How long can you leave the coffee out?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long can you leave the coffee out?”, discuss answers to other related questions like does coffee go bad in the refrigerator, and what are the health benefits of drinking coffee.

How long can you leave the coffee out?

Coffee can be left out, at room temperature, for about 30 minutes in general without its flavor being notably changed. After this time frame, along with the loss of aromatic compounds the coffee would develop off-flavors and an unpleasant bitter taste.

Plain black coffee can sit out at room temperature for more than 24 hours after brewing, and it can be still safe to use. However, you can not leave hot coffee with added milk or creamer out for more than 1 to 2 hours.

Why coffee goes bad?

Coffee is composed of several compounds: that include carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids. These compounds undergo physical and chemical changes over time such as carbohydrates go stale, lipids go rancid, volatile organic compounds evaporate, and other compounds change with exposure to oxygen (oxidation). So these changes alter the aroma and taste of brewed coffee, turning it taste bad.

Does coffee go bad in the refrigerator?

If you kept the coffee in the refrigerator, it can still lose its taste and aroma due to a chemical process, oxidation. The oxidation process starts exactly after the moment you open the package, as it comes in direct contact with the air. When refrigerated, the oxidation process slows down due to decreased temperature. To make this process more slow, try to keep your coffee in an air-tight glass container.

How long does coffee stay in the refrigerator?

Prepared coffee can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days if you cannot consume it immediately. It is convenient to refrigerate the coffee like other foods, but there is a limit to how long it can last. This limit is affected by the storage condition, type of coffee, and the best-by date.

Refrigerating the prepared coffee helps you keep the growth of microorganisms especially bacteria in control and so, the estimated shelf life of coffee is prolonged than the actual duration.

One thing you need to keep in mind before refrigerating the prepared coffee is that it should be cooled to room temperature first. Also, you cannot reheat the stored coffee as it is not recommended because reheating can cause the coffee to lose its flavor and aroma.

What happens when you refrigerate coffee?

Refrigerating the coffee to increase its life span or to use it conveniently when required is a good idea because refrigeration helps you prolong the estimated shelf life of the prepared coffee by keeping a check on the growth of microorganisms especially bacteria. But this aspect has a bad picture too.

Picking up of aromas

Coffee can quickly pick up the aroma from other things that are refrigerated along with it. This makes the coffee taste weird. To overcome this issue, you can use air-tight containers (mason jars with a rubber seal) or a thermos bottle. But still, certain things give off a nasty smell, that can easily creep into the coffee even if it is kept in an air-tight container.

The flavor degrades

Storing the coffee in the refrigerator can cause its flavor to degrade. When used, it will be having a less pronounced coffee flavor and maybe a bit bland. Again, you have to keep it in an airtight container so that the flavor can be degraded only to a minimum.

What are the health benefits of drinking coffee?

Caffeine, the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world, is the best-known ingredient in coffee. Its beneficial impacts on the human body have been studied well, but still, coffee is blamed to cause impotence and madness. Here are the ways by which coffee affects your health:

Caffeine in your coffee increases adrenaline (fight or flight hormone) levels in your blood, which helps you to prepare for physical exertion. In this way, coffee boosted your physical performance.

The magnesium and potassium in coffee, help the human body use insulin, regulating blood sugar levels. Thereby helping you to lose weight.

Caffeine helps fat cells breakdown body fat and use it as a body fuel for training.

If your caffeine intake is moderate, 1-6 cups a day, it will help you to focus and improve your mental health.

If you drink a reasonable number of coffee cups, 2-4 cups a day, it will reduce the risk of stroke.

Coffee contains several antioxidants that work as little warriors fighting and protecting against free radicals within your body.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long can you leave the coffee out?”, discussed answers to other related questions like does coffee go bad in the refrigerator, and what are the health benefits of drinking coffee.


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