How Long Can Coffee Last In The Fridge [Detailed!]

How Long Can Coffee Last In The Fridge? [Detailed!]

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 14:16

How long can coffee last in the fridge is not a straight forward question to answer, even though the question is a very simple one.

In this article I get granular and talk about how long various coffee drinks can last from milky coffee to espresso to cold brew and iced coffee.

Keep reading for a detailed answer about how long coffee can last in the fridge!

How Long Can Coffee Last In The Fridge?

How long your coffee lasts in the fridge varies depending on the coffee beverage. Different coffee drinks will spoil at different rates and different times.

Let’s talk about different coffee drinks and how long they last in the fridge.

Brewed Coffee

Keeping your brewed coffee in a sealed container in your fridge will help it to last longer and is likely to be safe to drink for up to 3 to 4 days later when stored in this way. I’d lean closer to the 3 days than the 4 days to be on the safe side.

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee can last much longer in your fridge than brewed black coffee. It is capable of staying fresh for a week to 10 days for regular cold brew coffee. For cold brew concentrate, it is capable of lasting for up to 2 weeks.

To enjoy the flavors that are more vibrant, you are best to enjoy your cold brew coffee and consume it within 5 to 7 days for regular cold brew and 7 to 10 days for a cold brew concentrate.

The reason for the extended shelf life while stored in your fridge is due to a reduced rate of oxidation and the fact that your coffee is brewed at a low temperature.

How Long Can Coffee Last In The Fridge
Cold Brew Coffee Can Last A Long Time In The Fridge

Read: Expired coffee grounds

Espresso

There is no particular reason for you to keep your espresso in your fridge. It’s such a small drink and I simply cannot think of any reason why you’d have excess espresso. If you do, next time be more careful don’t make excess espresso shots and make only the right amount.

Espresso-based drinks like a cappuccino, latte, flat white and so on are perfectly okay to be stored in your fridge. I generally don’t waste coffee but experimented with a variety of milk based espresso beverages. I reheated using both a saucepan and using the microwave.

Due to containing milk, they were only good for 2 days and tasted reasonably okay but with a notable loss in quality of the flavor. Coffee beverages with milk will spoil faster due to the milk going off quicker. You have to be more careful due to the potential of the milk to grow bacteria and mold.

After three days the coffee was not quite off, but I could notice that it was starting to and the flavor was pretty flat all the nuanced flavor that I’d expect from Starbucks. Stick with days and store your coffee in an airtight container.

Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is perfectly okay to store in your fridge as long as you remove the ice as the ice will melt and have a dilution effect on your coffee. Removing the ice from your iced coffee will have a positive effect on your shelf life of your beverage.

Nobody likes to drink watered-down coffee. Your iced coffee is perfectly good to store in your fridge for 2-3 days. Just make sure that you remove the ice cubes and store in a sealed container.

Iced Coffee
Iced Coffee Can Be Kept In Your Fridge

Read: How long does ground coffee last opened?

How Long Does Coffee With Milk Last In The Fridge?

Coffee with milk needs a little extra caution as the milk can cause the deterioration of coffee to accelerate when compared to black coffee. There is the further danger of bacteria and mold forming.

You should treat any coffee drink with milk the same way you would an opened dairy product. You should store the milk in a sealed container and drink it within 2 days. Milky coffee can keep for 3 days in your fridge, but I strongly advise 2 days for health and flavor reasons.

Can I Leave Coffee In The Fridge Overnight?

Yes, your freshly brewed coffee or instant coffee and any type of coffee beverage is perfectly okay to be left in your fridge overnight. Your coffee can stay fresh for 2-3 days in your fridge depending on what type of coffee.

Cold brew can last up to two weeks if it is a concentrated cold brew.

If You coffee is a milky coffee, it is best that you let your drink cool down to room temperature before storing it in your fridge as it tends to stay better that way rather than leaving it in your fridge while it is still hot.

Can I Leave Coffee In The Fridge Overnight
You Can Leave Coffee In The Fridge Overnight

Read: How long does ground coffee last?

How Long Do Coffee Grounds Last In The Fridge?

Coffee grounds and coffee beans can be stored in your fridge perfectly well only if you store them in an opaque and airtight container. Many other coffee aficionados and coffee lovers advise against storing your ground coffee or whole beans in your fridge due to the potential of light and the aromas and flavors of other food items getting absorbed by your coffee.

