Does Coffee Go Bad in the Fridge?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to gauge how much coffee a person needs. Everybody has experienced making more coffee than they needed.

In fact, there might have been many times when you made coffee for two people just to learn that your guest doesn’t drink caffeine.

So, what can you do with leftover coffee? Can you store it in your refrigerator like other food items and beverages?

This article will teach you all you need to know about storing coffee in your refrigerator. These include the advantages and disadvantages, the best storage methods, and how long it can last in the fridge.

How Long Does Coffee Last in the Fridge

The brew, the presence or absence of grounds, and the state of your fridge affect how long you can refrigerate your coffee.

Coffee can be kept in the refrigerator for four to seven days. Coffee made the old-fashioned way keeps its flavor for four days and can be reheated in the microwave after being taken out of the fridge.

The shortest refrigeration time is for coarsely ground coffee, because the longer the unfiltered grounds remain in the coffee, the worse it will taste.

In contrast, coffee made from coarsely crushed beans shouldn’t be kept in the fridge for more than two days.

Disadvantages of Refrigerating Coffee

Before you decide to store leftover coffee in your fridge, here are a few disadvantages of refrigerating coffee you should know about.

Skipping the Brewing Routine

Making coffee daily involves more than just making a cup you can enjoy drinking. Making coffee for yourself can be therapeutic.

In fact, the entire brewing process can induce positive feelings.

These include completing simple tasks that activate the brain’s reward chemicals. Not to mention, the fantastic aroma of freshly brewed coffee just gets you going in the morning.

But, the biggest disadvantage when you give up the daily coffee brewing process is alertness. Refrigerated coffee has less caffeine than a freshly-brewed cuppa.

The cold temperature and moisture inside your fridge remove all of its excellent brain-stimulating properties.

It Just Won’t Taste Fresh Anymore

Refrigerating coffee for longer than a day will lead to a stale taste. Of course, that doesn’t mean your coffee will be undrinkable.

But there is no getting around the fact that you’ll have to drink refrigerated coffee that isn’t at all comparable to a freshly brewed cup of Joe.

So, put a bottle of cold coffee in the refrigerator and leave it there for seven days to see if it appeals to your taste buds.

After consuming fresh coffee, sip the seven-day-old coffee, and you’ll taste a huge difference in flavor.

So, refrigerated coffee is for you only if you don’t have the time to make a fresh cup every day or if you’re okay with this flavor.

Advantages of Refrigerating Coffee

Coffee can be refrigerated, especially if you only drink it for the caffeine, not the flavor. Alternatively, you might have developed an odd palate and enjoy coffee long after it has been brewed.

Whatever the case, there are various benefits to storing your freshly brewed coffee in the refrigerator. Some of these benefits are listed below:

It Eliminates the Need to Have Access to a Coffee Machine Daily

If you don’t have access to a coffee machine every day, then the best course of action is to make a large batch of coffee and refrigerate it.

Of course, this will allow you to save the effort of getting up in the morning and brewing a cup of coffee with one eye closed.

Similarly, you can also purchase a few bottles of cold coffee and refrigerate them for later use. But that isn’t a cost-effective solution at all.

Instead, make your cold coffee like you normally would. Except make a large batch and refrigerate it.

It Decreases Missteps

Contrary to popular belief, chilled coffee doesn’t truly taste awful. But of course, it doesn’t taste like a freshly brewed cup either.

Plus, if you’re fine with the flavor and aroma of day-old coffee, it is preferable to refrigerate it, especially if you’re new to making your own brew.

Why? Because the more frequently you brew your own coffee, the higher the chances of mistakes.

If you make coffee with the right attention to detail and care, you can enjoy it for up to a week without losing flavor.

Of course, if you use a machine that automates every process and eliminates human mistakes, this benefit doesn’t matter, because every cup of coffee tastes the same.

So, make a large batch and refrigerate it to avoid mucking up any of the steps involved!

It Saves Money

Let’s say you can’t make your own coffee every morning.

There are only three options available to you in this situation: purchase pre-chilled bottled coffee, buy coffee from a nearby cafe, or prepare coffee yourself and store it in the fridge.

The most cost-effective choice of all of them is to refrigerate the coffee you’ve already made. It is perfect for college students who drink coffee for its caffeine content and don’t care about the flavor.

