When it comes to storing coffee, few people would think of the fridge as the best place to keep it.
However, the question tends to pop up now and then: How long does coffee last in the fridge?
The answer really depends on how you're storing the coffee and why you plan on it keeping it chilled in the first place.
If you're just trying to keep the beans fresh, the answer probably is never. But if you plan on using a fresh batch of brewed coffee later on in the week, keep reading to find out how long you can store it for.
How Long Does Coffee Last in the Fridge
The simple answer is 1-2 weeks, depending on how you plan on using it.
But first, keep in mind we're talking about coffee that has actually been brewed and not just ground beans in a package.
If you're planning on storing coffee in the fridge without brewing it first, think again. While it might seem intuitive to store the ground beans in a cool place to increase the shelf-life, this actually isn't the greatest idea. The reasoning is moisture will get into the package, often as a result of the change in temperatures.
And while you might think the fridge is the best place to store it, the result would probably be a diminishing effect as far as the flavor goes.
The best place to store packaged coffee is in a cool dry spot, away from any unnecessary moisture. Consider keeping it in an opaque container that is sealed with an air-tight lid, preventing any contaminants from getting in.
If you're really serious about quality and flavor, by the way, consider something like the Coffeevac 1 lb. Designed to keep your coffee fresh and its flavor intact, this little guy can be stored on counter tops and in pantries.
So What About Brewed Coffee?
Now that we've addressed the initial question, let's consider coffee that has actually been brewed.
Depending on the quality of the brew, fresh coffee can last in the fridge for about a week or so before you really start to notice a diminish in taste. After the first week, however, the flavor starts to degrade and eventually has to be thrown out.
But this isn't to say that coffee doesn't taste bad in the fridge. Depending on how you reuse and reheat the brew, it can actually preserve the quality of the coffee. But again, keep an open mind when considering how you plan on using the actual coffee. More on this further down.
What's the Best Way to Store Coffee in the Fridge?
The best course of action is to keep the coffee in a tightly sealed container. This prevents it from absorbing flavors from that leftover saur kraut and sausage you've been saving for tomorrow's dinner.
All kidding aside, keeping coffee sealed will preserve its taste and yes, prevent it from taking the flavor of other items in the fridge.
So keep it in a container, and as always, put a lid on it.
Better yet, add dairy to it and create a batch of flavored coffee. Not only does the dairy help preserve the flavor, it will keep the coffee tasting good, rather than the bitter and sour taste of the leftover brew.
Avoid Reheating the Coffee
Probably the biggest cardinal sin you can commit when trying to keep coffee fresh is reheating it in a microwave.
While the natural inclination is to store coffee in a fridge and reheat it for later, you actually end up destroying most of the flavor.
Coffee that has been reheated, or worse, left sitting out will naturally lose its aroma pleasing smell and end up tasting sour. If you really enjoy a good cup of coffee, just stick to making a fresh batch every time.
And better yet, keep it out of the fridge
Related Post: What's the Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew?
Is There Any Real Reason to Store Coffee in the Fridge?
It should be pretty obvious by now that if you plan on keeping coffee in the fridge, you probably are not too concerned with the quality of flavor.
That said, this doesn't mean keeping coffee in the fridge is a bad idea. If you plan on making iced coffee, for example, storing it in a fridge definitely won't hurt it.
However, you do want to keep in mind that iced coffee isn't quite the same as a fresh cup of the piping hot stuff we all enjoy.
Iced coffee actually isn't even brewed. Rather, its made by slow-straining the beans in room temperature water for about 24 hours, creating that rich and bitter taste we all enjoy.
When created this way, iced coffee will naturally taste better when stored in the fridge. If left undiluted, it will keep for close to two weeks. As with regular coffee, however, the flavor starts to diminish after the first week.
In the end, it's probably just a good idea to keep your coffee stored on a shelf. If you really have a craving for the hot stuff, make a fresh brew.
Not only will storing coffee in a fridge destroy its natural flavors, it probably won't extend the shelf-life for very long. If you're to keep your packaged coffee safe, consider purchasing a Coffeevac 1 lb to keep your beans fresh and dry.
If you plan on making iced coffee, however, a fridge is a natural place to store it. In this instance, keeping coffee in a fridge is generally safe for about 1-2 weeks.
Whatever you do, keep in mind that if you plan on still storing coffee in a fridge, it probably won't taste near as good as if you just created a hot batch straight from your machine. If you ever reheat the coffee the flavor will definitely change. Depending on how sensitive your tongue is, it might not even taste good.
If you have any questions, feel free to list them in the comments below!
My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Ag Ferrari, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.