In the USA alone, 400 millions cups of coffee are consumed every day, with 62% of Americans drinking at least a cup of coffee every day.
It’s therefore no surprise that many people want to know if you can bring coffee on a plane.
According to TSA regulations, you are allowed to bring coffee beans, ground coffee, and single-serve coffee capsules and pods on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.
However, there is a lot more to know if you want to bring coffee on a plane, including if there are any size and weight restrictions, what the rules are when traveling internationally, if you have to declare you are traveling with coffee when entering the country, and more.
Can You Bring Coffee on a Plane? (By Type of Coffee)
The TSA state that you can bring coffee beans on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.
There are no quantity limitations as to how many coffee beans you can bring.
According to the TSA, you can bring ground coffee on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.
It’s a good idea to limit the amount of ground coffee in your carry-on to containers of 12 ounces because powdered substance above 12 ounces are subject to additional screening, which means it will take longer to pass through airport security.
Coffee Capsules and Pods
Coffee pods and capsules, including Nespresso and Keurig products, can be packed in both your carry on and checked bags.
These single-serve coffee pods are allowed in your carry-on bags without packing requirements or quantity limits.
The same applies if to packing them in your checked bags.
Domestic vs. International Flights
When entering the USA, you have to declare coffee at U.S. Customs (more on that below), and it’s possible that you will have to do this when entering other countries too.
This is because every country wants to protect their agriculture and environment by preventing the entry of products that can carry pests and diseases.
It’s always better to err on the side of caution and declare any coffee you are travelling with.
After all, it’s just coffee and isn’t like you are importing an illegal product.
Besides this, some countries will have restrictions on how much coffee you can bring into the country.
For example, in EU countries, you can bring up to a maximum of 10 5-6 kilograms of coffee while Turkey only allows you to bring 1 kilogram of (instant) coffee.
In the UK, probably due to the popularity of coffee (and of course, tea) over there, they are much more lenient when it comes to declaring and bringing large amounts of coffee into the country.
All Airlines follow TSA regulations.
This means that you will have no problem bringing ground coffee, coffee beans, and single-serve coffee pods and capsules in both your carry on and checked bags.
Can You Bring Starbucks on a Plane?
Whether you can bring Starbucks on a plane depends on when and where it was purchased.
If buy a cup of Starbucks before you have passed airport security, you won’t be allowed to bring it with you to the terminal.
This is because of the TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule that prohibits passengers from bringing any liquids in a container larger than 3.4oz/100ml.
You can bring your favorite cup of coffee onto a plane after security, though,
If you buy a cup of coffee after you have passed through airport security, you won’t have any problem bringing it onto a plane operated by any airline.
Can You Bring Iced Coffee on a Plane?
Again, whether you can bring iced coffee on a plane depends on when and where it was purchased.
If you want to bring iced coffee through airport security, you won’t be able to in a container larger than 3.4oz/100ml due to the TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule.
If you buy iced coffee once you have passed through airport security, you can bring it onto the plane.
Can You Bring a Coffee Grinder on a Plane?
The TSA state that as long as the coffee grinder you want to bring doesn’t have any removable blades, it can be packed in your carry on bags.
If it does have removable blades, the blades should be packed in your checked bags.
Can You Bring a Coffee Thermos on a Plane?
According to the TSA, as long as the thermos is empty, you can pack it in both your carry on and checked bags.
Once you have passed airport security, you can fill the thermos.
Can You Bring a Coffee Machine on a Plane?
If you’re thinking of bringing a coffee machine on a plane, you must really, really love your coffee.
Fortunately, the TSA allow coffee machines to be packed in both your carry on and checked bags without any size restrictions.
How to Pack Coffee for Air Travel
If you’re planning to pack coffee in your checked bags, there isn’t much you have to worry about except avoiding damage to your clothing and belongings.
We recommend that you simply place the coffee beans or ground coffee in a secure, sealed bag.
Carry on Bags
If you want to pack ground coffee in your carry on bags, it’s a good idea to limit the amount to containers of 12 ounces and less because powdered substances above 12 ounces are subject to additional screening.
When it comes to packing coffee beans in your carry on bags, there aren’t any specific instructions you need to follow.
Do You Have to Declare Coffee at U.S. Customs?
According to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, whether you can have to declare or can bring coffee into the USA depends on the type of coffee and where you are traveling to.
You can bring unlimited quantities of roasted coffee without restriction through any U.S. port of entry.
However, you must declare the product at entry.
Green (Unroasted) Coffee Beans
You can bring unlimited quantities of green coffee beans without restriction into the continental United States.
Green coffee beans are prohibited from entering into or transiting through Hawaii or Puerto Rico
You must also declare the product at entry.
Whole Coffee Berries (aka, coffee cherries)
Fresh coffee berries, which are defined as the unprocessed, whole coffee fruit with pulp, are prohibited entry at all U.S. ports of entry.
This is because the pulp presents an exotic fruit-fly risk
The APHIS also state that “coffee seeds or other plant parts intended for planting are prohibited entry into Hawaii or Puerto Rico.”
Can You Bring Tea on a Plane?
According to the TSA, you can bring tea on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.
This includes tea bags or loose tea leaves, consisting of green tea, black tea, herbal tea, and herbal infusions.
Herbal tea and herbal infusions should be commercially packaged/prepared.
All tea must be declared at your point of entry into the USA.