Freshly brewed coffee is a terrific drink to enjoy in the morning or at other times of the day. Several variables, including temperature, air exposure, and storage technique influence your morning coffee’s shelf life.
We all know the old coffee won’t taste nice forever, but when will it taste bad? However, add into the equation cold brewed coffee made by brewing coffee grounds overnight and using cold water long brewing process rather than brewing coffee hot.
While it isn’t like sipping on a cup of drip coffee, it doesn’t use hot water so it can make a change during the day. Besides having a different brewing method, can you leave cold brew on the kitchen counter longer?
In our guide, you can learn more about how to make cold brew coffee, and then does coffee go bad if left out? By the end, you’ll better understand your cold brew coffee and, ultimately, how long can iced coffee sit out. (Read Average Size Of Coffee Cup Guide)
Cold Brew Coffee Basics?
There is a lot of discussion over how long cold brew coffee should be left out. Some people think cold brew concentrate can only be left out for a short while, while others believe day-old coffee is fine to drink.
So, how long can cold brew coffee be left outside? There is a significant difference between cold brew coffee and other coffee. Cold brew coffee is less acidic and doesn’t possess the coffee grounds bitterness as it is brewed for longer, using a lower temperature.
In addition, you’ll find your cold brew naturally contains less caffeine than regular brewed coffee. So, how long can coffee sit on the kitchen counter if you make cold brew?
In ideal conditions, cold brews can sit for up to 24 hours. However, it is advised to consume this within 12 hours following brewing. Further advice recommends keeping your cold brew coffee in the refrigerator if you won’t consume it within 12 hours.
Cold brew can be stored for up to two weeks in the fridge, yet the flavor changes if kept for too long. Ensure you use an airtight storage container inside the refrigerator, and haven’t added milk, as this iced coffee will only stay fresh for 3 to 4 days.
How Long Can You Leave Cold Brew Coffee At Room Temp?
It can take around 16 hours to brew, yet you won’t get any unpleasant woody notes if you brew for up to 20 hours. Cold brew is made without heat by steeping coffee grounds in cold water with medium to coarse grains.
Making cold brew is like making hot coffee, and you can use a French press for more control. The coffee oils and flavors must be extracted in cold brew, which takes longer as the water isn’t heated.
As a result, you can experience a smooth and rich infused coffee from your chosen bean; coffee has lower acidity and won’t be bitter. (Learn How Much Creamer To Add To Coffee)
Can You Drink Cold Brew If It’s Left Out Overnight?
It is these additions that cause the problem rather than the coffee itself. The issue is they contain protein and carbs, which are conducive to bacteria growth. Milk is a prime example, so if you add this to your cold brew, you’ll find the coffee is unsafe to drink within a couple of hours.
It is usual for a black coffee to sit out for 4-5 hours, but the flavor changes if left too long before drinking. Likewise, as soon as you have fresh ground. Coffee experts advise making and drinking coffee within 30 minutes of brewing.
If you brew and keep it in the refrigerator, ensure you keep it in an airtight container to extend the shelf life.
How Long Can Coffee Sit Out With Added Creamer
Coffee mixed with creamer or added milk can sit at room temperature for up to two hours without going bad.
After that time, the coffee will spoil and develop an off taste and foul odor. If you want to keep your coffee fresh for longer, it is best to store it in an airtight storage container in the fridge to help maintain the original flavor.
How Long Can Latte Sit Before It Goes Bad
Coffee begins to taste bitter after about 30 minutes, or while it takes for the coffee to cool, much like when coffee beans begin to rancid similar after about two weeks. After drinking coffee for about an hour, the oils will deteriorate and change the taste.
So, if you have Starbucks coffee, it is advised not to keep it in the Starbucks coffee cups and transfer it to another container before placing it in the fridge.
Does Cold Brew Brewing Need To Be Done In The Fridge?
Both are possible, and you may decide whether to brew yours cold or at room temperature. However, the outcomes can change slightly.
1. Brew inside the fridge
The most significant distinction is that steeping in the fridge takes longer than outside. The steeping period for cold brew ranges from 8 to 24 hours. That includes both inside and outside the fridge steeping your cold brew.
