How long can you keep iced coffee?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long can you keep iced coffee?”, and how long does iced coffee last unrefrigerated?

How long can you keep iced coffee?

The shelf-life of coffee depends upon the temperature at which it is kept, the amount of ice added and the process used for its preparation. Naturally, warmer temperatures will shorten the shelf-life of your iced coffee. 

Similarly, a large number of ice cubes will keep the iced coffee cold for longer. But this will also dilute your coffee and watery coffee is a big no. 

Cold-brew has the longest shelf-life i.e upto 2 weeks in the fridge. It comes down to 3 days if you add creamer, sugars, and other perishable ingredients. 

How long does iced coffee last unrefrigerated?

After the ice melts completely and the coffee remains in the ‘Danger Zone’ for more than 2 hours, it is no longer safe for consumption. 

The range of danger zone is 40-140℉. It is the temperature at which bacteria and other microbes grow exponentially.

How long does Starbucks iced coffee last in the fridge?

An unopened bottle of Starbucks iced latte can be safely kept in a cool and dry pantry. An opened bottle of Starbucks iced coffee only lasts 12 hours in the fridge. 

It is best consumed within 4-8 hours of opening. Starbucks iced coffee can be stored overnight but the taste and flavor are somewhat lost. 

What is the difference between iced coffee and cold coffee?

How to make iced coffee?

Iced coffee is brewed by the regular method. The brewed coffee is then poured into an ice cube tray and allowed to freeze. When in the mood for iced coffee, take out these cubes and pour milk over them.

This method will result in a thinner coffee with a mild taste. To solve this problem, make a very strong brew so when it is diluted, the flavor is not lost.

How to make cold brew coffee?

Cold-brew takes time. In this method of brewing, the coffee grounds are immersed in cold water and allowed to sit as is for at least 12 hours. 

After 12 hours, the coffee is stepped completely. The coffee grounds are filtered and the coffee concentrate is mixed with water or milk. 

Ice is added to chill it. Cold-brew results in a bitter and acidic flavor since the brew relies on cold water to extract all the oils and flavors from the beans over an extended period of time.

Tips to make the best iced-coffee

Use instant coffee

Instant coffee is often looked down upon for a french press but it works best if you want to make iced coffee. Just mix and stir a heaping tbsp of instant coffee with some warm water and add chilled milk to it. Ice cubes can also be added.

Freeze coffee

Make a paste of coffee and water and dilute it a bit. Pout the mixture to the ice cube tray and freeze. Whenever you want to make iced coffee or iced latte, put some cubes in a mug and pour milk over it, voila, your chilled latte is ready.

Improvise your ice cubes

If you like your iced coffee to be more creamy with a rich flavor and thicker consistency, freeze coffee with milk in the ice cube tray. Use regular milk or coconut milk if you are allergic to dairy. You can add honey for sweetness and flavor.

Serve with Seltzer

Espresso pairs well with sparkling water. You can make your own espresso spritzer at home by pouring espresso shots over ice cubes in a mug followed by some sparkling water to jazz it up.

Refrigerate your beans

Experiments have shown that refrigerated whole coffee beans yield a more even grind, which is the base for a perfect brew. This method is not only suitable for iced coffee but works best for hot coffee as well.

Best iced coffee recipe


1 cup coffee, at room temperature

2 tbsp half and half*, or more, to taste

For the simple syrup 

½ cup sugar

1 cup water

½ tsp vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar and 1 cup water over medium heat. Frequently stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside until cool. Then stir in some vanilla extract and pop it in the fridge. 
  1. In a glass, add the ice cubes followed by half and half, coffee, and simple syrup. Start by adding only a tsp of syrup at a time. 

Other FAQs about Coffee that you may be interested in.

Can coffee grounds go down the garbage disposal?

What is the best way to filter cold brew coffee?

How do coffee presses work?


In this article, we answered the question “How long can you keep iced coffee?”, and how long does iced coffee last unrefrigerated?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.