Can you drink coffee that has been sitting out?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you drink coffee that has been sitting out” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can drink coffee that has been sitting out. Moreover, we are going to discuss what changes can occur in coffee with time, and how you can store coffee under different conditions.

Can you drink coffee that has been sitting out?

Yes, you can drink coffee that has been sitting out. The time during which coffee that has been sitting out of the refrigerator stays good depends upon the ingredients used to make coffee and the processing techniques. The coffee retains its peak quality and flavor for about 30 minutes and afterward, its flavor begins to degrade.

On the other hand, from the safety point of view, coffee with milk or creamer added can stay good for about 2 hours when left out at room temperature. So consider the particular ingredients you have added to your brewed coffee to find out how long you can allow it to sit out without going bad. Simply milk and coffee combination shouldn’t pass on over 2 hours, and milk with creamer shouldn’t sit out for over 4 hours.

On the other hand, black coffee without any added sweetener can last for about 24 hours. Any longer than this duration is thought to be problematic as it may alter the quality as well as the safety of coffee with time.

Sitting out of coffee:

Sitting out of coffee usually refers to the coffee that has been standing for several hours and is no longer great enough to be consumed. coffee, when kept for several hours, loses vitamins and other nutrients and is considered unfit for consumption.

How long can coffee last?

The black coffee sits out at room temperature for about 24 hours while the coffee with milk or creamer lasts for about 2 hours. 

If you leave the coffee at room temperature for more than that can ruin the texture, flavor, and color of the coffee. The main risks associated with the prolonged keeping of coffee at room temperature are the growth of bacteria and molds in the coffee.

In the refrigerator, it can last longer for about 2-5 days. The lasting effect can also be affected by the types of coffee, the method of preparation or brewing, added ingredients, and the environment in which it is kept.

Changes in coffee with time:

Oxidation in coffee:

The coffee, when allowed to sit for too long, becomes oxidized as a result of which the coffee changes its color and taste. During this, the oxygen present in the air starts reacting with the chemical components present in the coffee. The oxidation in brewed coffee is rapid as compared to that in dry leaves and this can be avoided by storing the coffee in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

Color change:

The color of the coffee changes with time from lighter to a darker black color. This black color of coffee is not acceptable or liked by the people.

Change in taste:

The taste of the coffee is also altered as a result of keeping the coffee in inappropriate environmental conditions for a longer duration. The taste of the coffee is no fresher and a bitter flavor is developed in the coffee.

Change in aroma:

The fresh aroma of the coffee is also lost with time and cannot be recovered.

Change in texture:

The texture of the coffee also becomes unfavorable when kept for too long. The texture becomes thick due to the appearance of bacterial or moldy strands in the coffee.

Microbial growth:

The bacteria and molds can also grow in coffee that is kept in improper conditions. The most appropriate temperature for a wide range of bacteria is between 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. These bacteria and molds produce a lot of changes in the color, texture, and flavor of the coffee.

Storage of coffee:

Try to store the coffee in an air-tight container to prevent the exposure of oxygen and then the oxidation that is the major reason behind alterations in the qualities of coffee. The containers should be sterilized to avoid the contamination of coffee with bacteria or molds. Avoid adding ingredients, especially sugars to prevent alterations in quality.

Cooling down:

The brewed coffee should be cooled down immediately after its preparation as the warmer temperature is a danger zone because it allows the growth of microbes in the coffee. You can cool down the coffee at room temperature by placing it in cold water and can be placed in temperature-resistant jars to prevent the uptake of heat by the coffee.

In the refrigerator:

The coffee can be stored at refrigerator temperature for a bit longer duration, such as for 2 to 5 days.

In freezer:

The coffee can also be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.

You can read the caffeine content of coffee, tea, soda, etc. here.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you drink coffee that has been sitting out” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can drink coffee that has been sitting out. Moreover, we discussed what changes can occur in coffee with time, and how you can store coffee under different conditions.

Citations:

https://wokelark.com/how-long-can-coffee-sit-out/
https://www.bustle.com/articles/103196-is-it-ok-to-drink-leftover-coffee-the-answer-depends-on-these-3-factors
https://food52.com/blog/13738-is-your-morning-coffee-still-safe-to-drink-in-the-afternoon

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.