If you are a frequent coffee shop visitor, you have undoubtedly heard of cold brew coffee. Maybe you have even ventured into making cold brew or bought a bottle. Now that you have the product, you may be wondering how long does it last?
Keep reading to find out cold brew shelf life.
How Long Is Cold Brew Coffee Good For?
So you learned how to make cold brew coffee at home. The next question is: how long is this drink good for?
Cold brew coffee lasts longer than its better known, hot brewed counterpart. The longer shelf life is one of the most exceptional qualities of cold brew. You can enjoy it for days.
Although it could be said that it contains a higher caffeine content, cold brew comes with a few health benefits.
Hot coffee flavor quality starts to degrade in 30 minutes. This is true for iced coffee as well since iced coffee is hot brew cooled down. Read about the differences between cold brew and iced coffee.
Cold brew, on the other hand, keeps much better. It also has higher flavor stability (1); some cold brew methods can last up to 10 days.
Storing Cold Brew Coffee
Why not make it with an Aeropress?
Once you have your cold brew concentrate or diluted ready-to-drink beverage, you need to store it in a properly sealed container. This prolongs the yummy flavor components and slows down degradation.
As soon as your brew is ready, you should immediately refrigerate the coffee you are not drinking.
You can keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (2). It is always best to store your cold brew in its concentrated form. You can freshly dilute your morning pick-me-up with cold water to whatever strength you prefer when you are ready to drink it.
The concentrated form increases a cold brew shelf life. Of course, you can immediately dilute your coffee and store it in a ready to drink state; however, it will only last 2-3 days in the refrigerator this way.
Does Cold Brew Go Bad?
Like any edible food or beverage, cold brew coffee can spoil, but how long does cold brew last in the fridge?
Even in a fridge, it will break down at that temperature. Nothing stays fresh forever. Taste is going to change over time. Fresher is better.
Now that you know how long cold brew lasts, you should know the signs to look for to see if your beloved brew has expired.
- Little aroma
- Caffeine kick has disappeared
- Noticeably less flavor
- Extremely acidic taste
- Mold or rancid smell
Extending Cold Brew Shelf Life
Properly storing cold brew coffee is the best way to extend its freshness. You can keep it in glass or plastic, but glass is the best option.
Plastic is porous, so important flavors can become oxidized at a faster rate. Also, some of the chemicals found in plastic affect the taste of the coffee. With glass, no chemicals interact with flavor profiles, and glass containers can be sealed tighter. Mason jars or french press beakers are both great options for fridge storage.
DIY Masoj Jar brewing:
A French Press? Yes.
You can even freeze cold brew. Keep in mind freezing changes certain chemical components and tastes. But, it will last up to two months this way. All you have to do is thaw it overnight in the fridge, and you can wake up to a cold brew.
Cold brew is a coffee trend that is here to stay. Now that you know how long cold brew lasts, you can start brewing to get ready for the days ahead.
Do I need a cold brew coffee maker?
You don’t need a cold brew coffee maker to brew this delicious beverage. A simple mason jar, french press, Aeropress, or filter is all you need.
Do I have to steep cold brew coffee in the fridge?
No, you do not have to steep coffee grinds in the fridge for cold brew. However, if you choose to steep your cold brew in the fridge, let it brew for more time than you would at room temperature.
How does added milk, cream, or sugar affect the shelf life of cold brew?
If you add anything to your cold brew concentrate, such as sweeteners or even plain water, your cold brew’s shelf life decreases. It is always best to add extras right before consumption.
- Lopane, Samuel Nicholas, (2018). An Investigation of the Shelf Life of Cold Brew Coffee and the Influence of Extraction Temperature Using Chemical Microbial and Sensory Analysis. All Theses. 2899.
- Wroclawski D. (2020, January 16). Cold Brew Coffee For Hot Days. Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/cold-brew-coffee/cold-brew-coffee-for-hot-days/