How Long Coffee Can Sit out?

coffee cup

You can drink brewed coffee in the morning or on any other day. Many people like it because of how good it tastes and smells. But how long can that hot liquid sits out before it goes wrong?

How long brewed coffee stays safe to drink depends on the temperature, how much air it gets, and how you store it.

We all know coffee won’t taste good forever, but when will it start to taste bad? Can you drink coffee that’s a day old? How to keep the coffee fresh and flavorful for longer? This post covers how long coffee can sit out and the consequences of drinking it after the expiration date.

Coffee Shelf Life- How Long Does It Keep?

Freshly brewed coffee loses its flavor at room temperature after 30 minutes. A few more hours after brewing, the coffee would lose its aromatic components and develop off-flavors and a bitter taste.

Keeping a cup of basic black coffee at room temperature for more than 24 hours is possible. Even when its original flavor has gone, it is safe to eat. On the other hand, hot coffee with milk or creamer should not be left out for more than an hour or two.

This is true for almond milk coffee, as well. Never leave your latte or cappuccino on the counter for more than two hours without throwing it out.

It’s widely accepted that brewed black coffee can be stored in the refrigerator for a week. You should drink it within 10 to 14 days if you’re making a cold brew.

Furthermore, the container you store your coffee determines how well the flavor is preserved, regardless of how hot or cold it is and how long coffee can sit out.

How Long Does Fresh Coffee Stay Good?

Coffee is only suitable for 30 minutes after brewing, according to those particular about the flavor of their caffeinated beverage. If you keep your coffee out for an extended period, it will become rancid. However, different people have different ideas about what it means to “go bad.”

On the contrary, some people enjoy making a large pot of drip coffee every week, consuming it throughout the week without even chilling it. But what happens to your coffee if you decide to let it out for that long How long coffee can sit out? Let’s see.

The Flavor will Deteriorate

Coffee loses its freshness due to oxidation, a chemical reaction. This reaction occurs relatively frequently. Electrons are transferred from one molecule to the next.

The oxidation of volatile aromatic chemicals is what gives coffee its distinctive flavor. This is how the taste is wiped away. At higher temperatures, this process occurs more quickly than at lower temperatures. Because of this, you may maintain the flavor of your beverage longer with cold brews.

Most of the flavor and aroma of your newly brewed coffee will be gone until it has cooled down, which generally takes approximately 30 minutes.

Also, if you left your espresso out overnight, the volatile compounds that give it flavor would disperse in the air until they were gone.

Your afternoon cup of coffee would smell even worse if it were reheated from the morning. A vacuum-insulated thermal coffee mug will be a better investment if you frequently do this. You won’t have to reheat your brew again because it won’t go wrong and stays warm till the afternoon.

As a result, storing your coffee in a tightly-sealed container will prolong the freshness of the flavor.

Keeping your coffee in the fridge at a lower temperature might help preserve its scent. Keeping the beverage in an airtight container is essential, as coffee absorbs flavors from other items in the refrigerator.

When storing your coffee, remember that its pleasant flavor will diminish over time, no matter where you keep it or what type of container you choose for storage. Adding oxidation to the bitterness would make it even more potent and abrasive.

If you’re used to drinking coffee with milk, creamer, and sugar, this won’t be a problem. Remember to add the milk or creamer right before you take a sip. If this is the case, you don’t have to worry about the taste of day-old coffee.

Interesting Fact- Coffee that has gone bad can be disguised with scorching hot coffee at some places (restaurants, motels, gas stations, etc.). After all, the taste of a caffeinated beverage is obscured by a burning tongue. As soon as you take a sip, you realize how terrible and bitter the coffee is. Some people like to add a dash of salt to their coffee to lessen the astringency.

How Long Can You Drink Black Coffee Without Risk?

The good news is that black coffee is the safest drink if it has been sitting out, whether you brew it at home or treat yourself to the pot at work. It is safe to eat even if it is many hours old. You might have to compromise on taste.

Keeping track of how long it’s been since it was brewed is still a bright idea. A cup of coffee has two landmarks:

  • After thirty minutes, the flavor starts to fade.
  • After 4 hours, it becomes more acidic as the coffee oils oxidize.

It is quite acceptable to make a large pot and help yourself to it throughout the morning. You can feel comfortable pouring yourself a coffee cup for a 2 pm or 3 pm afternoon pick-me-up if it was made at lunch.

How Long is it Safe to Drink Milk with Coffee?

If milk has been left out for more than two hours, it is unsafe to ingest. If you’ve added milk to your coffee, drink it within this two-hour time frame to avoid the milk spoiling.

It isn’t simply regular milk. This rule of thumb applies to everything perishable you put in your coffee, such as:

  • Flavored Creamer
  • Half and Half
  • Dairy milk alternatives such as Oat milk or Almond milk

The bottom line- If you took something out of the refrigerator and put it in your coffee, you will need to consume it within the next couple of hours.

Can Coffee be Microwaved to Kill Bacteria?

Putting your food in the microwave is an excellent way to kill bacteria. The CDC says your home microwave can kill bacteria and viruses in as little as a minute.

The problem is that microwaves don’t heat everything the same. Your drink or food will often still have cold spots in its middle. Microwaves with more power can disinfect better, and energy varies from product to product.

