans. 

4 Best Ways To Use Expired Coffee Beans

What To Do With Expired Coffee Beans

1. Make Cold Brew:

One of the best ways to use expired coffee beans is to make cold brew. Cold brew is a type of coffee that is brewed with cold water over a long period of time. Because the coffee beans are not exposed to heat, the resulting beverage is less acidic and less bitter than traditional hot coffee. 

Cold brew is a great way to use up expired coffee beans because the longer steep time helps to mask any off-flavors that may have developed over time.

To make cold brew, simply grind your expired coffee beans and mix them with cold water in a large container. Let the mixture steep for at least 12 hours, then strain out the grounds and enjoy your homemade cold brew!

2. Use Them as Fertilizer:

Believe it or not, coffee grounds can be a great fertilizer for plants. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for plant growth. They also contain small amounts of other nutrients like phosphorus and potassium.

To use coffee grounds as fertilizer, simply mix them into the soil around your plants. Be sure to mix them in well, as coffee grounds can be quite acidic and may harm plants if they are not properly integrated into the soil.

3. Make Coffee Soap:

Coffee soap is a popular type of soap that is made with coffee grounds. The coffee grounds act as an exfoliant, helping to remove dead skin cells and leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth. 

Coffee soap is also said to have a number of health benefits, including reducing the appearance of cellulite and improving circulation.

To make coffee soap, simply mix your expired coffee grounds into a batch of soap base. You can find soap base at most craft stores or online. 

Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance, if desired, then pour the mixture into soap molds and let it set. Once the soap is fully hardened, it’s ready to use! This is my personal favorite use for coffee!

4. Use Them as a Natural Deodorizer:

Coffee beans can also be used as a natural deodorizer. The beans absorb odors and leave a pleasant coffee scent behind. This makes them a great choice for deodorizing areas like the fridge, pantry, or even your car.

To use coffee beans as a deodorizer, simply place a small dish of them in the area you want to freshen up. You can also put the beans in a small cloth bag or sachet to make them easier to handle.

Can you still drink expired coffee beans?

While drinking expired coffee beans won’t harm you, the taste may not be pleasant. When coffee beans are exposed to air and moisture, they begin to lose their freshness and flavor. 

Over time, the oils in the beans can turn rancid, which will give your coffee a sour, bitter taste. However, if you have expired coffee beans that are only a few weeks past their expiration date, you can still use them to make cold brew or iced coffee. 

These methods use longer steep times, which can help mask any off-flavors that may have developed. However, if your expired coffee beans are several months past their expiration date, it’s best to repurpose them in other ways.

Can you compost expired coffee beans?

Yes, you can compost expired coffee beans. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for plants. 

They also contain other nutrients like phosphorus and potassium. When added to compost, coffee grounds can help balance the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and speed up the composting process. 

However, it’s important to note that coffee grounds are acidic, so they should be added to compost in moderation. Too much coffee grounds can throw off the pH balance of your compost, which can slow down decomposition and harm your plants.

How long do coffee beans last before they expire?

Coffee beans typically last 6-9 months before they expire. However, this can vary depending on the type of bean, the roast level, and the storage conditions. 

Lighter roasts and beans with higher acidity will lose their freshness more quickly than darker roasts or low-acid beans. 

Proper storage is also key to extending the shelf life of coffee beans. To keep your beans fresh, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and moisture.

Can you use expired coffee beans for espresso?

It’s not recommended to use expired coffee beans for espresso. Espresso requires finely ground coffee beans and a high level of pressure to extract the flavor and aroma. 

Expired coffee beans may not have the same level of oil content or flavor profile needed for a good espresso shot. Additionally, expired coffee beans can cause clogs in your espresso machine, which can be difficult to clean and lead to costly repairs. 

If you’re looking to use up expired coffee beans, it’s best to stick to methods like cold brew, soap making, or composting.


Expired coffee beans don’t have to go to waste. There are plenty of creative and practical ways to repurpose them. 

Whether you make cold brew, use them as fertilizer, make soap, or use them as a natural deodorizer, you can feel good about finding a new use for your old beans. 

So the next time you find yourself with a stash of expired coffee, don’t toss them out – get creative and see what you can come up with.

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