Signs that Your Coffee Beans Are No Longer Fresh

Signs that Your Coffee Beans Are No Longer Fresh

At Terminal 3 Coffee Roasters, we understand the importance of fresh coffee beans in crafting the perfect cup. Freshness is paramount to achieving the full spectrum of flavours that coffee has to offer. Regularly checking your coffee is essential to ensure it reaches your cup in optimal taste condition.

In this latest issue of Gateway article, we will share some tips to help you determine if your coffee is no longer fresh. 


One of the first signs of aging coffee beans is a change in aroma. Fresh beans have a strong, pleasant fragrance that is easily noticeable when grounded. If your coffee beans no longer produce a rich, aromatic scent and instead smell flat or musty, it is a clear indication that they are past their prime.


The flavour of coffee beans diminishes over time. Fresh coffee should have a vibrant and robust taste with distinct flavour notes. If your brewed coffee tastes bland, sour, or has a noticeable lack of complexity, your beans have likely lost their freshness.

Oily Surface

While some coffee beans naturally have a slight oiliness, especially darker roasts, an excessive oily sheen can indicate staleness. Over time, the oils in coffee beans rise to the surface and oxidize, leading to a greasy texture that affects both taste and quality.


During the brewing process, particularly during the blooming stage, fresh coffee usually releases small bubbles as a result of the release of carbon dioxide. This bubbling is a good indicator of freshness. If you notice a lack of bubbles during blooming, it suggests that the coffee has lost some of its essential compounds, including the gas that is released during roasting. This indicates that the coffee is no longer fresh and can affect the overall flavour and quality of your brewed coffee.

Brew Time

Fresh coffee beans should produce a consistent grind with minimal dust, ensuring an even extraction. However, older beans tend to break apart unevenly and create more fine particles, which can result in either over extraction or under extraction. As a result, the normal brewing time for fresh coffee beans will change and become unsuitable for the same coffee beans that are no longer fresh.

By paying attention to these signs, you can ensure that your coffee beans are fresh and that each cup you brew is rich in flavour and aroma. At Terminal 3 Coffee Roasters, we are committed to providing you with the freshest beans possible for the ultimate coffee experience. Each of our bean offerings includes a roasting date and an ideal brewing period, so you know exactly when your coffee will taste its best.