Brewed coffee is an excellent drink that you can enjoy at any time of the day. Its rich flavor and health benefits make it a favorite choice for many coffee drinkers. However, like all foods and drinks, it does have a shelf life and will go bad eventually. But how long is brewed coffee good for?
The length of time brewed coffee is good depends on a few factors, including how it was stored and how long it was brewed. Exposure to air and temperature can also both affect how long it lasts.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how long brewed coffee is good for and give you some tips on making it last as long as possible.
How Long Is Brewed Coffee Good For?
Many people believe that the freshness of brewed coffee only lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes, but this is only the case if you drink it in an open cup. If stored in a sealed container, brewed coffee is freshest for about an hour.
However, you can still drink coffee stored for a few hours, and it will still have most of its flavor. If you’re looking for the best flavor, brewed coffee is best consumed within the first two hours after it’s been made.
Brewed coffee that doesn’t have creamer or milk added can last for up to four hours. Coffee that has milk or cream added to it doesn’t last as long as black coffee because dairy products can spoil. If you add milk to your coffee, it’s best to consume it within two hours if left at room temperature.
Brewed espresso has a shorter shelf life than brewed coffee. It’s best consumed within 30 minutes of being brewed.
How long is brewed coffee good for in the fridge?
If you store brewed coffee in the fridge, it can last for three to four days. Be sure to store it in an airtight container to keep it from going bad. When you’re ready to drink it, you can reheat it or enjoy it cold.
For a brewed coffee with milk or creamer, you’ll want to consume it within one to two days. Again, make sure you store it in a sealed container and smell it before drinking to ensure it doesn’t spoil.
What Happens to Brewed Coffee If It’s Left to Sit Out?
Brewed coffee that’s left to sit out will eventually go bad unlike food left sit out after cooking. The length of time it takes for the coffee to spoil depends on how hot it is when you brew it and how much air is exposed. So, what happens if you leave your coffee to sit out?
❗Its flavor will deteriorate.
Brewed coffee goes rancid over time because of a chemical reaction called oxidation. This reaction happens when coffee is exposed to oxygen in the air. The electrons transfer from one molecule to another, creating new molecules that have a different flavor.
It is why coffee sitting out for a while doesn’t taste as good as freshly brewed coffee. The longer it sits, the more time the oxidation has to occur, and the more the flavor will change.
The coffee’s flavor includes an extremely volatile aromatic compound that dissipates quickly, especially at higher temperatures.
❗It will lose its aroma.
Brewed coffee sitting out will also lose its aroma over time. The volatile aromatic compounds in the coffee will dissipate over time. These compounds give coffee its unique smell, so if they’re gone, the coffee will smell differently.
Reheating your morning brewed coffee may lose its aroma even more. If you’re thinking of drinking your morning coffee in the afternoon, it would be best to use a vacuum-sealed thermal mug. It will keep your coffee hot for a longer time and preserve its aroma.
Suppose you store your brewed coffee in the refrigerator. In that case, you can slow down the oxidation process by reducing its exposure to oxygen. It will reduce the rate of electron transfer, keeping your coffee’s flavor and aroma fresh for a longer time.
❗It preserved caffeine content.
If you store your brewed coffee in the fridge, it will still have most of its caffeine content. Caffeine won’t degrade since it’s pretty stable. Your brewed coffee will still have its energizing effects even if it’s been sitting for weeks.
❗Molds and bacteria appear.
Brewed coffee that’s left to sit out will eventually get moldy. It is because the coffee will be exposed to moisture in the air, creating an environment where mold can grow. Moldy coffee won’t taste good, and it can also make you sick. It usually occurs after four to seven days after brewing.
Another thing that can grow in your coffee is bacteria. If you add milk or cream to your coffee and then leave it out, it can happen. The bacteria will breed in the dairy products, which can make you sick. If you see any signs of mold or bacteria, it’s best to throw the coffee away.
However, if you reheat your day-old brewed coffee, you will likely kill all potential bacterial growth. But keep in mind that reheating will alter the taste and aroma of the brewed coffee.
How Long Does Coffee Last In Other Forms?
Other coffee forms, such as instant coffee, will last longer than brewed coffee. They don’t have any dairy products in them, so there’s no place for bacteria to breed. However, the downside is that they typically have more artificial flavors and preservatives.
Let’s take a look at how long other coffee products last.
Packed ground coffee will typically stay fresh for one to two weeks. If you buy ground coffee, it will usually come in a pack with a date on it. It is the date until which the coffee is guaranteed to be fresh. After that date, the quality of the coffee may start to degrade. Packed ground coffee can last for two to three weeks after that date if it’s stored properly.
If you live in a humid environment, you should keep your ground coffee in an airtight container. It will help reduce the amount of moisture that gets to the coffee, and it will help keep it fresh for a longer time. It will stay fresh for up to two weeks if stored in the fridge.
☕Whole Coffee Beans
Whole coffee beans will last longer than ground coffee because they haven’t been exposed to oxygen. It means that the oxidation process will take longer to occur. Whole coffee beans can last two to three weeks after the pack date. However, whole, roasted coffee beans can last up for a few weeks to several months, depending on how you store them.
Once you open a package of roasted coffee beans, you should store them in an airtight container since they will only stay fresh for one to three weeks. It will prevent the beans from absorbing any flavors or aromas from other foods. It will also help keep them fresh for a longer time. If you store them in the fridge, they will stay fresh for four months.
