Picture this.

You go on a fantastic vacation and find the best coffee you’ve ever had.

You decide to buy some to take back home with you and the next thing you know…. it’s getting thrown out by airport security.

How deflating would that be??

To avoid this hypothetical situation from ever happening, today we are covering everything you need to know about bringing coffee and other coffee products on a plane!

Note: This guide touches primarily on the customs rules in the USA, Canada, and Australia.

To be 100% sure what products back into your own country, I recommend giving the airline you’re flying with a call.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through a link on this page, I may get a small commission from the product, at no extra cost to you!

Can You Bring Coffee On A Plane?

With how strict TSA (transportation security administration) and customs can be, it is quite surprising to learn just how much you can bring with you on a plane.

We will be covering a variety of different coffee items, even coffee machines, and more!

Keep in mind, the final decision on if you can bring an item onto the plane lies with the TSA officer.

Roasted Coffee Beans - declare these!


Yes, you are allowed to bring roasted coffee beans both in checked baggage and in your carry-on baggage when traveling into the USA.

As of now, there are no limits to the amount of roasted coffee beans you can bring in


Yes, you can bring roasted coffee beans into Canada without issue.

Unlike the United States, there is a limit to the amount you may bring in.

The maximum amount of roasted coffee you can bring into Canada is 20kg per person.


Similar to Canada there are limits are the amount of roast coffee you can bring in Australia.

You are allowed to bring in 10 kg of roasted coffee per person through customs into Australia.

Note: the rules are different if you plan on bringing in Civet coffee into Australia and will be discussed further in a section below.

Ground Coffee - declare these!


Similar to the roasted beans, there is no limit to the amount of ground coffee you can bring into the USA. This applies to both your hand luggage and checked luggage.


Yes, you are allowed to bring ground coffee, up to 20 kg per person, into Canada without having any issues.


Ground coffee is allowed into Australia in quantities up to 10 kg per person.

Similar to roasted beans, if you plan on bringing in ground civet coffee, specific rules apply which are discussed below.

Note: If you do decide to bring more than 12 oz of ground coffee with you in your carry-on bags, the grounds may go through additional screening per TSA rules.

This extra screening is due to the coffee being considered a powdered substance.

Green (unroasted) Coffee Beans - absolutely need to declare

Green coffee beans are technically unprocessed and therefore may contain agricultural hazards such as quarantine pests.

Due to the potential risk to native plants, these rules are a bit more restrictive.

Fact: A quarantine pest is a pest that is regulated at the federal, provincial or municipal level, to prevent its introduction or additional spread.


Again, green coffee beans are allowed in both your carry on and checked luggage when entering the USA. However, there are a few more restrictions in place as the beans are unprocessed and may contain “quarantine pests”.

If you plan on traveling to or through Hawaii or Puerto Rico, you are NOT allowed to bring green coffee beans with you, in your checked or carry-on luggage.

Lastly, the beans are likely to be tested for quarantine pests and potentially could be “seized or destroyed” if any are found on the beans.


Although there was no mention of green coffee beans on the Inspection Canada website, multiple other articles state that similar to other countries, the beans will go through additional screening.

If quarantine pests are found during the screening, the product will be destroyed or exported.


You are allowed to bring green coffee beans into Australia in quantities up to 5kg or less according to a statement put out by the Internation coffee Expo.

The beans must also have be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate.

If the beans are inspected and found to not meet the import conditions they will be exported or destroyed.

Whole Coffee Berries (aka, coffee cherries)- Absolutely need to declare

Coffee cherries on a plant


Similar to green coffee beans, whole coffee berries are considered unprocessed.

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to bring these coffee cherries into any U.S. port of entry as the coffee cherries contain a pulp that “presents an exotic fruit-fly risk”


There was no mention of coffee cherries on the Canadian customs website.

If you plan on bringing coffee cherries back to Canada, talk to your chosen airline before your arrival.


There was no mention of coffee cherries on the Australian customs website.

If you plan on bringing coffee cherries back to Australia, talk to your chosen airline before your arrival.

Bringing Civet & Lupi Kuwak Coffee Into Australia

An asian civet cat

For those who haven’t heard of Civet or Lupi Kuwak coffee before, this is a type of coffee that is made by using coffee cherries that have been digested by an asian palm civet cat.

Essentially, the animal is fed the coffee cherries which then are processed in the digestive tract and later pooped out.

The digested beans are then washed, roasted and turned into this famously expensive coffee.

If you plan on bringing back this Civet coffee from any of your travels into Australia, the following limitations apply:

  • the beans, or the beans from which the product is made, have been roasted
  • the product is commercially prepared and packaged
  • the product is imported in an amount up to 1 kilogram
  • the product is for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import it

Similar to unprocessed coffee beans, the Civet coffee will be inspected upon arrival into Australia.

If there are any issues with the product causing it not to meet import conditions, it will be destroyed or exported.

Coffee Pods, Instant Coffee, K cups and More

Coffee pods, k-cups, coffee powder or anything similar are widely considered solids or powders by the airline industry since they contain ground coffee.

Due of this, there are not any limitations on bringing them into the USA, Canada, or Australia.

