Does Brewed Coffee Go Bad? – Discover the Actual Shelf Life of Hot and Cold Brewed Coffee

Hello coffee lovers! It’s nice to have your attention once again on the subject of coffee shelf life today.

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. Going by the most recent statistics from the International Coffee Organization (ICO), the world drinks about 1.4 billion cups of this exciting stimulant on a daily basis.

Therefore, today I am going to be focusing on the shelf life of coffee; brewed coffee in particular.

The main question is does brewed coffee go bad. The short answer is “Yes”. It can get stale or taste bitter after 30 minutes of brewing your coffee. If you keep the brewed coffee in your coffee pot for longer than 30 minutes, then due to its oxidization process, its pH level and acidity level increase over time and thus the taste of that coffee could go bad.

The best solution to prevent your brewed coffee from going bad is to store it in airtight coffee thermos after its brewing.

It prohibits your coffee from further oxidization process and thus allows you to increase its shelf life. To know more about the effects of cold brew coffee on our health, I will recommend you to read this NIH.Gov research paper.

I believe that by knowing this information, you as a consumer will be able to improve the quality of your coffee intake and get the most out of this popular stimulant.

So, now that you know the answer, we will go further deep by answering the most obvious questions related to this issue.

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FAQ Regarding the Shelf Life of Brewed Coffee

Whenever I prepare coffee; I often encounter the following questions in mind which I am sure you must be thinking every day.

You must be wondering about the actual time for which your coffee stays fresh. If you mix milk with your coffee then does it last longer by storing it in your refrigerator. Do you know how much time your coffee remains good to drink at room temperature?

Some people also ask that if they can drink a day-old coffee without any health risk. And most importantly, how much time the hot brewed coffee remains good to drink.

These are some of the vital questions you might be facing every day, regarding the shelf life of coffee as a drink. Subsequently, I am going to answer each question one by one to help you understand more about this amazing stimulant.

How Long Does Brewed Coffee Stay Fresh?

As far as the actual time period for which your brewed coffee remains fresh is concerned, the answer is between thirty minutes to two hours, depending on where do you store or keep your coffee after brewing.

For instance, if you put it in an ordinary open coffee mug, it stays fresh for about 30 minutes to at max 1 hour.

However, if the beverage is put in a reliable air sealed coffee thermos, then it can remain unspoiled for up to 1-2 hours. You can find more related information at this article.

As you can see, the secret to making your brewed coffee stay fresh longer is to invest in a quality coffee thermos.

If you are looking for a durable and reliable coffee thermos, then I would recommend checking out Thermos Stainless Steel King 16 Ounce Travel Tumbler. Its specially designed vacuum insulation technology will help you keep your coffee hot for up to 5 hours.

I also recommend you to check out the following video to understand more about the shelf life of cold brew coffee.

How Long Does Coffee with Milk Last in the Fridge?

Nonetheless, some people love their coffee with milk in it. Others will want to brew their milky coffee in large quantities and store it in the fridge for gradual consumption.

The essence of this is to avoid having to brew coffee every time you want to consume this beverage. It’s time-saving and convenient choice by the way.

Having said that, it’s important for you to be aware about how long does your coffee remains drinkable when you mix milk in it. Milk or skim milk is a perishable product and should be consumed as quickly as possible.

When you keep your coffee with milk in it outside at room temperature for more than 2 hours, then it starts to become stale or bitter. Therefore, if you plan to mix milk in your daily beverage, then I will recommend not to keep it for more than 2 hours at room temperature.

In the fridge, it can stay a little bit longer. The usual expiration date for all types of milk is about 7-10 days.

Therefore, don’t expect your coffee with milk to last longer than 7-10 days too.

In 7 days or sometimes less than that, you should consume your cold brewed coffee if you mix milk in it and store it in the refrigerator.

So, on average; coffee with milk usually stays fresh for max 7-10 days if stored properly in your fridge. My suggestion is to store cold brewed coffee and milk separately in your fridge and mix them whenever you need to drink your coffee.

How Long can Black Coffee Sit Out at Room Temperature?

