For preservation of coffee or to use it as an iced coffee or cold beverage, some people keep their coffee in the fridge. Especially in hot summer days, it is always handy to consume and enjoy some really cold beverage in the form of coffee. However, a question always come to mind, how long does coffee last in the fridge?
Though the answer should be a one liner and very simple, however, this detailed guide will explain every bit regarding keeping coffee in the fridge. This expert’s guide explains the causes of coffee going bad as well as how to preserve it in its original form in a refrigerator.
How Long is Coffee Good for in the Fridge – Simple Answer
A simple answer to this question is not more than 4 days (for drip coffee). If coffee is kept in a sealed container, following some good tips, you can extend this timeline. However, it is always recommended to consume it within 4 days, otherwise the flavor starts degrading. In case of cold brew coffee, using a vacuum-packed container, the coffee can preserved up to 2 weeks.
These are just some simple quick answers. In below sections, we will see why the coffee goes bad and for how much time you can preserve each coffee type.
How Long Does Ground Coffee Last
We need to know for how long ground coffee is good before discussing different types of coffee drinks that can last in the refrigerator. We always want to keep ground coffee fresh, whether it is in the refrigerator or any other cold and dry place. First of all it is always better to consume a fresh batch of coffee. It means the coffee should be having a late expiry date. So, whatever coffee you are using, always check the manufacturing and expiry dates.
Secondly, once you have opened the sealed package, it is recommended to consume the coffee within 2 weeks. For freshly ground coffee, the original flavor remains for 20 minutes only. After this, due to oxygen, the grounds start becoming staler with less flavor. On other hand, same ground coffee can last even for several months after using proper packaging and storing.
Does Coffee Go Bad in the Fridge?
With proper preservation and storing, the coffee is definitely going to survive in a refrigerator. Without a proper seal, oxygen will mix with coffee, which will ruin the aroma and flavor. A simple answer to coffee goes bad or not in the fridge will be both yes and no. First, of all whether it is ground coffee or brewed coffee, even with proper sealing, there will be an expiry time. It is recommended to know about the expiration time of each beverage or coffee grounds before refrigerating for later use. Moreover, it also depends on the packaging, proper sealing, container, etc. as well.
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How Long Can Coffee Last in the Fridge – Different Coffee Types
Now we will discuss about each different coffee type and their survival time inside refrigerator. Each coffee has a different preparation method, time as well as ingredients. Therefore, for each coffee the expiration time will be different. Below you will find information on how long each coffee type can be kept in the refrigerator.
How Long Does Brewed Coffee Last in the Fridge
First of all, if you want brewed coffee for later use by re heating, it is best to freeze it. Secondly you must use a sealed container, such as glass (most recommended), so that any external food cannot ruin the flavor and aroma. Now you can store this brew for up to seven days (one week). However, it is recommended to consume it within 3 to 4 days at max. The reason is, though the coffee is still safe, however, you will not feel the same taste and aroma. As such, if you brewed coffee on Monday morning, don’t use it after Thursday morning, just throw it away.
In short, after brewing and storing coffee in the fridge, brewed coffee should be consumed within 3 to 4 days.
How Long is Cold Brew Good in the Fridge
If you are really talking about preserving your coffee for later use, then it is best to store the cold brew. The reason is concentrated cold brew is not ruined easily and you can enjoy a batch of refrigerated cold brew for 10 to 14 days. However, as an expert opinion, it is practically observed that after 7 days, the aroma and flavor of cold brew starts fading out. That is why you should consume stored cold brew within 7 days of storing inside the fridge.
Moreover, if you have added more water to the cold brew concentrated, then the shelf life within the fridge is shortened to just 2 to 3 days. To check whether cold brew has gone bad, you should always check for less flavor and aroma as well as any development of acidic taste or mold.
How Long Does Iced Coffee Last in the Fridge
Similar to cold brew, iced coffee can also survive for up to 2 weeks. However, the conditions are similar as that of cold brew coffee. The concentrate should not be diluted with water, otherwise it will get ruined within 2 days even if it is inside a fridge. To avoid depletion of taste and aroma, it is recommended to freeze the iced coffee concentrate. Moreover, store the coffee inside a sealed food-grade container. In this way, you can not only increase the lasting of coffee inside fridge, but also protect against reduction of aroma and flavor.
How Long Does Ground Coffee Last in the Fridge
Though we have discussed about ground coffee in the above section, however, what if you store your ground coffee inside fridge? Now if the coffee has been grind fresh, then it is advised to consume this batch within one week even after refrigerating. However, for sealed packages, once opened, you should always try to use the coffee grounds within first three to five months of production. Similarly, an unopened package will have its own expiry date, which can be from one to two years. If you store this package inside freezer, you can use this stored coffee within 12 to 18 months easily.