If you plan on bringing the pods in your carry on, they will be treated as powders and will only be inspected if you have more that 350 grams or 12oz of product with you.

Again, to be sure, feel free to call the airline you’re flying with to double check.

Declaring Coffee: General Rules

Coffee is a product that you absolutely need to declare with customs, especially if bringing in unprocessed products like the green coffee beans and coffee cherries.

Since some of the products can pose agricultural threats to the country you’re bringing them into, customs officers or TSA agents need to thoroughly check the product before you enter.

If you fail to declare a product and are caught, you can potentially be fined up to $1,000 in the USA for a first-time offense.

If you’re unsure if you should be declaring a product, it is best to declare it just in case, or talk to one of the customs workers.

General Airline Guidelines for Coffee Lovers

Here are some basic rules to keep in mind when traveling with coffee or your favorite coffee products to keep them from being taken by a TSA officer.

TSA’s 3-1-1 rule

I’m sure this one comes at not surprise for anyone who has traveled before!

Liquids are not permitted in a carry on unless they are at or under 3.4oz or 100ml.

There are certain exceptions to this rule (for instance I bring my contact solution with me) but liquid coffee and general drinks are not one of them.

Additionally, the container the liquid is in has to be the regulated size as well.

This means you can’t bring 3oz of your favorite coffee drink in a 12 oz coffee mug.

Rules for powdered substances

If you plan on bringing K-cups, ground coffee, or any other powdered substance with you onboard, try to keep the amount under 350 grams or 12oz.

If you bring more than this amount, the item may be additionally screened.

Organization is key!

Due to not knowing if TSA will need a closer look at what you’ve packed, it is best to keep your bag organized and have the items that may be inspected in an easily accessible area.

Can You Bring Starbucks on a Plane?

This question is dependent on when you actually buy your cup of coffee.

Due to the TSA 3-1-1 rule, if you purchase your coffee before going through security, you will likely have to throw it out.

However, if you visit the Starbucks in your terminal before boarding the plane, you should be all set to bring it on with you.

This may change if you’re catching international flights.

For instance, I was not allowed to bring a bottle of water I bought in the terminal on my flight to Australia, but any rules should be made clear by gate agents before boarding.

Bonus: Looking for a great travel mug as a student? Check out our list of stores you can shop at to get the best discount!

Can You Bring Iced Coffee on a plane with your carry-on luggage?

Similar to bringing Starbucks or other liquids on a plane, unless your iced coffee is under 3 fluid oz, you will have to through it out when you go through security.

The alternative is purchasing an iced coffee from one of the coffee shops inside the airport or at one of the other service stations.

Can You Bring a Coffee Grinder or Coffee Making Equipment on a Plane?

Surprisingly, you actually can bring the majority of your coffee equipment with you on a plane!

The few exceptions to this mainly apply to coffee grinders due to the blades inside of them.

If you plan on bringing a coffee grinder with you on board, make sure it has removable blades.  Otherwise place it in your checked bag for safe keeping in the meantime.

Note: Many airlines will have a weight restriction on carryon bags before adding additional charges! Below is a breakdown of the general size and weight limit for hand luggage.

How to Pack Coffee for Air Travel

One of the best parts about bringing coffee home from different areas of the world are the different flavor profiles and aromas the beans will have.

With experts stating “coffee beans are best used between two to 14 days after roasting” there isn’t too much time to travel with your new coffee finds.

In order to keep the coffee beans as fresh as possible, there are a few things to consider:

  • exposure to air
  • exposure to sunlight
  • exposure to moisture

These are all factors that contribute to coffee beans going stale quickly.

To avoid these issues and keep your coffee fresher for longer, it is recommended to use an airtight and opaque container if possible.

To get an idea of what you should look for, some great coffee storage containers on the market currently are as follows:

Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Canister

Fellow Atmos Vacuum Coffee Canister

Of you don’t feel like purchasing anything fancy, don’t worry!

The bags many coffee roasters store their beans contain vents and other features that are meant to keep them fresh and flavorful for a while.

Many travelers put the bag into another resealable bag to stay on the safe side of things as well. Feel free to keep the bag in your carry-on or checked luggage.

Tip: It is recommended to buy whole coffee beans if possible. Ground beans are likely to lose their flavor quicker than the whole beans.

Summary: Can you bring coffee on a plane?

All-in-all, YES, you should be able to bring your favorite coffee on the plane with you or in your checked bag.

There may be quantity limits based on which country you will be entering, so it is best to check the relative customs site to avoid any disappointing situations with TSA or any customs officers.

It is especially important to follow guidelines when bringing in unprocessed coffee beans such as green coffee, coffee fruit or coffee cherries.

These items have the most restrictions in place as they can bring in quarantine pests that can cause damage to crops and other agriculture.

Additionally, coffee is considered one of the agricultural products you need to be declaring upon arrival in most countries.

If you are unsure if you should be declaring anything, it is best to declare it anyways to avoid any fines or other issues with security or customs.

Have you brought back coffee from your travels? Let us know in the comments!

You may also enjoy these other articles on the Procaffinator website.

Do you love cafes? Follow the Procaffinator Instagram to see cafes all around the world!

As always, thank you for reading, have a great rest of your day and keep on procaffinating!