How to Store Brewed Coffee & Keep It Fresh

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Have you lovingly prepared a cup of coffee, only to be called away before you could drink it?

Maybe you have to go run errands, or tend to your kids or get back to work.

But coffee is expensive and throwing out your brewed joe can feel like a stab in the wallet. And reheating your coffee in the microwave after leaving it on the counter for a few hours can make it taste like warm dishwater. Can brewed coffee go bad? Yes, and then it’s no good.

Whether you want a plan to keep your coffee fresh after abandoning it, or you want to brew a big batch in advance for guests, this article will show you how to store brewed coffee. Freshly brewed coffee can retain its vibrant and rich flavor with just a few tips and tweaks.

So the next time you have trouble storing brewed coffee, just come back to this article and you’ll be good to go!

How to Keep Brewed Coffee Fresh

how to store brewed coffee

If you hate waking early in the morning, you may be tempted to brew your coffee the night before. How to store brewed coffee overnight? Brewed coffee starts being oxidized as soon as it is exposed to air, and lasts 2 hours before it loses its flavor.

So how can you extend the life of your beloved cup of coffee without any change in flavor?

Here’s what you got to do:

Take It Off the Heat:

If you are making drip coffee or percolator coffee, you need to take your coffee off the heat as soon as it has finished brewing. When left on the burner, the coffee can be over-extracted and begins to be oxidized even faster. This will make it taste burnt, sour, and acrid.

Keep It Warm:

Just because you need to take your coffee pot off the heat, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep it warm. You just need to do it without any extra heat.

The best way to do this is by decanting your coffee into an insulated airtight thermos. The airtight thermos will slow down the process of oxidation and help preserve the flavor and keep the coffee warm at the same time.

This is also convenient, as you can bring your coffee along with you wherever you are and enjoy it without any loss of flavor.

Add Creamer to Your Hot Coffee:

hot coffee

This might sound pretty strange, but adding cream to your hot coffee can stretch its lifespan and preserve its flavor. Things like cold milk, cream, half-and-half, and even plant-based milk and creamers actually keep the coffee hotter for longer.

There are a couple of reasons for this, all explained by science. Firstly, black coffee is darker so it emits heat at a faster rate than lighter colored coffee that has creamer added to it. Similarly, once you add cold cream, the initial temperature drops, but then the coffee gives off heat much more slowly.

Another reason may be because viscous liquids (like coffee with cream) evaporate more slowly than something more fluid than black coffee. As a result, there will be reduced heat loss through evaporation.

Refrigerate It:

Many people who enjoy iced coffee hate the fact that they need to start with hot coffee and pour it over ice. A lot of ice is needed to cool the coffee and as the ice melts, it can water down the coffee.

So, how to store brewed coffee in the fridge? After the coffee has been brewed, pour it into a secure carafe and put it in the fridge. The coffee won’t lose any flavor, and it will be nice and cold so you won’t have to go overboard with the ice.

Use Coffee Ice Cubes:

This is another great tip for iced coffee lovers who hate the idea of watered-down joe. Brew a pot of strong coffee and then fill an ice cube tray with it. Freeze the cubes and whenever you want iced coffee, use these frozen coffee cubes instead of ice.

If you want an iced latte, pour a glass of milk and then drop a couple of coffee ice cubes for a smooth and silky cup of coffee that isn’t diluted at all.

Store Ground Coffee Instead:

If you are worried that cranking up your favorite coffee grinder will wake the dead at the crack of dawn, you grind a whole batch in advance. While it is true that ground coffee loses flavor after a couple of hours, there are some ways to get around this.

To store ground coffee, simply store them in a tight airtight container away from sunlight. But how to store brewed coffee grounds? There are lots of things you can do with used coffee grounds; like using them in a compost bin or repurposing it as a body scrub.

Place your used grounds on one or two sheets of kitchen towels. Squeeze out any moisture left in them. Then leave them to dry out on the counter, on a windowsill, or even out in the sun if that’s possible.

The key to storing the coffee grounds properly without them going moldy is to dry them as thoroughly as possible. Then store them in a freezer or fridge in some kind of airtight container.

Freeze an Entire Pot of Coffee:

Just like freezing coffee in an ice cube tray, you can also freeze an entire pot of coffee in a plastic carafe. This would make it easy to prepare a large batch of iced coffee or, even hot coffee if you want to reheat it in a microwave or even gently on a double boiler.

Store your coffee in the freezer some kind of airtight container or jar. Then, 12 hours before you wish to serve the coffee, move the coffee to the fridge. Your coffee will be cold, liquid, and perfect tasting.

Uses for Stale Coffee:

If you’ve accidentally left your coffee out on the counter and it has lost most of its flavor, you don’t have to throw the whole thing out. Instead, you can put it to the following uses:

Add It to Your Cooking:

Coffee has been used in many Latin American dishes, including savory ones. Coffee seriously raises the umami profile of meaty dishes like stews and roasts. Also, some recipes call for a splash or two of black coffee in marinades for BBQs and grilled meats.

Want a simple, yet fancy steak dinner? Marinate it in a mix of red wine, black coffee, and a sprig of rosemary. In the mood for a lavish breakfast? Try making fried eggs with coffee chipotle mole for a rich flavored breakfast that wakes you right up.

Include It in Desserts:

Coffee and chocolate desserts go hand in hand. A splash of coffee or a pinch of espresso powder brings out the taste of chocolate, intensifying it and adding a bitter twist to balance out the sweetness in mousses, brownies, and chocolate cake.

You can also use the previously brewed coffee in puddings, custards, and even buttercream frosting. People even add coffee to their muffins, waffles, pancakes, and scones, for a coffee breakfast that will perk you up.

Looking for a project that will cool you down in the heat? You can even make coffee ice cream from leftover coffee!

Indulge in Happy Hour:

Coffee is an important part of coffee-based drinks like cocktails. Mixed coffee drinks have a significant need for leftover coffee and you can use it to make things like an espresso martini or a fancy Jazzed Up, or even a Southern Limerick.

Coffee cocktails can be something simple like a splash of whisky in your coffee, or a luxurious creation. Depending on your mood or the time of the day, you can let your imagination run wild.

Have Other Questions

01. How Long is Coffee Good for in the Fridge?

Once your coffee has been brewed, you can store it in the fridge for 3-4 days safely without any change in flavor or texture. However, you can extend this time period by freezing the coffee instead.

02. Does Brewed Coffee Go Bad?

When left outside, brewed coffee becomes acrid and sour after 12 hours.

03. Does Cold Brew Coffee Need to be Refrigerated?

Cold-brew doesn’t need to be refrigerated after it has been brewed, but keeping it inside in the fridge will keep it nice and cold.

04. How Long Can I Drink Hot Coffee after It Has Been Brewed?

It is usually considered best to drink coffee 30 minutes after it has been brewed for the best flavor. You can however stretch this out for an hour or two, but after that, the taste will deteriorate.

In a Nutshell

Knowing how to store brewed coffee will help you make coffee in advance and keep it fresh for a longer time. This comes in handy if you are busy and don’t have time to brew a fresh pot all the time, or if you want to brew a batch beforehand for a large gathering or guests. 

If you are partial to iced coffee, you will certainly enjoy the tips mentioned above. Either way, which method will you be trying out first when storing your brew?