They unfortunately fail to mention that you can eliminate the effect of both by using a professional opaque coffee canister with an airtight lid. Storing your coffee canister in your fridge helps to reduce the effect of heat which damages your ground coffee.

Your ground coffee can last for 3 to 5 months beyond the expiry date in your fridge. Your fridge will help to maintain and extend the peak flavor window by a few days. The peak flavor of your coffee beans is 3 days after roasting and for 7 to 10 days after.

Storing your coffee in your fridge will get you closer to the 10 days than the 7 days.

Tips For Storing Your Coffee In Your Fridge

There are only one major tip for storing your coffee in your fridge to maximize the effect and potential.

Use an airtight container.

This is the most important tip of all. If you don’t own a professional coffee canister, any airtight container that is opaque will get the job done, just not as good as a coffee canister.

You must keep your beans away from the strong scents and flavors of other food items as coffee is incredibly good at taking on the scents and flavors of other food items. Strong lights, including your fridge light, will have a negative effect.

Your fridge will help to protect your coffee against heat.

This stands true if you are storing brewed coffee, coffee with milk, instant coffee, coffee grounds or whole bean coffee.

The name of the game when it comes to coffee storage is to get the best possible cup of coffee with the freshest possible flavors every single time. For this you need two coffee canisters.

One for storing enough coffee beans to last you 2 weeks. This canister is for storing in your fridge. The rest of your remaining beans store in your other canister and keep this one in your freezer. You beans won’t freeze, but you will keep them that little fresher for two reasons.

  • Slowing down the oxidation process to a literal halt.
  • Less air gets introduced to your canister due to less frequent opening and closing of the canister.

This is how you ensure maximum life for your coffee grounds and coffee beans. Coffee experts are split on the use of a freezer for storing coffee beans. Their claims are based on freezer burn, which, like their concerns over moisture, are eliminated with the use of a professional coffee container.

How Long Does Coffee Effect Last?

The coffee effect, or more accurately put, the caffeine effect, will last for a significant amount of time depending on your own caffeine tolerance and the caffeine effect of the coffee beverage.

Caffeine has a half life of between four hours and six hours depending on your metabolism. If you consume 200 mg of caffeine, 6 hours later you will have 100 mg of caffeine in your body and 50 mg 12 hours later.

For a good night’s sleep, it is wise not to consume caffeine within 8-9 hours of your bedtime.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Can Coffee Last In The Fridge

Yes, but your coffee will not have the same freshness and flavor of a fresh coffee, and even though I don’t recommend drinking coffee that is more than 2 or 3 days old you can still drink it as long as you stored it in an airtight container in your fridge and checked it for mold and any signs that it is off first.

Coffee that is more than a few hours old will have lost its flavor but is still consumable.

Yes, but you must store it in an airtight container to help prevent it from going off due to oxidation and taking on the scents and flavors or other food that is stored near to it. Cold brew and iced coffee will keep better in your fridge than hot coffee.

Yes, but as long as your leftover coffee has not gone off and grown mold or smells and tastes rancid it is okay to drink left over coffee. Brewed coffee has a short window 4 hour window before the coffee oils start going off and the flavor of your coffee going flat.

Coffee beans start to lose their flavor after 2 weeks.

You can make your coffee last longer in your fridge by storing it in an airtight container. A regular container that is not airtight like a carafe, a regular pitcher or the disposable cup that Starbucks coffee comes in are not airtight and will not prevent the exposure to oxygen and the scents of other food items which can get into your coffee.

Regular cold brew is capable of lasting for 7 to 10 days in your fridge. For best results and taste experience I suggest sticking to 5-7 days maximum.

Cold brew concentrate is capable of staying fresher for longer and typically as long as 2 weeks in your fridge as long as you have stored it in an airtight container.

Iced coffee will eventually go bad in your fridge; it is only a matter of time. Keep your iced coffee in ideal conditions, and it is capable of staying fresh for a little longer than hot coffee. You can certainly store it in your fridge for a day or two and have no problem drinking it. Be sure to remove the ice as it will dilute your coffee.

Final Thoughts – How Long Can Coffee Last In The Fridge?

You have the answer to how long can coffee last in the fridge and some good storage tips and techniques that you can use to keep your coffee in perfect conditions while it is in your fridge. 

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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