what happens if you drink moldy coffee

What happens if you drink moldy coffee? It’s happened to all of us.

We go to make our morning cup of coffee and realize that the last bag of beans is too old.

We don’t want to waste them, so we make coffee anyway. But is it safe to drink?

Moldy coffee beans contain mycotoxins, which can be toxic. Mycotoxins are lethal in big doses. Vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches are mycotoxin poisoning symptoms. Mycotoxins may cause organ damage, convulsions, and coma.

In this blog, we’ll answer this question and talk more about moldy coffee.

Keep reading!

What Causes Mold In Coffee?

cause of mold coffee

Mold spores are difficult to track, making it difficult to determine precisely where they enter the coffee.

Though there are many possibilities for mold to develop, this does not always occur.

Moldy coffee is caused by several circumstances, including:


Mold grows best in warm, damp environments. Because the Bean Belt is largely tropical, coffee is susceptible to mold.


Mold doesn’t mind high pH levels and may grow in areas bacteria avoid. (Low-acid coffee might be a good substitute.)


the soil

Mold may be found in the soil in which coffee beans are cultivated.

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Mold may form on green coffee beans during wet processing if they are not thoroughly dried.

It may thrive on green coffee beans that have undergone dry processing because the bean retains its wet outer layers for longer.

Mold may potentially enter the fermentation process.

Storage time

The longer beans are stored, the more probable mold may form.

What Happens If You Drink Moldy Coffee?

what will happen

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and many people start their day with a cup of coffee.

However, many people don’t know that drinking moldy coffee can have serious health risks.

Moldy coffee beans often contain mycotoxins, toxic substances that can cause various health problems.

For example,

1. Cancer

A grave health concern that has been linked to mycotoxin exposure.

Studies have shown that mycotoxins can damage DNA, and this damage can lead to the development of cancerous cells.

2. Liver Disease

Another serious health concern that has been linked to mycotoxin exposure.

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Mycotoxins can damage the liver, causing it to become inflamed and eventually leading to liver failure.

3. Respiratory Illnesses

respiratory illness

Another potential health concern associated with mycotoxin exposure.

Mycotoxins can irritate the respiratory system, causing symptoms like coughing and difficulty breathing.

4. Allergic Reactions

Allergy is the most common health concern associated with mold exposure, and these reactions can range from mild to severe.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to mold include sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing.

In severe cases, anaphylactic shock can occur.

5. Abdominal Pain

Abdominal discomfort is one of the most well-known symptoms of drinking moldy coffee.

This occurs when the fungus begins to affect your intestines, causing great pain and issues.

Note: If you feel this discomfort after drinking moldy coffee, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

You may not always understand what is causing your stomach discomfort, but a doctor may be able to identify it and help you be more cautious in the future.

6. Food Poisoning

food posion

Food poisoning is one of the most serious side effects of moldy coffee.

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This occurs when a poison is present in whatever you eat, and your body begins to react aggressively.

Food poisoning causes stomach pain and other symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting. If this occurs to you, visit a doctor right away.

7. Dental Issues.

Moldy coffee may cause tooth issues if consumed. This occurs when the fungus develops in your mouth, ultimately damaging your teeth.

It may cause germs to build up in your teeth.

Thus it is important to take adequate care of your teeth, particularly if you have swallowed moldy food by mistake.

If this is frequently occurring, you should contact a dentist as soon as possible.

8. Fever and Infection

a fever

Drinking moldy coffee may induce an illness in your body if you consume it.

Your immune system reacts forcefully if anything enters your mouth and disagrees with your system.

Fever is the most typical sign of this response.

Fever indicates an infection somewhere in your body, which may not be a significant concern if you’ve just eaten shellfish or cheese.

But eating mold will worsen things!

9. Diarrhea

One of the most frequent adverse effects is diarrhea, which moldy drinking coffee may induce.

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This occurs because your body enters a protective state when it detects anything alien in it and initiates an immunological reaction.

Suppose you ingest something dangerous or damaging to your health. In that case, the same thing happens:

Your body’s natural response is to attempt to get rid of whatever is causing the pain by vomiting or having diarrhea.

Even while the mold isn't always harmful, it's still not good for you if you consume it on purpose.

10. Vomiting and Nausea

experience vomiting

Nausea, stomach pains, and vomiting are other frequent symptoms of accidentally drinking moldy coffee.

This may not be a major concern for some individuals with food allergies, but if you have this side effect, it might cause considerable pain.

Your body is attempting to eliminate whatever foreign material has produced difficulties in its system.

How To Prevent Coffee Mold

Coffee mold is difficult to prevent at trace levels. However, there are several steps you can take to boost the chance of mold-free coffee.

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To prevent coffee mold:

  1. Buy high-quality, organic coffee beans.
  2. Clean and sanitize your coffee machine regularly, particularly if mold growth is visible.
  3. Store coffee beans or coffee grounds correctly.
  4. Before brewing, visually inspect the coffee.
  5. Consume normal coffee rather than decaf coffee (caffeine is a natural mold deterrent)
  6. Coffee mixes and instant coffee should be avoided (cheap types of coffee are more likely to contain mold)
  7. On the label, look for a lab certification.

How To Remove Mold From Coffee.

how remove molds

If your coffee beans have a covering of white fuzz, they contain mold.

Mold may also be detected if the coffee beans have unusual textures, aromas, or tastes.

It is important to note that mold development is not always visible.

If your coffee has gone moldy, the best thing to do is to discard it. 

However, there is a technique to save beans if you want to.

The following are the best methods for removing mold from coffee.

  • Cool water should be used to rinse the moldy coffee beans.
  • Cut away any mold that did not wash away using a blunt knife.
  • Combine two parts of water and 1 part of vinegar in an airtight container.
  • Pour the beans into the solution, cover the container, and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the vinegar to leach mold from the coffee.
  • Drain the fluid and rinse the beans in cold water one more time.
Tip: Though this method aids in the removal of mold from coffee beans, it is not guaranteed to remove all mold. In addition, the vinegar might change the flavor of the coffee.

FAQs About What Happens IF you Drink Moldy Coffee

questions about mold coffee

Do you have any other questions about what happens if you drink moldy coffee?

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The following are a few examples of additional questions about moldy coffee that are often asked:

How Can You Tell If Your Coffee Has Gone Bad?

No matter what kind of coffee you’re drinking, the simplest method to determine whether it’s rotten is to smell it.

Do not ingest it if it smells sour, bitter, or like an ashtray. If you want your coffee to survive as long as possible, keep it in a cool and dark place.

What Form of Mold May be Found in Coffee?

Coffee beans may host ochratoxin A, a poisonous mold (OTA). Mold thrives in warm, damp settings, which pretty well sums up the climate of most coffee-growing countries.

Can You Drink Moldy Coffee?

No, you shouldn’t drink moldy coffee. If you do, you might end up with nausea and vomiting.

Moldy coffee beans contain mycotoxins, which can cause these symptoms. In severe cases, mycotoxin poisoning can even lead to death.

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Final Verdict

What happens if you drink moldy coffee? If you’ve ever found mold on your coffee beans, you may be wondering if it’s safe to drink.

While moldy coffee won’t kill you, it can cause unpleasant side effects. Drinking moldy coffee can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

It can also lead to headaches and dizziness. In severe cases, it can cause an allergic reaction.

Drinking moldy coffee could trigger a life-threatening reaction if you're allergic to mold. 

So, while it’s not lethal, it’s best to avoid moldy drinking coffee if possible.

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