Instant coffee is a kind of ground coffee with an extended shelf life. Some say that it can indefinitely last if stored properly. However, the quality of the coffee will start to degrade after a few years. The taste and aroma of the coffee will change, and it will become less potent. Instant coffee may last for two to twenty years when you properly store it.
When storing instant coffee, you should keep it in a cool, dry place. It should also be stored in an airtight container to consume it safely.
It is another type of ground coffee like those used in Keurig machines. The coffee pod will last for two weeks after the pack date. If you store it properly, it can last up to three weeks. Keep in mind that not all coffee pods are recyclable, so check with your local recycling center before throwing them away.
☕Cold Brewed Coffee
The cold-brew concentrate can last for seven to ten days if you store it in a container inside the fridge. The coffee can last for two weeks if you store it in the fridge, but it’s best to drink it within a week.
Once you open the container of cold-brewed coffee, you should keep it in the fridge and consume it within a few days. There aren’t any preservatives in cold-brewed coffee, and it can easily spoil.
Cold-brewed coffee will last for about two weeks. There’s no heat involved in the brewing process, so there’s no chance of any bacteria growing. However, cold-brewed coffee doesn’t have as much flavor as hot brewed coffee, so you may want to drink it quickly.
Factors That Degrade Coffee Beans
Coffee likes dark spaces and cool temperatures. That’s why you need to avoid some things when storing them. Here are some of the factors that can degrade your coffee beans.
Roasted coffee beans will lose their flavor within four to six weeks if they’re exposed to light. It is because light will cause the coffee beans to oxidize. So it would be best to avoid glass jars where light can shine through.
Coffee beans are exposed to oxygen, which causes them to oxidize. This process happens more quickly with ground beans since there’s more surface area for the oxygen to react with.
The roasting process also affects how long coffee beans will stay fresh. Darker roasted beans will last longer than lighter roasted beans because they’ve been exposed to less oxygen.
Exposing coffee beans to moisture can cause them to spoil. The water will create a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. So it’s best to keep your coffee beans dry and in an airtight container.
The ideal temperature range for storing coffee beans is between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is too high or too low, the coffee beans will degrade and lose their flavor quickly.
So those are some of the things to keep in mind when storing your coffee beans. As long as you follow these guidelines, your coffee beans should stay fresh for a while.
Risks of Consuming Spoiled Coffee
Brewed coffee left out for more than four hours has a high risk of bacteria growth. The bacteria can cause food poisoning, so it’s best to avoid drinking coffee that’s been sitting around for too long.
Coffee may contain low levels of mycotoxins, a specific type of mold. It can be quite harmful to your health, so it’s best to avoid drinking coffee that doesn’t have any signs of spoilage.
If you’re not sure whether your coffee has gone bad or not, it’s always best to throw it away. It’s not worth taking the risk of getting sick just for a cup of coffee.
Coffee stored in the fridge has a lower risk of bacteria growth, but it will still spoil eventually. If you’re unsure whether or not your coffee is still safe to drink, it’s best to be on the side of caution and throw it away.
How to Properly Store Coffee Beans
Since you already know the things that can deteriorate coffee beans, here are some tips on properly storing them.
The first thing you need to do is get an airtight container. It will help keep oxygen and moisture out while keeping the coffee beans fresh. Make sure to get a container that’s dark in color since light can also degrade coffee beans.
Once you have your container, you need to figure out how much coffee you’ll need for the week. It will help you avoid storing too much or too little coffee.
If you’re only going to use a small amount of coffee each day, it’s best to store it in a glass jar at room temperature. But if you’re going to use a lot of coffee, it’s best to store it in the fridge.
You should also try to use coffee beans within two weeks. It is because they’ll start to lose their flavor after that point. Also, make sure to buy just the right amount of coffee beans so you won’t have to store them for too long. Buying more than you need will mean that the beans will lose their flavor sooner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does Brewed Coffee Go Bad?
A: Brewed coffee left out for more than four hours has a high risk of being unsafe. Remember, you can only consume brewed coffee stored at room temperature for not more than 24 hours.
Q: Is it safe to drink coffee that has been in the fridge?
A: Yes, it is safe to drink coffee that has been stored in the fridge as long as you follow the guidelines for how long it can last. Just make sure to consume it within seven days.
Q: How do you store brewed coffee in the fridge?
A: After brewing, pour the coffee into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. The cold temperature will help keep the coffee from spoiling and preserve its flavor and aroma.
Q: How long does coffee last caffeine?
A: Based on FDA, coffee can last for up to 2 hours when stored at room temperature. However, the coffee’s caffeine content may degrade after four to six hours. So if you want your coffee to retain its caffeine content, it’s best to consume it within that period.
Q: How long do coffee beans last in the cupboard?
A: An unopened coffee bean bag can last for six to nine months. An open bag of coffee beans can last for up to six months.
Q: What can I do to make old coffee fresh again?
A: If your coffee has already lost its flavor, there’s not much you can do to make it taste fresh again. However, you can try to add some flavoring agents such as milk, sugar, or creamer. You can also try brewing a stronger cup of coffee.
Brewed coffee loses its freshness over time, so it’s important to store it properly. I suggest you drink the coffee as fresh as possible to enjoy its optimum flavor. When stored properly, brewed coffee can last within 24 hours. But if you want your coffee to retain its caffeine content, it’s best to consume it within four to six hours.
By following the tips in this article, you can help keep your coffee beans and brewed coffee tasting great for weeks or even months. Just remember to drink it within the safe timeframes mentioned above to avoid health risks.