The key to fresh-tasting coffee is proper storage. Ground coffee and coffee beans will not stay fresh indefinitely unless you take appropriate precautions. Thus, many people prefer to freeze or refrigerate coffee to preserve its freshness. But the question is: How long will refrigerated coffee last?
Coffee beans stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks, while coffee grounds remain fresh for 1-2 weeks. Brewed hot coffee (without milk) is drinkable for up to 4 days. Brewed hot coffee (with milk) can be stored for maximum of 2 days in the fridge. There can be slight variation in taste. Cold-brew coffee can be stored for up to 2 weeks.
How Long Can Coffee Stay In The Refrigerator?
Coffee beans will remain fresh in the fridge for 2-4 weeks if properly stored. Coffee grounds can stay fresh for around 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. However, you have to make sure you have put it in an airtight conditioner, or else your coffee will get freezer burn.
|Different Coffee Types And Their Storage Durations in a Fridge|
|Type of coffee||Maximum Storage Duration|
|Coffee beans||2-4 weeks|
|Ground Coffee||1-2 weeks|
|Brewed Coffee (without milk)||4 days|
|Brewed Coffee (with milk)||4 hours- 2 days|
|Cold Brew||2 weeks|
Why Do We Put Coffee In The Fridge?
We put coffee in the fridge to preserve its freshness. The culprit behind stale coffee is the phenomenon of oxidation. Once roasted, coffee beans and coffee grounds are immediately affected by the oxidation process. Coffee grounds contain a variety of oils, chemicals, and acids. When coffee grounds and coffee beans come into contact with air, their taste and scent begin to deteriorate as soluble compounds start to oxidize.
Thus, oxygen (air) is a major no-no when it comes to coffee, and you must do everything you can to prevent the interaction with air. If you grind coffee and brew it right away, it will taste different than when you brew it a few hours after grinding. In fact, changes are noticeable even within minutes.
Temperature, dampness, and other spices or foods in your cupboards can also alter the taste of the coffee. However, oxygen is the major variable in coffee aging. That’s why coffee chains use airtight containers to store their beans. When we put coffee in an airtight container and store it in the fridge or freezer, the coffee is kept away from air and moisture which helps in lasting it much better in a fridge.
Does Coffee Go Bad In The Fridge?
Coffee does not expire in the fridge or even outside the refrigerator. That is why there is no expiration date on coffee packages. However, coffee does get stale. Keeping it in the fridge can help to keep it fresh. There are some debates on it. Some people believe that coffee beans and coffee grounds or even brewed coffee should not be kept in the fridge because coffee absorbs aromas from its surrounding. Thus, the taste will be bad, and the coffee will have incorporated every bad smell into it.
Some people say a fridge is not cold enough to keep coffee fresh, so you should keep it in a freezer. On the other hand, other people have had a positive experience with refrigerating coffee and said that coffee stays fresh for longer in the fridge. Therefore, coffee may go bad or stay fresh in the fridge depending upon your fridge settings, storage types, and even the type of coffee you are using.
How Long Can You Keep Brewed Coffee In The Refrigerator?
Yes, brewed coffee can be stored in the refrigerator. The major tip here is to cover the cup adequately. You can cover the top of the cup with plastic wrap and then put another cap on top. This way, the coffee will not absorb the aromas of the other food stored in the fridge and will taste fresh.
Hot Brewed Coffee
Brewed coffee will stay drinkable for up to 4 days if stored in a fridge. The beauty of brewed coffee is that it remains fresh for up to four hours, even outside the refrigerator. You only have to heat it up, add milk or creamer, and you are good to go. Brewed coffee gets bitter when you reheat it, though. This is not a bad thing, but if you do not like bitter coffee, drink it immediately and do not let it go bad.
If your coffee already contains milk, then we advise consuming it within an hour or two because the milk in the coffee can go bad. Always make sure you smell milky coffee for signs of spoilage before drinking it, or you could get stomach problems.
Milk must be kept in the fridge or outside the fridge at a temperature of at least 4.4°C in order to be safe to drink. Beyond 4.4 degrees, milk slowly starts to degrade. Bacteria enter the milk if the temperature increases, and they begin to spread quickly. Thus, if you’ve put milk in your coffee, you only have two hours to drink it before it spoils. According to Healthline, drinking spoiled coffee can increase your chances of getting foodborne sickness.
You can store cold brew for up to 12 days in your fridge. Thus, you will not have to make a fresh batch of cold brew every time you are craving some iced coffee.
You also have the option of filing an icecube tray with the cold brew and freezing it. You can use this to make iced coffee, and it will taste much better than a simple cold brew in a fridge. The ice cubes are usable for up to 3 weeks, but we recommend using them within 10-12 days.
If your cold brew has milk added to it, then you can only store it in the fridge for 1-2 days. Milky iced coffee will only taste good while it’s fresh, so keeping it in the refrigerator is not a good option. Milk can go rancid quickly, and the resulting coffee will taste stale.
Why Does My Coffee Taste Strange After Refrigeration?
While refrigerating is a good idea when you do not want to waste coffee, it is generally not advised to keep coffee in the refrigerator because it tastes bad later. Coffee beans are seeds, and when fresh coffee beans are roasted, they shed water and begin to caramelize, thus producing sugar. Since they are dehydrated after being roasted, they absorb moisture from the environment.
There is indeed a lot of moisture in the refrigerator because of the abundance of food in it. As a result, both whole beans and particularly ground coffee can rapidly absorb that water. The reaction of coffee and even milk moisture starts the brewing process on a small scale had practically started at that time. This means that coffee has started brewing before you have begun brewing! In short, you are drinking old coffee when you use coffee that has been in the refrigerator.
Coffee can be stored in the fridge if your primary concern is not to waste coffee. However, we always recommend grinding fresh beans and making a new brew every time. Fresh coffee always tastes better than stored fridge coffee. Reheating it can cause bitterness, and not everyone likes that!