When it comes to the maximum length of time for which black coffee can sit out at room temperature, the answer is still between 30 minutes and 2 hours.

It also depends on your storage method, whether that be an insulated rambler or a sealed coffee thermos.

Another factor is sugar. Adding sugar to your beverage beforehand can significantly reduce its lifespan, even by half, with room temperature storage.

That’s because the sugary solution creates an incredible environment for bacteria to thrive, causing your coffee to go bad faster.

That said, avoid adding sugar to your black coffee beforehand if you wish to have it stay fresh longer at room temperature.

Is Drinking a Day Old Coffee Bad for Your Health?

There are so many wild speculations out there, regarding the potential health ramifications of drinking coffee that has gone stale. Some rumors claim it can make you fall sick, suggesting a number of severe health conditions.

But it goes without saying that drinking expired coffee may or may not have an impact on your health.

The only problem of drinking a day old coffee is that the beverage will not smell and taste as good as fresh coffee.

And in some instances, the taste and smell may be so unbearable that you might end up vomiting it. I think many people confuse that with falling ill.

A day old cold brew coffee will remain fresh if you store it in a sealed coffee thermos properly. It is best if you store it in your fridge.

At room temperature, your coffee does not last longer than 2 hours as mentioned already. So, its best to drink a day old coffee by storing it inside a thermos or in a refrigerator.

You won’t face any health issues if you store your coffee properly. You can even make use of your microwave oven to heat it the next day to eliminate any signs of bacteria in your coffee.

How Long Does Hot Brewed Coffee Last?

Before I wrap up on this section, let me say something about hot brewed coffee vs cold brew one in regards to the shelf lives of each.

For starters, hot brew coffee is one created by pouring hot water onto the coffee powder, then allowing the solution to brew in the brewer for a few hours. The fans of this type of coffee argue that it has a flavorful taste and a more full-bodied profile than the cold brew coffee.

Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, is a coffee drink, which has been prepared by soaking ground coffee in room temperature water for a few hours and then taking out the residue for a clean beverage without sediment.

Unlike regular coffee, cold brew is never exposed to heat. Since cold brew uses time as opposed to heat to extract the beverage’s caffeine, sugars, and oils; its proponents believe that it offers a better taste than hot brewed coffee. You can read more about the difference between both types of coffee by reading this article.

But the tastes of hot brewed coffee and cold-brewed coffee is a story for another day. For now, let’s focus on the shelf lives of the two types of coffees.

It’s worth noting that hot brewed coffee, which is the most common type of coffee out there will last longer than the cold-brewed coffee, which is gradually gaining popularity.

That’s attributed to the fact that, during the preparation process of the former, the heat kills all the bacteria that are responsible for causing the beverage to go bad.

Bacteria, most of which are airborne, are only able to get into it once again when the drink is poured into an open coffee cup. And as it cools down, more and more bacteria take up residency and begin to thrive in the drink.

This bacterial infection is what causes the drink to go bad, and all that usually happens between 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on whether it’s stored in airtight coffee container or not.

It should be noted that, if stored in a refrigerator, cold-brewed coffee can stay fresh for as long as its hot brewed counterpart can. That’s a duration of roughly 7-14 days.

So, if you want to make a larger quantity of coffee which you will be able to consume for many days; make sure it doesn’t exceed 2 weeks.

It’s also a good idea to invest in a reliable coffee thermos which will help you prevent bacterial infection causing your cold brewed coffee to go bad.


Do you love indulging in coffee just like millions of other people around the globe?

If yes, I hope this article helped you to learn a thing or two about the shelf life of brewed coffee and how to prevent your coffee from going bad too quickly.

Brewed coffee can last between 30 minutes and 2 hours, of course depending on whether it is sealed or not. If you store it in the refrigerator, its shelf life is, of course, improved up to 7-14 days.

Whether you consume hot brewed coffee or cold brew coffee, you should not exceed its shelf life for obvious health concerns.

If stored outside the refrigerator, brewed coffee can barely last a few hours before going bad. If stored in the refrigerator, on the other hand, it can last up to 7-14 days max; especially if it is sealed properly.


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