how long is coffee good for in the fridge?

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Johny Morrisson

Brewed coffee remains good in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. 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.

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.

how long is brewed 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.

Cold Brew

You can safely store cold brew in the fridge for two weeks without 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.

cold brew coffee

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 enjoyable 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.

Black Coffee

Iced Coffee

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.

Iced Coffee

Check out: How to Make Iced Coffee in French Press

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.


Coffee Beans

It’s never a good practice 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.

coffee beans

Coffee Grounds

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.

Ground coffee

How to Know if Coffee is Spoiled?

If the coffee gives off a powerfully unpleasant or rancid smell, that’s a definite red flag that your coffee is spoiled and the staleness has set in.

A bitter, or extremely sour taste is an indication that oxidation has taken place and the coffee is not good for drinking.

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 shows these signs and is not good 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?

Spoiled coffee is unlikely to cause foodborne illness, as coffee doesn’t provide an ideal environment for harmful bacteria to thrive. But the aromas and flavors degrade over time and your taste buds will curse you if you drink spoiled coffee.

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. Sure, they will lack the aroma and won’t taste as fresh, but they 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 spoiled 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

Here are some tips on how to properly store coffee overnight.

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 you 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 time of the day without worrying about the taste and freshness of the brewed coffee.

Thermos 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.

Frozen Coffee cubes 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 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.

coffee ice cubes

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 used 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.

Final thoughts

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 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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Johny Morrison is a founder and content creator at Coffee About. He knows everything there is to know about coffee and loves sharing his passion with others.

You can often find him sipping a single-origin pour-over, rich French press, or pulling espresso shots at home. Johny loves full-bodied dark roasts – the bolder, the better!

As a former barista, he takes coffee equipment seriously and enjoys experimenting with the latest gear. When he’s not brewing or blogging, Johny is scouting local cafes for his next coffee fix.

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