Last Updated: September 30, 2021
The question might sound very basic but it’s quite important nonetheless because different foods and drinks have different chemistry. This means they could react unpredictably with various preservation techniques.
Also, there are times you end up making more coffee than you can finish, and to prevent wastage, you decide to refrigerate it. But is it advisable to put already brewed coffee in the fridge?
To answer your question,
You can put brewed coffee and whole coffee in the fridge but avoid putting ground coffee in the refrigerator; it deteriorates quickly due to it’s deodorizing nature.
You see, when you brew coffee, the taste starts to deteriorate after about 2hrs due to a phenomenon known as oxidation.
In order to preserve the taste, different techniques can be used and one of them involves putting it in the fridge. However, you can’t just do that randomly because the container can even affect the taste of the coffee.
It’s advisable to pour the coffee into a carafe container before putting it into the fridge. Do not pour it into a plastic or rubber container as the taste can be affected. As for how long you can store it, brewed coffee is good for up to one week.
Apart from tossing brewed coffee into the refrigerator, what other ways can you keep it fresh?
- You could simply use a thermos or flask
A thermos works by keeping hot things hot and cold things cold. This is because it’s air tight so it doesn’t allow heat to escape or be gained.
This basic design keeps your coffee warm and fresh without it getting oxidized by the surrounding air.
- You could turn them into ice cubes (a.k.a Freeze)
Turning them into cubes not only keeps them fresh but also helps you cool down your hot coffee without needing to add water—just add coffee cubes.
The process is very straightforward; just pour the cold or room temperature coffee into an ice cube tray and put it in the freezer, it’s that simple.
How long will brewed coffee last in the refrigerator?
Brewed coffee could remain relatively fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week. The key thing to note here is that the quality of storage is mentioned to be “relative” – meaning that even though you pour the coffee into the right container before putting it in the refrigerator, the taste won’t be exactly as fresh as it was when it was recently brewed.
Can every type of coffee be stored in the fridge?
Yes, you can store every type of coffee in the fridge, however, the one that would retain the maximum freshness is black coffee. Black coffee can stay fresh for close to 2 weeks, also, if you’ve already added milk and cream to it, it would really reduce how long it will stay fresh in the fridge (say about 3 days). This applies to all kinds of brewed coffee.
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I always end up scalding myself anytime I’m drinking coffee, how do I cool it down without ruining the taste?
You could transfer the coffee into a metal container; metal conducts heat quickly, much quicker than glass or ceramic.
Dip a metallic spoon in and out of the coffee. This is one of the most effective ways of cooling down your coffee, it’s even more effective than stirring the whole thing.
How do you know if your coffee has gone bad?
Your cup of coffee, is brewed from coffee beans, coffee beans are agricultural and organic products, which means they would go bad with time. It sounds very obvious but it would shock you to know that there are a lot of people out there who don’t even know or care about this.
To them, they could always heat it up and everything becomes okay. While heating up your coffee would kill harmful microbes, there’s only so much it can do. If you notice any of these while drinking, it’s a sign to throw the whole thing away, no matter how much you spent on it:
- If your coffee tastes and smells like rancid oil, as well as grips you by the tongue, it’s time to throw it away
- If there’s mold starting to form on your drink, get rid of it. If it smells a bit rancid, you could still manage to drink it (even though it’ll taste bad), but once it starts getting moldy, you must not drink it, it could make you sick.
I’ve been talking about brewed coffee all day, what about other forms of coffee, like coffee beans, ground beans, and whole beans? Can I put those in the fridge?
It’s not advisable to put coffee beans in the fridge. Putting coffee beans in the refrigerator could put it at risk of getting moist because, you know, anything you put in the fridge absorbs water to cool.
Coffee beans are supposed to be stored in a cool, dry, air tight place because moisture would speed up spoilage. Another reason is that coffee normally has a deodorizing effect, as a result of that, the smell of practically everything else in the fridge could be absorbed.
How then should I preserve it?
- Like I said earlier, store in a cool, dry, air tight, dark container.
- Avoid heat and direct sunlight.
- Try to brew them within 72hrs, this period is actually the peak or optimal period.
- Avoid steam as well as moisture, don’t store your beans near the sink, stove, brewers, as well as anything else that could produce steam and moisture.
What about ground beans? How do I store it?
It’s not really advisable to store ground coffee, most people would advise you to brew it immediately you grind it.
However, if you buy the pre-ground beans, store it in a vacuum sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. You should also be mindful of the material as some could change the taste. Ceramic is recommended.
How do I properly store whole beans?
- It’s best not to try and store more than one week’s worth of whole beans but if you really have to, it’s best to freeze it in a deep freezer. Why? Because a deep freezer doesn’t get opened too often
- Store your beans in the original packaging it came from. If it’s not available, store them in a foil or plastic container.
- Take the beans you need to brew at a particular time and try not to put any back.
- If you’re going to put it in the freezer, ensure it’s in an air tight container to prevent freezer burn. Ensure you use freezer quality bags as one of poor quality could burst.
- Do not leave it in the freezer longer than 2 weeks from the date it was purchased.
If you’re bringing your coffee out of the fridge to reheat, ensure you do so properly to kill every harmful microbes that could be sitting there. It won’t make your coffee taste amazing, but at least you won’t get sick from it.
Warning: Do not take coffee on an empty stomach
Taking coffee on an empty stomach, especially first thing in the morning could rapidly increase your blood sugar levels.
It could also increase your chances of a heartburn. Why? Because coffee relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, the valve responsible for preventing substances from flowing up your esophagus from the stomach. The relaxation of the valve could make your stomach acid flow up your esophagus, this is known as acid reflux, and a symptom of acid reflux is heartburn.
Coffee affects some anti bacterial drugs, anti depressants, and asthma medications. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking such medications before or after drinking coffee.
Coffee is very harmful to dogs, don’t let them consume it
What else can I do with coffee apart from drinking it?
- Coffee ground contains essential minerals like nitrogen, calcium and potassium which makes it good for fertilizing your garden.
- Coffee ground helps ward off mosquitoes, as well as other pests. You could also sprinkle them all over your garden to keep snails and slugs away.
- Coffee ground serves as a good treatment against fleas. All you have to do is rub the coffee ground all over your pet’s fur after applying shampoo, rinse it off and you’re good to go. This isn’t a 100% alternative remedy to the conventional prescription medication because it could sometimes be less effective. If you try this and it doesn’t work, seek professional advice.
- Use coffee grounds to absorb bad odors from your smelly shoes, gym bags, and even your palms after chopping onions and garlic.
Different forms of coffee like coffee beans, whole beans, ground coffee, and even the one you brewed that’s sitting right in front of you all have different preservation techniques. Brewed coffee can be stored in the refrigerator and the freezer while the rest are best preserved in ceramic containers at room temperature.
Adhere to the best practices of storing each type and you’ll enjoy coffee in all its glory.