Does Cold Brew Go Bad At Room Temperature

Does Cold Brew Go Bad At Room Temperature?

On a hot summers day few coffees go down as enjoyable as a nice fresh cold brew. I’m a stickler for not only storing cold brewed coffee in the refrigerator I insist that you brew it in your fridge with cold water, or water as cold as you can possibly find, almost iced water. This, I guess, provoked the question – does cold brew go bad at room temperature?

Rather than beat around the bush and drag this out I’ll give you the answer straight away.

Cold brew does go bad at room temperature. It also goes bad in your fridge. The difference is how long it will stay fresh at both room temperature and in the refrigerator, and which keeps it fresher for longer.

The answer is, it stays fresher for longer while in your fridge. That brings up the following question…

Can Cold Brew Be Stored At Room Temperature?

There are very few rules and norms to stick to when brewing cold brew coffee. The general solid rule is do not brew with hot water.

This rule can be broken if you’re making double brewed cold brew coffee, and you want to extract the high temperature flavor compounds from your expensive coffee beans and get the low temperature ones with your second round of brewing.

Coffee is a beautiful mix of art and science where you can get creative and experiment. To get all the cold and low temperature flavor profiles and good flavor stability, you need to brew cold brew with water that is as cold as possible and brew it in your fridge.

The intense flavor notes from those high quality coffee beans will only start to extract after a very long brewing time. This time is extended due to using cold water. The kick back benefit is that your coffee will also stay fresher for longer.

Because you are brewing your beans in water that is cold, as cold as you can get, it is perfectly fine to store and brew your cold brew coffee at room temperature.

There is just one hard rule to comply with if you’re storing it at an ambient room temperature. That is to simply to keep your Cuppa Joe, your beloved Java, away from bright lights and strong scents to prevent a loss of flavor.

The flavor quality of coffee, regardless of where it is stored, is lost when stored next to strong scents and bright lights. This is same be they whole beans, grounds or in a brewed format.

I strongly advise you to store your brewed coffee and your beans in containers that are airtight and preferably block out all light from getting in. Better still is to store your beans in an airtight vacuum coffee canister that has a one way valve and then keep that cannister in your freezer for maximum freshness.

Your brewed coffee, keep it in the type of contained I described and store it in your fridge for the maximum freshness. When both are in airtight containers, the scents of the foods in your fridge or freezer will not spoil your coffee and neither will bright lights.

Can Cold Brew Be Stored At Room Temperature
Cold brew coffee can be stored at room temperature.

Read: Coffee cup size chart

How Do You Know If Your Cold Brew Coffee Has Gone Bad?

Like any food item or product, your cold brew coffee can go bad and go off. How you know if it has gone bad or rancid is easy. Look for the typical signs, which are the same regardless of which type of coffee drink, which are as follows:

  • 1. The caffeine kick has gone.
  • 2. Little to no aroma.
  • 3. A very acidic taste
  • 4. The flavor has all but gone.
  • 5. There is a rancid smell and possibly mold.

If you use your senses, you will know if your cold brew is off or not. Look for visual signs like mold. Give it a quick sniff if it smells rancid or the aroma has gone and do a taste test. If it tastes off after a quick sip, it is certainly off.

How Do You Know If Your Cold Brew Coffee Has Gone Bad
A sniff and sip test should tell you if your cold brew is bad or not

Read: How to make Starbucks cold brew!

How Long Does Cold Brew Last Unrefrigerated?

Cold brewed coffee will stay fresh for 5 to 7 days at room temperature and still holds all the great yummy flavor components and quality. After the 7-day mark, it will slowly start to taste off. By day 10, it is still drinkable, but you will notice a slight degradation in the flavor, and it will not taste as great as it used to.

Still, rather than throwing it down the drain, use it to water your house plants.

A cold brew concentrate will be able to last much longer while unrefrigerated, typically 2 weeks before it starts to lose its fresh taste. It depends on how concentrated it is.

Does Store Bought Cold Brew Need To Be Refrigerated?


I suggest that you store your cold brew coffee or cold brew concentrate in your fridge if you have bought it from a coffee shop, cafeteria or your local seven eleven store. You do not know how it was brewed, cared for or when the batch was made or at what concentrate, unless stated on the label.

To be safe, please store any coffee you have not consumed in an airtight container and keep it in your fridge.

It is better to be cautious.

How Long Does Unopened Cold Brew Last?

Even though your unopened and recently cold brewed coffee remains unopened, it will still start to degrade and go off after 7 to 10 days with the peak taste lost after a week. In the concentrated form, it will go off after about 10 to 14 days depending on how concentrated it is.

I am referring to undiluted concentrate as once you add water to the concentrate, the shelf life goes down and will start to degrade at the same time and rate as regular cold brewed coffee beverages.

An unopened bottle or can of cold brew will last at least until the expiry date at least, regardless of how it is stored.

Store your coffee properly, and it will stay fresher for longer. This includes how you store your coffee beans.

How Long Does Cold Brew Last In The Fridge?

Your cold brewed cup of coffee will last longer in your fridge than it would if you kept it at room temperature before the coffee oils and various compounds start to go off.

It can stay fresh for as long as 14 days, giving you an extra week when compared to storing at room temperature. Some coffee lovers and coffee enthusiasts will tell you that it can last for much longer and for up to 3 weeks. While they are correct, it all depends on how fresh you want your coffee.

For me, and Latte Love Brew, we encourage you to get into the habit of enjoying your coffee while it is at peak freshness and flavor.

It is the policy of this website to encourage and promote the enjoyment of coffee while it is at peak freshness and flavor.

Frappé-Ing It All Up – Does Cold Brew Go Bad?

The answer to the questions, does cold brew go bad, if you missed it, is yes. Cold brewed coffee is the same as any great cup of coffee or just a regular cup of coffee and can go bad. If you keep it at room temperature or in your fridge, store it properly and, above all, check it before you drink it by performing a simple sniff and sip test.

Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee.

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