Can you freeze brewed coffee?
In this article, we will answer the question “Can you freeze brewed coffee?” and discuss how to freeze brewed coffee?
Can you freeze brewed coffee?
Yes, you can freeze brewed coffee. Freezing is a safe method to preserve any type of foods and drinks. Coffee is an aromatic beverage intended to be consumed fresh. However, if you need to store brewed coffee, freezing is recommended, as it is the most effective method to maintain the original quality of foods (1).
Why should you freeze brewed coffee?
You should freeze coffee when you cannot drink your coffee freshly brewed and need to store it. There are several ready-to-drink coffee beverages in the market, however, their flavor is not as well accepted as freshly brewed drinks. The flavor of brewed coffee is known to degrade during storage at room temperatures or under refrigeration.
There is a decrease in the roasty odor notes of ready-to-drink coffee. Among the several chemical changes that occur in brewed coffee during storage, volatiles are lost, some compounds degrade, there is an increase in the acidity with consequent increase in the pH value of the drink.
Studies reported that the overall coffee flavor, coffee aroma, and bitterness of brewed coffee drinks lose in intensity over time. During storage, freshly prepared coffee brews may lose freshness and develop unpleasant characteristics, such as rancid aroma, lingering aftertaste, aspirin-like taste, sourness, and increased astringency (2).
A study showed that freshly brewed coffee stored in the freezer developed less soreness resulting from the increase of acids during storage than coffee brews maintained in higher temperatures of storage. Therefore, freezing is a better option to preserve the aroma of the brewed coffee, when compared to refrigerating brewed coffee.
Is freezing a good method to preserve brewed coffee?
Freezing is a preservation method that best maintains the original qualities of foods, in terms of their appearance, nutritional, sensorial and microbiological aspects. Freezing essentially halts the activity of microorganisms, controlling microbiological spoilage for indefinite periods, as temperature is decreased to −10°C or below. In addition, it reduces the rates in which chemical and enzymatic reactions occur, delaying the negative consequences of food storage (1).
Can you store brewed coffee in the refrigerator?
Yes, you can store brewed coffee in the refrigerator. The refrigerated shelf life of bottled hot and cold brewed coffee is limited not by microbial stability, but rather by deterioration in sensory attributes. The degradation products of chlorogenic acid are identified over the storage period, the decrease of pH and the increase of acidity, resulting in poor flavor.
The lack of microbial growth in coffee brews is explained by scarcity of nutrients, low pH, and other antimicrobial factors present within the coffee. However, this is not applied to coffee drinks containing milk, sugar or other ingredients (3).
How to Freeze and Reheat Coffee with the Best Techniques?
To freeze brewed coffee, it is recommended to cool it down to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container or ice cube trays. It is also recommended to remove as much air as possible from the container to prevent freezer burn.
To thaw frozen brewed coffee, it is recommended to do so slowly in the refrigerator or at room temperature. It is important to note that the quality of the coffee may be affected by the freezing and thawing process, so it may not taste as fresh as freshly brewed coffee.
To reheat brewed coffee, use the microwave. The time needed to reheat drinks in the microwave is shorter, which results in the best preservation of nutrients, aroma compounds and vitamins that would otherwise be degraded and lost as a result of boiling of beverages (4).
How to freeze brewed coffee as Ice Cubes?
To freeze brewed coffee as ice cubes, follow the instructions:
- After brewing your coffee, fill a bottle with the brewed coffee and allow it to cool. Do not place the hot drink directly in the freezer. To accelerate cooling, place the bottle in an ice-water bath.
- It’s necessary to pour the mixture into an ice cube tray with a sealable top, but if you don’t have one, you can just cover it with cling wrap film to keep it fresh. You may use coffee beans to deodorize your refrigerator since coffee beans act as deodorizer.
- Place the filled ice cube tray in the freezer. For a normal-sized ice cube tray, your brewed coffee will take roughly four hours to freeze.
Other FAQs about Coffee that you may be interested in.
In this article, we answered the question “Can you freeze brewed coffee?” and we discussed how to freeze brewed coffee?
- Berry, Mark, et al. Effects of freezing on nutritional and microbiological properties of foods. Frozen food science and technology. 2008.
- Lin, Hao, et al. Identification of Non-Volatile Compounds Generated during Storage That Impact Flavor Stability of Ready-to-Drink Coffee. Molecules, 2022, 27, 2120.
- Lopane, Samuel Nicholas. An Investigation of the Shelf Life of Cold Brew Coffee and the Influence of Extraction Temperature Using Chemical, Microbial and Sensory Analysis. Diss. Clemson University, 2018.
- Lima, Fabiana, et al. Effects of radiation technologies on food nutritional quality. Descriptive food science 1, 2018, 17.