Can You Bring Coffee On A Plane? (How To Travel With Coffee)

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can you bring coffee on a plane

Coffee is a man’s best travel companion.

But can you bring coffee on a plane?

Good news, you can!

Of course, there are certain requirements to be met. 

Today, we’ll cover everything you need to know in order to safely take your coffee with you.

Fasten your seatbelts!

Can You Take Coffee Beans & Grounds on a Plane?

woman with luggage on airport security chek

You’ll be relieved to know that you can actually take your coffee on a plane, in any form. 

What’s more, you can carry it either in your carry-on baggage or checked luggage, but different rules might apply.

Check-In Luggage

There are no specific rules when bringing coffee on a plane in your checked luggage.

There’s no limit to the amount of coffee you can pack. In fact, you can pack a whole suitcase with coffee for all it matters. 

You can bring:

  • coffee beans
  • coffee grounds
  • coffee pods
  • soluble coffee
  • or even a coffee maker!

Just pack it well, so it doesn’t spill around your bag.

Carry-On Luggage

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows bringing coffee into your carry-on bag.

Like your check-in baggage, your hand luggage can be full of coffee beans, as there’s no limit. Ideally, the coffee bean should be in their original packaging. But if you already opened it, don’t worry.

In that case, you should transfer the beans into an airtight bag or container. You don’t want to search for them inside your bag, do you?

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In the case of coffee grounds, certain rules will apply. Since they’re practically powdery substances, coffee grounds are subjected to the TSA powder rule. 

According to the rule, any powder that’s packed in quantities of over 12 ounces will have to be inspected when going through airport security. Basically, they’ll check if the powder you’re carrying is regular coffee and not something else. 

Of course, you can easily avoid that by packing your coffee grounds in bags or containers of 12 ounces or less. Why spend more time passing through security if you don’t have to?

As for single-serve coffee capsules and instant coffee packs, you don’t have to worry about powder rules either. Since they’re packed in small quantities, they’re not subjected to inspection. 

Can You Bring Coffee on an International Flight?

woman on airport

That depends on where you’re going.

You see, different countries may have different rules when it comes to transporting food or plants across the border. There are many reasons for that, including protecting the national ecosystem and industry

Before filling your bags with coffee, read the specific information regarding the country you’re traveling to. The best place to find such info is the government website of the country.

But generally, most countries allow roasted coffee beans in unlimited amounts. Grounds, on the other hand, are often limited to 12 ounces per packaging in hand luggage. However, some countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, limit you to a specific amount of 12-ounce packaging per person.

As for bringing coffee into the States from another country, there’s no limit to the amount. However, you’ll have to declare it.

Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll have to go through customs. There, the coffee will be inspected for pests and diseases. Once sure the product is safe, the officers will return the coffee to you.

Don’t forget to declare your coffee when entering the States. Not doing so can end up in getting fined, and trust me, the numbers are huge and not worth it.

How to Pack Coffee for a Flight

Ideally, you want your coffee packed in original packaging for both carry-on and checked baggage. The TSA is less likely to inspect packaging that’s officially sealed in the factory. 

But if already opened, you should transfer your coffee into an airtight bag or a container. That way, they can easily be inspected by the TSA, then sealed back to prevent them from going stale.

When it comes to ground coffee in hand baggage, don’t forget to pack it into smaller containers or bags of 12 ounces. Anything larger than that will be confiscated for additional screening. 

What About Bringing Liquid Coffee on a Plane?

woman in a plane

Can you take a delicious latte on a plane?

Good news?

Yes, you can.

Not so good news?

Well, there are some requirements.

First, liquids are limited to only 3.4 ounces. Whether it’s a shampoo, a mysterious substance, or coffee, you can’t bring more than that.

Furthermore, you have to pack it inside a liquid bag. This means you can’t just put a single-use cup inside as it will spill. You’ll either have to use a small sealed cup or a thermos.

However, don’t forget that you can buy a cup of coffee once you pass the security check. In that case, you can take the cup with you.

Certain air flights might not allow you to bring a cup of hot java onto the plane. Cold coffee is no problem.

To Sum Things Up

Good news, everyone! You can bring your coffee to the plane.

When it comes to check-in luggage, there are no specific rules when traveling within the States. Meaning, you can pack your checked bag full of coffee if you want. Other countries might have certain restrictions, so it’s best to check with the authorities first.

As for the carry-on bag, you can bring an unlimited amount of beans. The same goes for grounds, but they should be packed in bags or containers of 12 ounces. Again, different countries might have other rules, so do your research.

Looking for a good coffee container to pack your coffee for a flight? Check out our list of the best containers on the market.

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Viktoria Marks
Viktoria is a writer and a journalist who can't imagine sitting by her computer without a large cup of java in her hand. She loves sampling coffee from all over the world as much as writing about it.