Can You Refrigerate Coffee? Best Ways To Store Coffee
If you are someone like me who needs to sip coffee throughout the day to get things going, you must have looked for how to store brewed coffee. Because it gets pesky to get up and make a cup every time you crave coffee!
Or have you finally got your hands on the coffee beans you have been eyeing for a long time now and want to preserve their freshness?
Whichever the case is, I have the answers for you!
You can refrigerate coffee, but it has limitations, and it is certainly a big no in some cases.
From whether you should refrigerate your coffee to the best way of storing coffee, keep reading to find out more.
How Long Does Coffee Naturally Stay Fresh?
The freshness of the coffee depends on what type of coffee we are talking about. Is it coffee beans? Coffee grounds? Black coffee or coffee with milk and creamers? Take a look at each case.
Note that these are the cases when the coffee isn’t stored properly. So the shelf-life can be increased.
|Type Of Coffee||Duration Of Staying Fresh (Without Storing Properly)|
|Raw Coffee Beans||9 months|
|Roasted Coffee Beans||2 to 4 weeks after roasting|
|Coffee Grounds||1 to 2 weeks|
|Brewed Coffee||3 to 4 hours|
|Brewed Coffee With Milk and Creamer||2 hours|
Can You Refrigerate Coffee?
Keeping coffee in the refrigerator to preserve its freshness is a hack used by many. But does it actually work? Or does it make things worse? Let’s find out.
In The Case Of Coffee Beverages
Making a cup of coffee every time you crave it can be annoying, and chances are you have thought of making 2-3 cups at once and refrigerating it. But the question is, is it OK to keep brewed coffee like that? The answer is yes. It can be stored for 2 to 3 days.
There isn’t any health hazard. So, you can definitely refrigerate some extra brew and make iced coffee from it. But don’t reheat it. It will drain all the flavors, leaving you with an aromaless brew!
If you mix coffee with milk or creamer, the shelf life decreases even if you put it in the fridge. Milk contains fat and protein. So you should keep it for at most 1 to 2 days.
On that note, for both cases, even if you store it in the refrigerator, use an airtight container to avoid oxidation and fermentation.
In The Case Of Coffee Beans And Grounds
Can you refrigerate coffee beans and grounds? Yes. But should you do it? No.
Coffee beans and grounds should be stored in a cool and dark place where they are away from direct sunlight. And many believe that the refrigerator ticks all the boxes. But that’s not true.
Coffee beans and grounds are like bread, so if you keep them in the fridge, they’ll soon become stale. The cold atmosphere condensates the beans and alters their taste. So the coffee ages faster!
Besides, roasted coffee is porous and absorbs moisture and aroma. So if you store it in the paper bag they come in, there’s a high chance that the beans and grounds will soak up all the garlic and onion smells of other food in the fridge. And that’s the last thing you want in your cup of joe!
However, you can store the coffee in the fridge for a few hours when at a pinch, just make sure to prep the beans or grounds properly for storage.
How Long Do Different Coffee Drinks Last In A Refrigerator?
Here’s a list of different coffee drinks and how long they can last in a refrigerator.
1. Black Coffee:
Black coffee or espresso shots without any flavoring, milk, or creamer can be stored in a fridge for 3 days. However, the taste won’t be as good as a freshly made cup.
2. Iced Coffee
Ice coffee can be stored in the fridge for 2 days. But make sure you take out the ice before storing it. Since if the ice gets melted, you’ll be left with a watery coffee.
3. Cold Brew
Cold brews have the longest shelf-life. You can easily store a cold brew for 10 to 12 days if proper measures are taken.
4. Coffee With Milk And Creamers
It is best not to refrigerate coffee beverages with milk, flavoring, and creamer for too long. So try to avoid keeping them for more than a day and a half.
How To Properly Refrigerate Coffee Beverages?
You must follow certain steps to ensure the beverages have the maximum longevity. Here’s what you need to do to refrigerate your coffee drinks properly and keep them flavorful.
1. Always Use An Airtight Container
Oxygen is an enemy of coffee, whether it is coffee beans, ground, or brewed coffee. So make sure you use an airtight container, so the coffee does not get oxidized and lose all of the aroma.
2. Chill It As Fast As You Can
The best way to lock in all the flavors is to freeze the coffee as fast as possible. Do not leave out the brew to chill down. Leaving the coffee to sit in the carafe for an extended period will make it lose all its freshness.
3. Avoid Adding Milk And Creamer If You Can
Cold brews and black coffees stay good for the longest time. So try to refrigerate them. Besides, it takes only a few minutes to mix flavors, milk, and creamer. So you can mix it later and increase the longevity of your drink.
Best Ways To Store Coffee Beans
1. Store Them In An Opaque Airtight Container
The original retail packaging of coffee is not meant for long-term storage, so use a different container. Now, you might love how aesthetic coffee beans look in a glass jar but don’t use them since it will age the beans faster.
Another enemy of coffee beans is sunlight, besides oxygen and moisture. So make sure you keep them in an opaque, airtight canister at room temperature.
2. Keep Them In A Cool And Dry Place
Dark and cool places are best to keep the beans’ freshness intact for a long time. A cabinet near the oven or the kitchen top area near a window that gets direct sunlight are places to avoid.
Frequent fluctuations in the temperature can also influence the coffee beans to release oils, leaving you with what we call “oily coffee beans.”
3. Buy Limited Amount
You might be tempted to buy coffee in bulk and store it to avoid frequent visits to the store, but then you have no choice but to compromise on taste.
Coffee beans start losing their freshness as soon as they go over the time span of two weeks. So if you can, buy smaller batches of freshly roasted coffee that you can finish within a couple of weeks.
Best Ways To Keep Ground Coffee Fresh
Storing coffee grounds is even trickier than storing coffee beans since they are highly perishable. The surface exposure of ground coffee is more than that of coffee beans, so there’s more room for oxygen to spoil your favorite cup of joe.
But due to the convenience, coffee grounds and coffee powders are preferred more by a lot of people. If you are one of them, here’s what you can do to save your coffee grounds from getting dried out or stale.
Use only a vacuum-sealed container and store it on the pantry shelf where it is not exposed to much heat and light.
If you bought a big batch and want to store it for quite a long time (a year or so), you can try freezing them. But only freeze the grounds you won’t be using. Because if you frequently take them out of the freezer, condensation will form, and the grounds will become stale.
So take out only the amount you will be using in two weeks and freeze the rest in a vacuum-sealed container.
So, can you refrigerate coffee? Well, the answer depends on what type of coffee you are talking about. If it’s coffee beverages, yes, you can refrigerate them to maximize their best before-date. But refrigerating the coffee beans and grounds might not be the best option if you want to retain the freshness of the coffee beans and grounds.
Follow the proper storage guidance and enjoy the perfect cup of coffee every time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Can I Put Hot Coffee In The Fridge?
Yes. You can put hot coffee in the fridge. In fact, it is best to put your freshly brewed coffee in an airtight container and refrigerate it as soon as possible. Letting it cool down will increase the chances of it getting oxidized and losing its fresh flavor.
Q2. Can You Refrigerate Keurig Coffee?
Yes. You can refrigerate any type of coffee you wish. But since it’s Keurig and you’ll be making only one cup at a time, so you might not need to store it for long.
Q3. Does Canned Coffee Need To Be Refrigerated?
There is no absolute need to store canned coffee in the refrigerator since it can stay good at room temperature. However, if you want to enjoy cold coffee, you can refrigerate it!