You can heat your coffee in the microwave to get it back to the right temperature, but if you’ve added milk or creamer, don’t count on making your drink safe.

Lastly, if taste and acidity are important to you in the perfect cup of coffee, you should drink them as soon as possible.

In general, you can leave the coffee for up to four hours before the oils in the coffee start to go wrong. Adding milk lets it sit out for up to two hours. Keeping this time frame in mind will help ensure that your coffee is safe to drink.

How Long will Brew Coffee Keep in the Refrigerator?

Putting brewed coffee in the fridge can slow down the process of oxidation and make the coffee last longer. Don’t forget to keep the coffee in a container with a tight lid. You don’t want the coffee to pick up the tastes of other foods in the fridge.

Black coffee can be kept in the fridge for more than 24 hours. Some people think that black coffee can be held in the refrigerator for a week, but why would you do that? Even if your coffee maker can make a 12-cup coffee, you don’t want to make more coffee than you can drink in a day.

As soon as possible, drink it. If you don’t make the cold brew concentrate, you can keep it in the fridge for two weeks in an airtight jar. Many people who like cold brew coffee do this: they make a jar of cold brew concentrate and add water or milk to it whenever they want to drink coffee.

Can you Drink Yesterday’s Coffee?

We know you don’t want to throw away coffee from yesterday. We don’t think it’s a good idea to drink coffee that’s more than a day old, especially if it’s gone bad and smells and tastes bad. Even if it doesn’t, the coffee won’t be delicious because it was just made. Do something nice for yourself, like make another cup.

If you don’t keep brewed coffee in the fridge and down it, mold can grow. That might make you feel sick to your stomach.

As the FDA said, at room temperature, milk won’t stay fresh for more than 2 hours. Don’t drink milk-based coffee from the day before, even if you put it in the fridge for your good.

How Long Does Coffee’s Caffeine Stay?

Unlike other volatile flavor components, caffeine stays the same after brewing. It doesn’t evaporate or go away in any other way. You may notice no smell or taste, but you won’t feel the caffeine.

The caffeine in your coffee would remain the same as when it was freshly brewed. So, if you want the caffeine kick and don’t care about how good the coffee tastes, you can still use coffee sitting out for a day.

What Causes Coffee to go Stale?

Worse yet, oxidized coffee has an unpleasant stale flavor. Highly flammable and quickly oxidizable aromatic molecules are the basis of coffee’s peculiar flavor characteristics.

The brewing of coffee is the first step in a long sequence of chemical processes that culminate in caffeine creation. Hot water infusing your ground coffee releases its potent smell, causing the oils and flavors of the beverage to begin to lose their intensity.

That’s why we use water at 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. To avoid a bitter brew, avoid using hot water when making coffee. At such a high temperature, the scent and flavor will swiftly evaporate.

After brewing, the oxidation will continue. Air oxygen breaks down and reacts with several coffee components. Even though it’s safe to eat and drink, the flavor and aroma will diminish.

Higher temperatures speed up this oxidation process, so that cold brew coffee retains its flavor for longer, but coffee left on the hot plate of your coffee maker quickly degrades into a more bitter substance.

FAQs- How Long Coffee Can Sit out?

How long does coffee last before it goes bad?

Even a brand-new pot of coffee can start to taste old after 30 minutes, but black coffee shouldn’t go bad unless it’s been sitting out for more than a day. Consume cold coffee or cold brew concentrate within twelve hours (if you don’t add milk).

Can mold grow overnight on old coffee?

Most brewed coffee can become a mold breeding ground if left out at room temperature for even a single night.

What causes coffee to go bad when stored for too long?

The oxygen in the air brings about the disintegration of those delicate fragrance components. Even with the best coffee maker or French press, the taste will fade after 30 minutes.

Can you taste leftover coffee?

In this case, the response is a resounding “no.” No matter how good your store-brewed coffee, diner coffee, or fresh pot was at first, coffee sitting around for a while tends to taste bitter and stale.

How long does cold-brewed coffee last?

Cold brew typically lasts seven to ten days when kept in the refrigerator. But experts wouldn’t suggest keeping it at room temperature for more than 3 or 4 days before drinking it. Adding milk will significantly reduce the shelf life of cold brew.

How long will the coffee be good for?

While ground coffee can survive up to two years in the freezer, it only lasts three to five months when kept at room temperature in a pantry. Whole bean coffee lasts 6–9 months in the pantry and 2-3 years in the freezer. Depending on the container, instant coffee stays in the pantry for two to twenty years.

Wrapping Up

If you have any leftover coffee, store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Don’t just leave the coffee to cool on the kitchen counter. You can still have your morning coffee at night by doing so.

Also, remember that freshly ground beans ensure that your coffee stays fresh. Aside from drinking prepared coffee faster and storing it properly, you must keep whole bean or ground coffee properly. They also have a shelf life and are only edible for a limited time.

The best coffee sip already talked about how long coffee can sit out and keeping it at a lower temperature keeps the flavor and life of the coffee longer. We also recommend drinking the coffee as soon as it is ready – you’ll have to wait for it to cool down, but don’t burn your tongue.