How long does Espresso last?

You may have noticed that the taste of espresso shots changes over time. So, the question is, how long does Espresso last? 

I bet this question comes into the mind of every espresso lover. As, sometimes we get busy with other tasks after brewing shots like preparing breakfast, getting ready for work, or making the kids ready for school.

When we take a sip of Espresso after fifteen or, say, thirty minutes of brewing, the taste of our cup of joe is not as good as we are looking for. So, how long does Espresso last?

Even though the taste of Espresso gets changed significantly after 10 to 15 minutes of brewing but that does not mean it is expired. The thick layer of Crema that we love to see over Espresso starts dissolving in the cup after some time, which results in a change of taste and texture of the Espresso shot. 

So, it’s best to drink the Espresso within 5 minutes of brewing it. But what if you have brewed an extra shot? Is it OK to store it in the fridge? Or should you waste it?

Following this article, I have gathered some interesting facts for you.

how long is espresso good for or Fresh?

The answer to this question is subjective. Some people notice the change in taste in five minutes, while some people can’t sense the taste even after one hour. It depends on how sensitive are your taste buds.

I experimented to see how the taste of Espresso changes over time. For the sake of the experiment, I brewed 6 different shots of Espresso.

I drank the shot, which I brewed at the last within 10 to 15 seconds of brewing. This shot has a very satisfying aroma, but it was so hot that I could not fully distinguish among flavor profiles.

I drank the next shot after three minutes of brewing, it was much more flavorful, and I loved that.

I drank the next shots by giving a gap of 30 minutes among them. I noticed that the flavor of Espresso gets bitter over time, and the aroma also diminishes with time.

The shot I had at the last was too bitter that I managed to take only one small sip from it.

There is no exact timeline to define how long Espresso stays fresh. As the shots of Espresso never expire, it’s completely fine to drink it even after one day

But the taste and the texture of Espresso change significantly over time. It gets more and more bitter over time. And the thick layer of Crema you notice over the freshly brewed shot of Espresso also gets mixed in the Espresso. 

Why the taste of Espresso changes over time?

You might be wondering why Espresso tastes more and more bitter over time. The simple answer is oxidation!

There are free hydrogen ions present in the shot of freshly brewed shot of Espresso. These free hydrogen ions are the reason behind the acidity and the slightly sour taste of Espresso.

As time passes, more and more free hydrogen ions get oxidized, reducing the acidity and raising the pH. As the pH increases, the bitterness also increases.

Oxidation occurs at faster rates at higher temperatures. Oxidation is the main reason behind the spoiling of most food items.

You might have noticed that the slice of apple gets brown if we left it out for some time. That’s also because of oxidation. But what happens if we store it in the fridge?

The oxidation does not only happen to the brewed shot of Espresso. It starts right after the roasting of coffee beans. That’s why if your coffee beans are not fresh, you can’t get the best taste.

Oxidation affects the coffee grounds even more rapidly because of the enlarged surface area. So, if you want to have the best taste, it’s always recommended to buy freshly roasted coffee beans and grind them just before pulling the shot. It will minimize the effects of oxidation.

The other reason for a change in Espresso’s taste after some time is that the heavier oils and compounds get settled to the bottom of the cup, and lighter compounds move up.

This makes the taste of Espresso inconsistent, and some amount of sludge may appear because of heavier compounds at the bottom.

This problem can be solved by stirring the shot for 15 to 30 seconds.

how long does espresso last in the fridge?

As discussed above, the oxidation rate is much slower at lower temperatures. You might have noticed that the slice of apple doesn’t get brown for at least five to six hours if we store it in the fridge.

So, the question is can we store a brewed shot of Espresso in the fridge? 

If you have brewed an extra shot, there is no better option than to store it in the fridge, as it will slow the rate of oxidation. But don’t make the mistake of reheating that shot; only use it for making cold coffee. If you reheat it, the taste will become extremely bitter, which will ruin the taste of your mouth, and you will start hating Espresso.

The coffee grounds first extract the most flavorful and acidic flavors, and then it extracts the bitter flavors. Although the brewing process of Espresso lasts only for 25-30 seconds, the grounds present in the shot keep on extracting the flavors until we consume it.

So, what type of flavors do coffee grounds extract as time passes? Obviously bitter!

This is also the reason why your Espresso gets bitter over time. At higher temperatures, the extraction rate is more elevated, and at lower temperatures, the rate slows down.

So, storing leftover Espresso in the fridge also helps slow down the extraction process, which helps Espresso get less bitter over time.

But reheating that shot might cause a problem, so it’s better to make a milk-based espresso drink like a cappuccino or latte if you have stored it in the fridge.

As discussed above, Espresso gets bitter over time. When we add milk to it, the milk’s sugars dissolve the bitterness and make the taste acceptable.

You can also freeze the leftover Espresso in an ice cube box and make amazing iced coffee recipes from it.

Is it a good idea to store coffee beans or brewed coffee in the fridge? Check out our detailed article on this topic.

Does Espresso Lose Caffeine Over Time?

Espresso is the most robust and concentrated type of brewed coffee and contains a high amount of caffeine.

A shot of Espresso definitely loses its flavor with time, but does Espresso also lose caffeine over time?

No, the amount of caffeine in an Espresso shot doesn’t matter how much time you store it. Many chemical breakdowns occur in the shot of Espresso, which alters its taste over time, the Crema also dies, but the amount of caffeine always remains the same.

Read a detailed guide on how much caffeine is in a shot of Espresso

Final thoughts

If you have read this article, now you certainly have the answer to how long Espresso shots last.

Espresso shot does not expire, and you will not get sick if you drink a day-old shot of Espresso. But it won’t be enjoyable, and it will destroy your taste buds. If your taste buds are not sensitive, and you can enjoy a bitter shot of Espresso. Then Go On! There’s no harm in it.

It’s always a better move to finish your espresso shots within two to three minutes of brewing to enjoy the best flavors.

But sometimes, we forget to drink Espresso after brewing it, and sometimes we brew an extra shot by mistake. 

In those cases, storing those leftover shots in the fridge and making cold coffee or milk-based coffee drinks from it is the best option.

FAQs

IS IT OK TO REHEAT ESPRESSO?

It’s never a good idea to reheat a shot of Espresso as it will make the taste of your drink burnt and very bitter. 
Although there are no health risks associated with reheating a shot of Espresso but it will surely have a terrible effect on your taste buds. 

 

Related Espresso articles: