There is nothing better than waking yourself up with freshly brewed coffee. The aromatic steam fills up the kitchen, and each sip of hot beverage sinks down to your stomach, reaching the brain. And when coffee does play with your receptors, you are ready to face any challenges the world throws at you.
But what to do with the remaining coffee that you couldn’t finish? Pouring it into the sink seems wasteful, and there must be a better way to store coffee for the next day. One common solution is to store your pot of coffee in the fridge.
How long is a pot of coffee good for when it’s kept in the fridge? Let’s find out the answer in this blog.
How long can coffee stay in the fridge? What if it has milk in it? Should I freeze the coffee beans? We will answer these and more questions below. There are many brewing styles that prolong or shorten the shelf life of freshly brewed coffee, and we will go through them one by one.
A cup of refreshing iced coffee will cool you off on a hot summer day, and we get that you would like to keep it for the next day if you brewed a huge pot of it. On the downside, storing iced coffee isn’t a good idea since it will not taste as good as a fresh batch.
In any case, before putting your iced coffee into the fridge, remove the ice cubes because they will melt and water down your coffee, ruining the whole consistency. Instead, you can add ice cubes when you are ready to drink your iced coffee.
Your iced coffee should be good to stay in the fridge for about 4 days, but keep your expectations low of its flavor.
Unlike iced coffee, cold brew concentrate can stay in the fridge for up to 10 days. However, if you initially dilute it with water, its shelf life will be reduced to 4 days only.
You can be creative with cold brew concentrate and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Once the cold brew ice cubes are frozen nicely, carefully place them in an airtight container. This way, you can enjoy your cold coffee for up to 2 weeks.
Freshly hot brewed coffee is what everyone needs on a cold morning. Many people believe that it’s good as long as it’s warm, which is for about 20 minutes maximum. The reality is that you can drink your favorite beverage even after a few hours after brewing and letting it completely cool down. Although it does not have the same effect as a hot cup of coffee, it is completely safe.
If you pour your coffee into a sealed container and store it in the fridge, you will extend its shelf life by 4 days. The taste will be pretty much gone, and you will be drinking a black liquid with lots of caffeine. So, if you are a true coffee lover, it’s always better to brew a fresh cup and enjoy it within an hour or two.
Storing espresso in the fridge is an unlikely situation, considering its size. Another story is if you want to preserve espresso-based coffee in the fridge like a cappuccino or latte. Sadly, unlike other non-dairy coffee drinks, your cappuccino won’t last long. At best, dairy-based drinks should stay in the fridge for no more than 2 days. Even on the second day, you should always smell it first and check for mold or discoloration.
Sorting black coffee in the fridge is totally fine for about 4 to 10 days, depending on the brewing style, provided the beverage is in a sealed container. Dairy-based coffee, on the other hand, has a limited shelf life.
You should store coffee with added milk or creamer for only 2 days.
When milk is poured into coffee, you have 2 hours to finish the drink before it starts spreading bacteria. During this time frame, you can also place your beverage into an airtight container in a fridge and enjoy it the next day if you wish.
If you decide to consume your coffee the next day, smell it first to check if it’s spoiled because the milk might go bad if the temperature of your fridge is not cold enough.
If you have an unopened bag of whole coffee beans stored in an airtight container, away from sunlight and moisture, they will stay fresh until their best-by date, which can even be months from now.
However, once you open this bag of whole coffee beans, surely you can’t keep them for that long anymore. Coffee beans will stay fresh for about 1-3 weeks. And to keep them in their best condition, store them in the fridge just like you would store any coffee beverage – in an airtight container.
If you aren’t planning on using coffee beans for a long time and can’t finish them quickly, you may also freeze them. Beware, the taste may change. As you can see, coffee doesn’t like cold, as it affects the taste and quality.
As long as your package of ground coffee is closed, you can keep them until their best-by date. But once you open up the package, you should place the coffee into an airtight container. This way, its aroma and freshness will be preserved longer.
Ground coffee stored in a container outside the fridge will be good to use for about 2 weeks. However, if you live in a humid location, you can place the container into the fridge for 2 weeks or freezer for up to 1 month.
What about instant coffee? Does it have the same shelf life as freshly ground coffee beans? The answer is no.
You may avoid buying instant coffee all you want, but the fact is that it has the longest shelf life. When unopened and stored in a dry, cool place, instant coffee can last up to 20 years! Opened instant coffee packages may also have been good to consume for several years. The precise shelf life will depend on the manufacturer, so have a look at what’s written on your instant coffee packaging.
Coffee pods are the most flavorful and convenient ground coffee types out there. You just place them into your coffee maker, and the machine takes care of the rest. The best of all is that coffee pods stay fresh until the best-by date.
Since each pod is carefully sealed, you don’t have to worry about finding an extra airtight container for them. Simply keep them in a drawer away from heat and light.
To understand whether your coffee has gone bad, you should smell it for any distinct odor and check for any discoloration or mold formation.
If you drink spoiled coffee or make coffee from old coffee beans, it’s usually not life-threatening. However, if your coffee has milk or creamer, there is a risk of foodborne illness. A small amount of milk wouldn’t cause serious symptoms, but larger amounts of it may lead to an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you place coffee with milk or creamer, it will stay fresh for only 2 days. However, if you brew black coffee, it will last 4 days in the fridge. The exception is a cold brew concentrate that stays fresh for up to 10 days in the fridge.
Opened ground coffee may last up to 2 weeks in a dry, dark place or in a fridge. If you place an airtight container with the coffee in a fridge, it will be good for up to 1 month. Keep in mind that the longer you keep your coffee in the fridge or freezer, the less tasteful it becomes.
You have approximately 4 hours to consume your freshly brewed coffee that’s been waiting for you on the counter or burner. However, if you add milk and leave it, you should finish your coffee within 2 hours before the milk starts going bad.
One alternative storage hack you can try out is to freeze your coffee in an ice cube tray. It will be good to stay in the freezer for about 2 weeks, and you can incorporate coffee ice cubes into making iced coffee or other coffee-based cocktails.
Proper storing is key to keeping your coffee fresh and flavorful. While dry whole coffee beans and ground coffee can last a long time, brewed coffee has a shorter shelf life, depending on the method of preparation.
For the best coffee experience, consume your coffee right after brewing it when it has the freshest flavor and tastes rich. Over time, sitting on the cold fridge shelf, your coffee will lose its deliciousness unless you plan on using cold brew concentrate to craft an energetic beverage.