We all sometimes wake up so late that we have just a little bit of time before heading to work. But no matter what, a cup of coffee is something that most of us can’t start the day without.
So, what if you don’t have time to brew fresh coffee in the morning? Can you put hot coffee in the fridge at night and use it the next day? How long can coffee stay good if you don’t drink it right after it’s been brewed?
We’re here to answer all these questions, so keep on reading.
Can you put hot coffee in the fridge?
Nothing beats the taste and aroma of hot coffee, but in some cases, you might want to have some tasty cold coffee instead. Hot coffee can burn your tongue if it’s too hot or might cause pain if you have sensitive teeth. Also, you might not have time to brew fresh coffee in the morning, or you might want to try a drink with iced coffee instead.
But the good news is that you can definitely keep hot coffee in the fridge. The temperature will drop, and your cold coffee can last for a few days, as long as you store it properly. Then, when it’s needed, you can reheat your coffee or use it in cold beverages.
Although next-day coffee doesn’t go stale or taste acidic, it won’t taste as good once it’s reheated. Nevertheless, if this is your only option, you can certainly enjoy your reheated coffee.
How can you store coffee in the fridge?
Leaving your coffee on the desk changes its taste and makes it bitter because of the oxidation process. This is also why you should keep your coffee beans in an airtight container.
You can’t just grab a cup of coffee and put it in the fridge overnight or for a few days. If you do this, after reheating the coffee, you’ll notice that its taste has changed drastically, and it doesn’t taste as good. Moreover, it will lose its aroma and start to smell like the food you’re keeping in your fridge.
The best way to store coffee in the fridge is to keep it in a mason jar or an airtight container. (I use something like this.) Fill the container to its top, ensuring there isn’t a lot of air, and then tighten the lid. This will slow down the oxidation process and limit its effect, so your coffee won’t taste as bad.
By keeping your coffee in a closed airtight container, you’re also preventing it from picking up other odors from the fridge. As a result, your coffee will lose some of its smell and aroma, but it won’t smell like the food in the fridge, which can be a huge turnoff for any coffee lover.
How long will coffee stay good in the fridge?
This depends on how you store it. If you keep your coffee in a regular cup, you should drink it between 30 minutes and an hour after leaving it in the fridge. After that, the coffee will start picking up odors from the fridge, and it will taste bitter.
If you add milk or creamer to your coffee, you should consume it within 2 days after putting it in the fridge. Even if you keep it in an airtight container, the milk will get spoiled, and the coffee won’t be safe to consume.
This also applies to espresso-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. The milk can go bad and spoil the taste of the coffee if you keep it for more than a couple of days.
Black coffee can last longer. Coffee can stay safe for a week or two after it’s been brewed, as long as you’re keeping it in an airtight container. However, it tastes better within a few days, so it’s best to consume cold coffee within 3 to 4 days.
If you have iced coffee or a cold coffee-based drink with ice cubes, you can keep it in the fridge only until the ice cubes melt. When the ice cubes melt, they will water down the coffee and change its consistency and texture, so your drink won’t taste as good. Then, you can remove the coffee cubes to make the coffee last a little longer.
How to brew coffee for iced coffee?
There are several ways to brew iced coffee. You can either prepare cold brew coffee or keep hot coffee in the fridge and use it to prepare iced coffee.
Cold brew coffee is made using freshly ground coffee and cold or room temperature water. After keeping the coffee in water for up to 24 hours, you’ll have cold brew coffee, which tastes stronger and more concentrated than hot brew coffee.
If you have hot coffee, you can still use it to prepare iced coffee. You can keep the coffee in the fridge until it gets cooler and then pour it over some ice cubes to enjoy your cold drink. You can also pour the hot coffee directly over the ice cube to instantly decrease its temperature.
You’ll notice that some ice cubes have started to melt because of the coffee’s hot temperature. After that, pour your cold coffee into another glass filled with ice cubes and serve your drink.
For this method, you should pay attention to the amount of water used in brewing your coffee. When the ice cubes melt, they’ll add to the water content, so your drink might be too watery.
Sometimes you end up saving your hot coffee for later, turning it into iced coffee. But you may want to brew coffee specifically to make iced coffee out of, in which case a stronger-than-usual brew will compensate for the ice cubes melting and keep the coffee from tasting weak or watery.
Can I make coffee last longer?
There are other options to help you make coffee last longer. If you don’t want to keep coffee in the fridge, you can store it as ice cubes or keep it in a thermos.
Freezing your coffee is a great option, especially if you like cold coffee drinks. You can prepare a big batch of black coffee and keep it in an ice cube tray until it’s needed. Coffee ice cubes can be used to make several types of cold coffee-based drinks.
A thermos will keep your coffee hot for up to 12 hours. This option will work for you if you want to reheat your coffee because even after 12 hours, the coffee will stay warm, so you won’t have to spend much time reheating it. Coffee will also taste better and fresher than the one you’re keeping in the fridge.
Can you keep coffee beans in the fridge?
Although you can keep coffee beans in the fridge, this isn’t the optimum way to store them. It’s best to keep ground coffee in an airtight container and store it in a dark, cool place. If you don’t seal your coffee container in the fridge, it will pick up odors from the food you’re storing, and it won’t be suitable for use.
Whole beans can last a little bit longer than ground coffee beans in the fridge, as long as you store them in an airtight container. However, ground coffee has a bigger surface area, so it’s more susceptible to oxidation damage that changes its taste and odor.
So, if you’re not planning to use your coffee within a short period, you should keep the beans whole and grind them only when needed, as this will help lengthen the life of your coffee.
You can keep coffee in the fridge for a few days and up to a couple of weeks, and it won’t go bad, as long as you don’t add milk to it. However, the taste of coffee changes significantly during this period, so it’s best consumed within 3 to 4 days. If you add milk to your coffee, you should consume it within a couple of days.