Are you planning to bring coffee beans with you on your next out-of-town trip? Are you unsure what the rules and regulations are when traveling on a plane with them?
In this guide, we’ll explain the best ways to bring coffee beans on your flight, the rules and regulations, and answers to related questions about bringing a taste of home with you.
How to pack coffee beans for travel
Here are three tips you can use when you bring roasted coffee beans or unroasted coffee beans on your flight.
Use an airtight container
When packing roasted coffee beans or unroasted coffee beans on your flight, you should pack them in an airtight container with zero leaks.
This will help keep the green coffee beans fresh while preventing them from spilling onto your clothes and other belongings.
You don’t want all your clothes smelling like coffee when carrying them in your luggage or for white shirts to get stained. It’s also best to be considerate to the other passengers you’re sharing the plane with.
Keep the beans accessible
Another tip when bringing coffee in your carry-on bags or checked bag is to keep the coffee beans easily accessible. This is because the TSA may want to check your food items.
You’re sure to want to follow this, especially if you bring it along on a connecting flight, as that will require you to pass through airport security again.
It’s best to place it in a location that’s easy to access so you don’t have to dig through your carry-on or checked baggage if the TSA agent requires extra screening.
Bring a travel mug
If you want to enjoy the coffee beans you’ve packed in your carry-on while waiting during long stretches at the airport, you might want to carry a travel mug.
You don’t want to be carrying amazing smelling and tasting coffee and not be able to get your much-needed coffee fix on vacation. This will allow you to stay caffeinated on your journey.
Can coffee beans ride with you on the plane?
You must also be wondering whether you can bring ground coffee, coffee beans, coffee berries, or liquid coffee on the plane. Here are some answers to your piping-hot questions.
Can you bring coffee beans with your checked luggage?
According to the TSA website, you are actually allowed to bring ground coffee and/or coffee beans in your checked baggage. However, there is an additional rule you must follow regarding ground coffee.
You must be prepared to remove the coffee grounds from your checked luggage bag and remove it for additional screening if it’s above 12 ounces or 350 ml.
These specific rules also apply to instant coffee because it’s in powdered form.
I recommend you plan ahead and place it in an easily accessible container if you’re bringing ground coffee. This will save you the hassle of having to toss around all your luggage during an inspection.
Can you bring coffee beans with your carry-on baggage?
Similar to your checked-in bag, coffee grounds, and beans are allowed in your carry-on. Coffee grounds.
However, the TSA’s powder policy means additional screening is needed for powder-like substances over 12 ounces or 350 mL when bringing it in your hand luggage.
As with checked-in bags, the same rules apply to your carry-on bag. This means you should place your coffee in an area of your bag that allows you to whip it out for customs and the TSA officer to see easily.
Can you bring liquid coffee on the plane?
You can bring liquid coffee onto a plane in your carry-on if it’s less than 100 ml or 3.4 ounces, similar to the rules for other liquids.
However, if you bring coffee that you bought inside the airport terminals, then you’re good to go. Just make sure to use a closed cup or sealed container to keep your coffee hot, fresh, and secure.
This will also help avoid accidents or airline staff preventing you from boarding the plane.
Airport security rules
There are a few non-negotiable rules and guidelines set by Airport Security that you should follow on both domestic flights and international flights.
The Transportation Security Administration or TSA and border control have a few guidelines that you should follow when traveling to and from another country or within the US.
Bringing coffee beans on international flights
If you want to bring coffee beans to another country like the UK or Canada, the rules may vary slightly. You’ll need to do some research before buying that plane ticket.
When bringing coffee into another country like the UK or Canada, the main restriction is that taking liquid coffee with you can only be allowed in quantities less than 100ml in a resealable bag.
This rule applies whether you’re on an international flight into or outgoing these two countries. Failure to comply might result in issues with border protection.
Are coffee makers allowed on the plane?
- You can bring coffee makers only in checked-in bags
- Any coffee-making equipment needs to be checked in as well
- A Burr grinder, French press, and coffee machine follow the same rule
- Coffee pods used in a machine have no restrictions
If you want to bring good coffee along on your flight and brew it while on vacation, you should follow the rules that the TSA and other border protection agencies announce.
The critical things to remember are to pack it securely, keep it in a part of the bag you can easily access, and read up on the food and drink laws in countries you’ll be traveling to.
FAQs about travelling with coffee beans
Now that you know more about bringing whole coffee berries, coffee cherries, instant coffee, coffee grinders, and other products onto a plane, you might have other questions.
Coffee grinders are allowed only in the checked-in luggage on a plane. This means you’ll have to pack it there ahead of time to avoid re-packing before boarding the plane.
Coffee pods, like the ones used in coffee machines, are allowed in unlimited quantities on the plane, according to a post from TSA’s official social media account.
Similar to your checked-in bag, coffee grounds, and beans are allowed in your carry-on. Coffee grounds. However, the TSA’s powder policy means additional screening is needed for powder-like substances over 12 ounces or 350 mL when bringing it in your hand luggage.
I’m Joel, an espresso-loving coffee nerd. I got into coffee because I spent a lot of time in Milan as a kid and started liking coffee waaaay too young. I’m all about making sure espresso is treated with the same care as any other coffee – it’s not just a quick drink!