In water, caffeine dissolves pretty quickly. And it takes roughly 8 hours for cold brew in the fridge to remove all the caffeine from the coffee. However, it takes a little longer because of various compounds in the coffee grounds that add to the taste.
The taste will somewhat alter for up to 24 hours, which doesn’t matter after that, as steeping the coffee for over 24 hours serves no purpose. Check which you like best. A more extended steeping period will create a greater flavor. However, as cold brew often has a mild taste, this is not necessarily bad.
2. Brew Outside Fridge
As stated, the steeping period may be slightly shorter outside the refrigerator. The coffee is extracted slightly more effectively with warmer water than with a cold brew steep.
Like in the fridge, it will take a little longer for the taste to fully develop at room temperature as the caffeine takes roughly 4-6 hours to extract, with a full taste after 12 hours, so you can make a big batch if needed.
As a result, brewing outside the refrigerator requires less time, so if you need a quicker brew overnight, the best steeping process is outside the fridge. The taste of the coffee in the fridge may fluctuate outside because of variations in the extraction time and water temperature. (Learn How Many Times Can You Reuse Coffee Grounds)
How to keep cold brew longer
Keeping your fresh coffee in an airtight container is the best option. As soon as you’re done brewing it, please place it in airtight containers, as your coffee will keep for a more extended period.
Get a few sealed containers that are small enough to hold your daily coffee ration if you want to take it a step further. Frozen is another additional solution. Although you could lose a small amount of taste throughout the freezing and thawing process, this will help keep it fresh for a long time. It takes some time before you can drink it.
Make cold brew ice cubes if you prefer a cold brew with a lot of caffeine and don’t like it diluted with ice. You can gain an ice-cold drink in this way without using additional water. You can even purchase a dedicated cold brew container to make brewing cold brew easier, as they come with a built-in filter.
Why brewed coffee tastes stale after sitting for a few hours?
Oxidization is the key reason plain black coffee tastes stale at room temperature. The flavors come from highly volatile aromatic compounds released with hot water from your ground coffee.
Generally speaking, plain black coffee can stay fresh longer before the flavor begins to degrade in your coffee maker, and you lose the pleasant fragrance and lack its flavor profile.
Fridge-storing brewed coffee slows oxidation to make your coffee last longer. Remember, you need to use a tightly sealed container to avoid coffee absorbing flavors of other foods and stay safe to drink.
Can I Drink Day Old Coffee?
Experts don’t recommend drinking day-old coffee; it could have gone rancid and had an unpleasant taste and smell. Coffee that hasn’t been chilled and drunk right away may grow mold. In addition, your stomach may experience some issues.
As advised by the FDA, milk won’t stay fresh at room temperature for longer than two hours. So even when you store the day-old milk-based coffee in the fridge for your safety, please don’t drink it; instead, make another cup of good coffee.
How Long Does Caffeine Stay In Brewed Coffee?
Caffeine is stable and does not evaporate or dissipate after brewing, unlike other volatile flavor ingredients. The absence of flavor and aroma may be noticeable, but not caffeine. After a few hours, the amount of caffeine in your cup of coffee will not change from when it was first brewed.
Therefore, you may still make it the day before, your coffee is safe to drink, and the caffeine content will stay the same, so you get a caffeine boost without worrying about the flavor of the coffee. (Learn How Long Does Coffee With Milk Last In The Fridge)
Conclusion of Cold Brew Concentrate and Brewed Coffee
In the fridge, black coffee can be stored for longer than 24 hours. Some people think you can keep black coffee in for a week in the refrigerator, but why would you do that?
You shouldn’t make more coffee than you can drink in a day, even if your coffee maker can make a 12-cup carafe of coffee. As soon as you can, drink it. You should keep the cold brew concentrate in the fridge for no longer than two weeks unless you make your own.
Many fans of cold brew coffee do this; they make a jar of cold brew concentrate and brew it anytime they want, diluting it with water or milk. As we have discussed, you can increase your coffee’s flavor and shelf life by brewing it and keeping it at a lower temperature.