It’s Convenient

Brewing coffee the night before can lower the effort needed in the morning, which is the best solution if you need coffee to open your eyes.

You might even prepare a larger batch and drink a glass of coffee every morning now that you are aware that you can store your coffee in the refrigerator for a week.

Tips to Refrigerate Coffee

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of refrigerating coffee, below are some tips that guarantee you will always have the best-preserved cup of java.

Avoid Putting Hot Coffee in the Fridge

This tip is for your refrigerator’s benefit. Everything in your fridge, including its compressor, is at risk when an extremely heated object is placed inside.

In fact, placing hot coffee in the refrigerator puts a great amount of pressure on the cooling system.

Moreover, doing so also raises the temperature of food items, which can quickly get heated and spoil. Plus, putting a hot cup on the fridge’s plastic shelves might melt them.

But the question still remains: How are you expected to store your freshly brewed coffee if you can’t put a hot cup in the refrigerator? The answer is quite straightforward.

It would be best to take advantage of the fact that coffee does not need to be refrigerated right after brewing. Instead, keep your cup of black coffee at room temperature for at least twelve hours.

But don’t forget to cover it as insects might fall into your cup and ruin your coffee. Then, once the coffee cools down, store it in your fridge!

Store It in an Airtight Jar or Container

Most homeowners consider their fridges the best solution for storing leftovers. But most food items require a combination of airtight containers and cold temperatures to maintain freshness.

The same is also the case when it comes to refrigerating coffee. In fact, coffee is best stored in an airtight container or a jar, especially if you expect to drink it for more than a day.

Don’t Store It with Meat and Other Food Items

Although you can refrigerate coffee, not every refrigerator is equipped to hold the most recent batch you brewed.

Since coffee has a deodorizing effect, the smell of other food items will leach into your coffee and vice versa.

Therefore, you must be cautious not to keep fragrant goods, such as raw meat, in the same refrigerator as your coffee.

However, your cup of coffee will seem right at home if your refrigerator is only canned items, chocolates, biscuits, etc.

Difference between Refrigerated Coffee and Cold Brew

Despite having similar names, iced coffee and cold brew have significantly different brewing processes and tastes.

Espresso or normal hot coffee is used to make iced coffee, which is then poured over ice and mixed with water to make an “iced Americano”, or milk for an “iced latte.”

When making cold brew coffee, room temperature or cold water is used, and the coffee is slowly brewed and filtered before being served with milk or on its own.

The Brewing Methods

Are you just anxious for a quick cup of coffee? If that’s the case, it takes far less time to make iced coffee than it does to make cold brew.

Basically, to make iced coffee, you prepare standard hot coffee with an espresso machine, filter, or French press and then pour it into an ice-filled glass or refrigerate it.

Alternately, to make cold brew coffee, coffee grounds are put into a paper filter. Then they are dipped into room temperature or cold water and allowed to steep for fourteen to twenty-four hours.

The Taste

Different brewing techniques lead to different tasting coffee every time. However, you may prefer some over others based on your palette and preferences!

When ice or a fridge is used to cold hot coffee, more acidic and bitter flavors develop along with a balanced aroma. Cold brew coffee is more concentrated than typical iced or refrigerated coffee.

In fact, longer brewing times with room temperature or cold water leads to less acidity and bitterness and a smoother and sweeter flavor.

Can You Refrigerate Cold Brew Coffee

The main benefit of storing your cold brew in the refrigerator after brewing is that it will last longer. It can last up to a week or perhaps a little longer in the refrigerator.

However, the taste won’t remain the same after every passing day, even though it will be safe to consume for one to two weeks.  

Ultimately, refrigerating cold brew leads to the same issue that normal hot coffee faces. After three or four days, you’ll probably start tasting something different. The taste will no longer be fresh.

Wrapping Up

Coffee doesn’t spoil in the refrigerator. However, it can contain things that will alter its flavor and aroma.

But, if you use the proper container, you can keep your coffee cool in the fridge for seven days or fewer while keeping neighboring odors at bay.

Considering what we’ve learned from this article, it would be wise to let your coffee get to room temperature before popping it in the fridge.

Then, whenever you want a cup of Joe, you can just take it out, heat it and you’ll be good to go!

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