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Storing Coffee in the Fridge – Drawbacks
Though storing coffee inside the fridge is really an amazing part, however, it also have certain downsides. If the coffee is not stored properly within the fridge, by not following the correct method, it can become really problematic. Some of the main drawbacks of storing coffee in fridge are:
As we know that each coffee has a certain expiration period, even if it is stored inside the fridge. For example, if a certain coffee can last for as long as 7 days within fridge, then you should not use it after the 4th or maximum 5th day. The reason is, though the coffee will be hygienic and safe, however, after half-life, the flavor as well as aroma starts degrading. Thus, the coffee doesn’t have its original and natural taste due to flavor/ aroma degradation.
Picking Aromas from Other Food Items
Every refrigerator has certain food items that are well known for spreading their aromas to other food items. For example, if it is an old piece of cheese, or some mashed garlic or onions, then this aroma will spread to all your food products. In case of stored coffee, if the container is not properly sealed, then the pungent and stinky aromas inside the fridge will spoil the original natural aroma of your coffee. In the end, you will have a stored coffee with a ruined pungent aroma.
As a quick tip, if your fridge has some stinky smell, then solution is placing a cup of ground coffee for some hours. It will extract all the stink and pungency and every bad odor inside the fridge will disappear.
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Best Method of Storing Coffee in the Fridge
If coffee is not stored properly inside the fridge, then we know that it will be of no use. If your coffee is stored, but with a degraded aroma and flavor, then what is the benefit of storing? Given below are some of the tried and tested tips to ensure your stored coffee is not ruined.
Storing Coffee in Frozen Form
First of all, if you are going towards storing your coffee inside fridge, then it is always advised to freeze it. Just tossing the coffee inside the fridge will do no good. Though it will serve the purpose, however, if freezing the coffee extends the shelf life even further. As an example, liquid coffee will last for 4 days, but a frozen batch will expire in no less than 7 days.
Using a Sealed Food-Grade Container
Second approach must be using a food-grade contained which is completely sealable. A good option in this context is using a sealed glass air tight jar. Make sure the container is air tight as well as of food grade material. If the container is not air tight, then the coffee will react constantly with oxygen, which will result in ruining the whole aroma and flavor of refrigerated coffee. In the same way, if you use a container made of non-food grade material, it will be unhygienic, unhealthy as well as affect the taste of the coffee.
Some of the best containers that you can use for storing coffee inside fridge are recommended below:
Avoid Diluting with Water
In preparation of a coffee batch for storing inside the fridge, the biggest mistake is using more amount of water. It has been observed that if the prepared coffee concentrated is diluted with water, then the shelf life becomes very short. Therefore, it is recommended to store coffee concentrate in a fully concentrated form without using too much water.
Does Coffee Expire
In this world, everything expires, including coffee. A question then arises; what is the coffee expiration date? If we talk about coffee grounds, that are manufactured and properly stored inside sealed packages, then you will have a long expiry date of one to two years. But you have to ensure that after usage you properly seal the bag and then keep it inside the fridge.
If we look at freshly ground coffee, then it is best to consume it within first 20 to 30 minutes. Because after this time, the coffee grounds starts losing its flavor. On the other hand, if you want to store this fresh grind for later usage, you can store it in the refrigerator in an air-tight package. After this, you are good to consume this batch any day within a week.
For refrigerated coffee drinks, we can see that for each coffee there is a different expiry time. For some coffees, it is 4 days, for others 7 days and a few 2 weeks.
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Can You Refrigerate Coffee and Reheat It
Most of the time, especially when it comes to storing drip coffee, the motto is always to re-heat it to use later. Yes, you can refrigerate your coffee and then within its given lifespan, you can always reheat it. However, it is quite clear that you will always find that the original aroma and flavor is depleted. The reason is due to oxidation, some natural taste and scent of coffee is lost. However, if you are thinking whether reheating will destroy the caffeine as well? The answer is No. The reason is caffeine is a very stable compound and it will not lost its power and essence due to re-heating.
How Long Does Coffee Last in the Fridge – Wrap up
From detailed discussion, we know that different types of coffee can be refrigerated for some later use. Personally speaking, coffee should not be refrigerated for any later use, if there is no certain constraints and requirements. Coffee is meant to be prepared and consumed fresh and storing in the fridge is never going to give you the 100% original flavor and aroma.
Still, at sometimes we need to store coffee inside the fridge due to some requirements. We hope you found this comprehensive article useful in answering your question about how long does coffee lasts in the fridge?