Do you ever find yourself wondering how long that leftover coffee from the morning will last in the fridge?
While it’s a common practice to store coffee in the refrigerator for later use, I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of this method. Why, you ask? Well, the truth is, coffee just doesn’t taste as good and goes bitter with time once it’s been chilling in the fridge.
So, how long can coffee stay fresh in the fridge?
Brewed coffee can last for 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge without getting bad. However, the taste will get bitter and bitter with time. And it will get more bitter when you reheat it. So, if you have stored black coffee in the fridge it’s best to use it for preparing cold coffee drinks.
For the coffee beans, If you keep them in a dark and dry environment, they get worse very slowly. And it’s never a good idea to store them in the fridge.
how long is coffee good for in the fridge?
In general, if you cannot compromise on your coffee’s taste and want a good and fresh taste, it’s never a good idea to store brewed coffee in the fridge.
But if you have already brewed your coffee and want to drink it later, it’s better to store it in the fridge rather than store it at room temperature. Because at room temperature, your brewed coffee is more vulnerable to oxidation.
Let’s have a look at different types of coffee.
You can safely store cold brew in the fridge for two weeks without the fear of any degradation in taste.
As cold brew is never exposed to heat so it is very less prone to oxidation as long as you store it in a proper air-tight container.
If you have added milk to the cold brew concentrate it’s best to drink it within 2 hours. However, it will not go bad for 1-2 days in the fridge.
Black Hot Brewed Coffee (Espresso, Drip, etc..)
Drip or stovetop coffee can be stored in the fridge for a week. But as the coffee cools down and you reheat it for drinking you will never get the taste of fresh coffee.
For Espresso, the crema layer slowly disappears over time and I don’t think Espresso is capable of drinking after the crema disappears.
So, yes Black brewed remains safe for drinking if you store it in the fridge. But it’s better to use it for other purposes such as making lattes, desserts,.. etc.
Iced Coffee can stay in the fridge for the same time as normal brewed coffee which is around 1 week.
The Iced coffee drink is at its best when the ice cubes are still solid. Once the ice melts, the coffee becomes diluted and loses its flavor.
So, yes you can store iced coffee in the fridge but there is no point unless you are storing it for some other purpose. It will still be safe to drink but the taste will not be very pleasant as it is heavily watered down.
Milk Based Coffee drinks
You can store milk-based coffee drinks like Lattes or Cappuccinos in the fridge safely for up to 2 days.
Milk needs to be stored at very low temperatures otherwise it gets deteriorated by the bacteria.
Nevertheless, it’s important to smell a milk-based coffee drink and inspect it for spoilage before drinking, so you don’t end up with bad milk.
It’s never a good idea to store coffee beans in the fridge. Research shows that coffee beans are a good absorber, so they leach a smell from other foods stored in the fridge.
So, the beans lose their freshness and taste when stored in the fridge. Just imagine! Your coffee has the smell of onions in it. Isn’t it disgusting even to think about that?
But why on earth do you store the coffee beans in the fridge? The flavors of coffee beans are best preserved at room temperature.
So, it’s best to store coffee beans in an air-tight container at room temperature ideally in a dark place. Nothing will happen to its freshness in a year or two.
If you store coffee beans in an open jar, oxygen (in fresh air) makes the beans degrade after just a few days.
The same goes with coffee grounds as the coffee beans, it’s never a good idea to store them in a fridge.
Just store the ground coffee in an airtight container in your kitchen cabinets or cupboards and that’s the best thing you can do to preserve their flavors.
Nevertheless, you must know that ground coffee loses its freshness quickly. So you must only buy the grounds that you can finish easily in 1-2 weeks.
How to Know if Coffee is Spoiled?
There are several clear indicators that signal when refrigerated coffee has spoiled beyond the point of enjoyment. If the brew gives off a powerfully unpleasant or rancid smell, that’s a definite red flag that staleness has set in.
A bitter, or extremely sour taste is an indication that oxidation has taken place and the coffee is spoiled.
Your coffee might become very thin at the top and thick at the bottom as the coffee oils settle down with time.
Coffee stored for more than 7 days after brewing usually exhibits these traits and is unfit for consumption.
