How long does black coffee last?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long does black coffee last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of black coffee in different conditions. Moreover, we are going to discuss the effect of the oxidation reactions taking place in coffee and the proper way to store black coffee.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long does black coffee last?

The black coffee lasts for about 3-4 days in the fridge when kept in an air-tight container or jar at or below 40°F. As black coffee is only a mixture of water, and ground coffee and these things do not go bad that quickly. 

Some people even claim that the black coffee can last for about a week but we do not recommend you to consume a black coffee that is a week old as it would have lost most of its characteristic flavor and aroma. So you should consume your coffee within 3-4 days.

It is worth mentioning to always use an airtight container or bottle to store the coffee so that it will not pick the smell of other foods placed in your fridge as no one will ever want to consume melon scented black coffee, right?

What is black coffee?

Black coffee is the simplest variant of the coffee that is made with only ground coffee and hot water. Black coffee is bitter in taste and is devoid of any additives like milk, cream or sugar. It gives you a quick surge of power and helps you to focus more.

You can read about the benefits and side effects of black coffee here.

How long does black coffee last at room temperature?

The black coffee will not taste the same if you drink it after putting it for more than a day out at room temperature, so you should gulp it down as soon as possible. Another thing to consider is that the black coffee should be kept in airtight thermos or container or else the oxidation reaction would make it stale which continues even after the coffee is brewed. 

The chemistry of coffee oxidation

When the coffee beans come in contact with the air they are oxidized and same is the case for the black coffee that is left in open for some time. This oxidation reaction significantly affects the aroma and the flavour of the coffee with no significant change in the colour of the coffee. 

Brewing coffee itself is the oxidation reaction. At the point when the coffee beans come into contact with water, they will start delivering their aromatics, oils, and acids into the water giving you an enriched and flavourful coffee but if the process of oxidation continues even after that it will result in a sharp and bitter flavour and that is not something we want.

Why does coffee turn bitter?

At the point when you leave your black coffee to sit for a long time, the reaction among hydrogen and oxygen will raise its pH level, making it taste bitter or stale, therefore you should never let your black sit for too long in the open.

Can you refrigerate the coffee and reheat it?

Yes, you can refrigerate the coffee and reheat it but there will be a notable difference in the flavour and mouthfeel of the coffee.

Moreover, reheating the black coffee does not destroy caffeine. The only difference that it will make is the change in the flavour and freshness of the black coffee.

How to tell if black coffee has gone bad?

So if you want to know whether or not your black coffee has gone bad, we recommend you to smell it. The absence of the characteristic aroma of coffee is the indicator of the staleness of the black coffee.

What happens if you drink old black coffee?

Consuming the old black coffee won’t cause any health problems but surely the brewed black coffee that has gone bad will have lost its characteristic scent and flavour and will have an awful taste which won’t give you a good mouthfeel or taste. 

How to properly store your black coffee?

  1. The older your coffee beans are, the more are they subjected to the oxidation and the less is their shelf life. Thus you won’t be able to get that characteristic coffee aroma and flavour with old coffee grounds. Therefore it is always recommended to use fresh ground coffee for your black coffee.
  2. Always refrigerate your black coffee properly at or below 40°F.
  3. You should always store your black coffee in an air-tight container or bottle so that it won’t pick up the smell of other food items present in your refrigerator.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long does black coffee last” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of black coffee in different conditions. Moreover, we discussed the effect of the oxidation reactions taking place in coffee and the proper way to store black coffee.



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.

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