Can you put coffee in the fridge?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you put coffee in the fridge?”, and how to tell If the coffee has gone bad?

Can you put coffee in the fridge?

Yes, you can put brewed coffee in the fridge to preserve its flavor. If you will not be drinking your coffee within 2 hours of brewing, pour it into a carafe jar and place it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. However, a week’s old brew won’t taste as good as the fresh one.(1, 2)

How long can coffee last in the fridge?

Storing brewed coffee in a sealed container in the fridge can prolong its shelf life. Typically, it remains safe to consume for approximately 3-4 days when stored in this manner. However, it’s important to bear in mind that the taste may not be as good as freshly brewed coffee.

The peak flavor of freshly brewed coffee is experienced within the initial 20-30 minutes after preparation, especially when served in an open cup. Nevertheless, if you are unable to drink it immediately, you can still enjoy its flavors for a few hours after brewing.

For brewed coffee without milk or creamer, such as black coffee in a pot sitting on a burner, it can be consumed for up to 4 hours. However, when milk or creamer is added, it is recommended to consume it within a couple of hours.

When brewed coffee is combined with milk or creamer, it is advisable to consume it within 2 hours if left at room temperature. Alternatively, you can extend its freshness by storing it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a day or two.

Remember that the overall quality and taste of refrigerated coffee may diminish over time. While it is still safe to drink within the suggested time frames, the flavor may not be as satisfying as when it was freshly brewed.(1, 2)

Does brewed coffee go bad in the fridge?

Yes, brewed coffee has the potential to spoil when stored in the refrigerator. In the case of pasteurized coffee brews and coffee-based beverages, the growth of alternative microorganisms can significantly impact their quality during refrigerated storage.

Microbial growth becomes a concern for these products, as it can contribute to a decline in quality over time. When microbial growth is not the primary issue, coffee beverages are still susceptible to chemical reactions that result in an increased perception of sourness. 

These changes are accompanied by a decrease in pH, indicating a rise in titratable acidity.

The degradation of liquid coffee quality commences immediately after brewing. The decrease in pH is believed to be a result of intricate reactions, likely involving non-enzymatic browning pathways that interact with carbohydrates and amino acids. 

Additionally, the hydrolysis of lactones may also contribute to the pH decline. Alongside pH changes, oxidative reactions can also contribute to the deterioration of quality, particularly in long-life products stored at room temperature.

It is essential to be aware of these microbial and chemical factors as they play a significant role in the degradation of brewed coffee’s taste and overall quality when stored in the refrigerator. (1)

How to tell If the coffee has gone bad?

Sensory analysis serves as a commonly employed method for assessing the degradation of coffee during storage. This involves evaluating the aroma of coffee powders and conducting taste tests with brewed coffee.

It is important to note that microbial growth is generally not a significant concern for whole and ground roasted coffee. Coffee possesses inherent properties that effectively inhibit the growth of microorganisms, thus preventing spoilage. 

Factors such as low water activity, limited essential nutrients, and the presence of antimicrobial melanoidins contribute to this natural inhibition.(1)

Nevertheless, certain indicators can help identify when coffee has turned bad. The presence of mold, discoloration, or unpleasant odors are warning signs that indicate the need for disposal.

Furthermore, during storage, various compounds in coffee, along with added ingredients like flavors, dairy derivatives, and colorants, can undergo oxidation, resulting in rancidity and staleness.

When assessing the deterioration of coffee quality, factors such as the volatile profile in the headspace, pH levels, and sensory attributes are typically considered. 

Additionally, the presence of yeast or bacteria can lead to decreased sugar content and diminished sweetness in coffee, which should be taken into account when evaluating the overall quality of the product.

By employing sensory analysis and recognizing the specific quality indicators, the degradation of coffee can be effectively evaluated, ensuring that only the best coffee experiences are enjoyed by consumers. (1-3)

What happens if you drink old brewed coffee?

If you consume old brewed coffee without milk or sugar, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on your health. 

However, it’s important to note that coffee which has gone bad will have lost its distinct aroma and flavor, resulting in an unpleasant taste and compromised mouthfeel.

On the other hand, accidentally consuming brewed coffee that has gone bad and contains dairy products like milk or creamers can pose risks to your gut health. This can potentially lead to gastrointestinal issues and other digestive disturbances.

It is crucial to exercise caution and avoid consuming coffee that has spoiled, especially when it contains dairy additives. (1-3)

How to store ground coffee?

Ground coffee, due to an increased surface area, is quick to spoil if not stored properly. Ground coffee should always be stored in a dark and dry place. Use an opaque air-tight container or a vacuum-sealed package to keep the air and the moisture at bay. 

Opaque containers will reflect most of the light. It is better to use coffee vaults instead of going for regular containers. If you bought the coffee in bulk, separate some of the coffee into a separate and smaller container.

Separate the amount that you know will be consumed in the next 2 weeks. By doing so, you are ensuring that the coffee in bulk is not exposed to air and other contaminants on a daily basis. (1, 2)

Can you freeze ground coffee?

Yes, Freezing coffee will extend its shelf-life to 1 month in the freezer if you store it in a sealed container. You can do this if  you live in a humid environment and don’t want to risk exposing your ground coffee to moisture. (1, 2).Other FAQs about Coffee which you may be interested in.

How to dispose of coffee grounds from the french press?


In this article, we will answer the question “Can you put coffee in the fridge?”, and how to tell If the coffee has gone bad?


  1. Manzocco, L., Melchior, S., Calligaris, S., & Nicoli, M. C.  Packaging and the Shelf Life of Coffee. Reference Module in Food Science. 2019.
  2. Adrienne Seitz, Lizzie Streit, How Long Does Coffee Last? Ground, Brewed, Cold Brew, and More, Healthline Media LLC. 2021.
  3. Kwok, R., Lee Wee Ting, K., Schwarz, S., Claassen, L., & Lachenmeier, D. W.  Current Challenges of Cold Brew Coffee—Roasting, Extraction, Flavor Profile, Contamination, and Food Safety. Challenges, 11(2), 26. 2020.

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