Milk-based coffee drinks spoil very quickly. Sour smells, off tastes, curdling, or separation of liquid are signs the coffee has gone bad. And it happens just within hours if stored at room temperature and within 1-2 days if stored in a fridge.
What happens if you drink Spoiled Coffee?
While the aromas and flavors degrade over time, spoiled coffee is unlikely to cause foodborne illness, as coffee doesn’t provide an ideal environment for harmful bacteria to thrive.
So, yes you can safely drink a week-old coffee that is properly stored in the fridge.
The same goes for the coffee beans; you can brew a drink with years-old coffee beans It will lack the aroma and won’t taste as fresh, but it won’t harm you.
But when in doubt, follow your nose – spoiled coffee is better off discarded versus consumed.
However, it’s essential to be cautious with milk-based coffee drinks, such as lattes or cappuccinos, that contain spoiled milk. Bacterial growth in the milk can lead to health issues, including food poisoning.
Tips for storing brewed coffee in the fridge
Your coffee will not go bad if you store it in the fridge. But here are some tips on how to do it properly.
Let it cool down to room temperature first
Let the coffee reach room temperature first, since putting hot coffee into a fridge will raise the temperature inside the refrigerator.
It will take many hours for the fridge to return to its original temperature. This will make other items in the fridge prone to degradation by bacteria.
And obviously, it will cause higher electricity consumption. That’s not good for sure!
Always cover the cup of coffee with a lid
Coffee is a good absorber and it readily absorbs the smell of other foods stored in the fridge. Because of this, the taste of coffee can become weird if not covered properly.
And obviously, if the coffee is stored without some lid on it, it’s more vulnerable to oxidation.
3 tips if Don’t want to store brewed coffee in the fridge
If storing brewed coffee in the fridge is not your thing and you don’t feel the same taste, you can try these alternative approaches.
Store your brewed coffee in a Thermos
If you have made a coffee in the morning and want to consume it in some later part of the day, it is the best idea to buy a thermos flask.
Thermos flask can keep your brewed coffee fresh and hot for as long as 12 hours. So, you can enjoy the coffee at any part of the day without worrying about the taste and freshness of the brewed coffee.
Freeze the brewed coffee
Freezing leftover coffee into ice cubes is a brilliant idea, especially if you’re a fan of iced coffee drinks.
They allow you to enjoy your iced coffee without the dreaded dilution. As they melt, they infuse your coffee with more flavor, ensuring that every sip is as bold and robust as the first.
Plus, it’s a simple way to make the most of your leftover brew, creating a win-win for your taste buds.
Leave it at room temperature
You can leave the black brewed coffee at room temperature in a coffee pot or carafe overnight and it will be completely safe to drink the next day.
It’s the best option if you are not planning to store coffee for more than a day.
Why It’s not Ok to Reheat Coffee?
Reheating coffee in a microwave may seem like a convenient way to enjoy a second cup, but I never recommended it.
Firstly, reheating coffee can alter its flavor and aroma, making it taste stale and bitter due to the breakdown of certain compounds.
Secondly, the process can cause the coffee to become overcooked and develop a burnt taste.
And for the milky coffee drinks; the proteins in milk or cream can curdle or separate when reheated, making the drink extremely unappealing.
Some other Ideas for Leftover coffee
Here are some exciting ideas for the leftover coffee instead of reheating it:
Coffee Smoothie: Blend coffee with a banana, milk, yogurt, and a drizzle of honey for a creamy and caffeinated morning smoothie.
Coffee Desserts: Incorporate coffee into your dessert recipes. Make coffee-flavored popsicles, tiramisu, or chocolate-coffee brownies for a delightful treat.
Good for Your Garden: Leftover brewed coffee can also be utilized in your garden as a natural fertilizer. Dilute the coffee with water and use it to water your plants.
Meat marinade: The acids help tenderize and add flavor when leftover brewed coffee is used to marinate meats before cooking.
While coffee can technically be stored in the fridge for a few weeks, it may not maintain its optimal flavor and aroma. To truly savor the rich and robust taste of your favorite brew, it’s best to enjoy it fresh.
We’d love to hear your tips for preserving refrigerated coffee and your favorite ways to repurpose it instead of reheating it!
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