No one looks forward to eating or drinking anything that has gone bad. Not even when that thing is the early morning coffee you so badly need.
Now, to your question, can brewed coffee go bad?
Yes, brewed coffee can go bad.
Typically, unless brewed coffee is stored in an airtight container, it will spoil in about 30 minutes.
In the presence of oxygen, brewed coffee will lose taste and flavor until it becomes rancid.
Oxidization is one of the most significant factors that determine the freshness of brewed coffee.
In this article, we will answer various questions about how long brewed coffee can stay fresh.
Can Brewed Coffee Go Bad?
As already pointed out, brewed coffee can become spoilt, especially if exposed to oxygen.
In fact, of all forms of coffee, brewed coffee stays fresh for the shortest period.
Coffee and coffee beans are prone to deterioration by oxygen, a process called oxidization.
Even after you brew your coffee, this process does not stop. This is why, after about 30 minutes of brewing your coffee, it becomes less intense if left uncovered.
Even within the first 30 minutes of brewing your coffee, it loses some of its taste.
But it doesn’t stop there. In the hours after that, the deterioration by oxygen continues. Your brewed coffee will continue to lose its fresh flavor.
If left for longer, your brewed coffee may even start smelling awful.
How Long Can You Keep Brewed Coffee?
The answer to this depends on the storage conditions of the coffee.
If you leave covered brewed coffee on a counter, you can keep it for as long as 12 hours. But if you leave it uncovered, it may go rancid in less than that.
When kept in the fridge, you can keep brewed coffee for a few days. In the freezer, you can keep it for a week.
Now, while you might be able to keep your brewed coffee for some hours before it spoils, it is best enjoyed immediately.
Is It Ok To Drink Day-Old Coffee?
No, it isn’t. Unless you stored such coffee in a fridge or freezer, you should not drink it.
After about 12 hours, the coffee will have lost most of its freshness. It may have even started accumulating mold and bacteria.
Ultimately, when you drink such coffee, you will not enjoy it.
It goes without saying that if you won’t enjoy the coffee, there’s no point drinking it.
There’s also a slim chance that the bacteria and/or mold growth could make you sick.
So, it’s better to just avoid day-old coffee altogether.
Can Old Brewed Coffee Make You Sick?
In the preceding subheading, we mentioned how old brewed coffee can accumulate mold and bacteria.
But can this make you sick? Well, maybe. If the old brewed coffee contains enough bacteria or mold, it could happen.
But what are the chances that you will fall sick after drinking old brewed coffee?
Well, the chances are very low. It is uncommon for people to become ill after drinking old, brewed coffee.
Now, if you do not clean your coffee maker or pot regularly, you may be more likely to fall sick from drinking old, brewed coffee.
See, the longer your coffee maker or pot stays unclean, the more germs it accumulates.
In the presence of more germs, the chances of becoming sick are higher.
So, while old, brewed coffee rarely ever makes one sick, you should clean your coffee pot or coffee maker regularly.
This way, you are almost sure you won’t get sick.
If you add milk to your brewed coffee, things will be different. Old brewed coffee containing milk can make you sick.
Milk goes bad quickly, and when bad milk is consumed, the chances of feeling ill increase.
How Long Does Brewed Coffee Last in the Fridge?
Earlier, we said that brewed coffee lasts a few days when stored in the fridge.
Well, to be more specific, brewed coffee will last 3-4 days, or up to 1 week in the fridge.
Of course, it won’t be like freshly brewed coffee when you do finally drink it. But it won’t go rancid either.
One precaution you should take while storing brewed coffee in the fridge is to cover it at least, use an airtight container at best.
If you leave your brewed coffee uncovered in the fridge, it may absorb other flavors while losing its own.
Can You Freeze Brewed Coffee?
If you want to store brewed coffee for even longer, you can freeze it.
When brewed coffee is frozen, you could keep it for as long as 2 weeks.
When you freeze brewed coffee, ensure you cover it properly. This way, it will not absorb other flavors.
One way to keep the brew from absorbing other flavors is to store it in a Ziploc bag.
9 Things You Can Do With Leftover Brewed Coffee
Instead of throwing away your leftover brewed coffee, you could use it in the following way:
- Make coffee ice cream.
- Make a marinade with it.
- Cook your oatmeal with some leftover brewed coffee to add zest.
- Make ice coffee cubes to replace water ice cubes. While ice water cubes can water down your coffee, ice coffee cubes won’t.
- Make mocha with it.
- Make tiramisu with it.
- Add it to your dessert baking to give a jolt of coffee flavor.
- Add it to your smoothie.
- Make a sauce with it.
Brewed coffee can go bad. Exposure to oxygen changes the quality of its content, and within some minutes, these changes can be noticed.
It is best to drink your brewed coffee immediately after you prepare it.
But if you can’t, store the coffee in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer, depending on how long you want to keep it.