Storing Coffee – How Can it Go Bad?

Coffee lovers often like to keep some extra coffee handy in case they need a quick shot.

However, when doing so, you need to store it right. That will help you store coffee the right way and always have some in stock when you’re looking to brew some.

Today, with the help of expert advice from, we will share answers to a few questions revolving around the storage of coffee.

Can Coffee Go Bad In The Fridge?

Brewed coffee can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge. However, it will still only last for three days or so. The downside, however, is that even though it might not go bad for three days, it won’t taste good.

There is an exception to this rule. If you have added milk or cream to the coffee, you must drink it within two hours of being left at room temperature.

If the coffee has been stored at room temperature for more than two hours, the bacteria content might be so high that it is not fit for consumption.

Thus, the type of coffee you’re dealing with also determines whether it can last in the fridge or not.

Can Coffee Go Bad In The Freezer?

An unopened or sealed coffee can be kept in the freezer for two years or until the best-by date. Even after the best-by date, it might be okay to consume it, but the taste won’t be good.

If you have opened the coffee bag, it can last for 4 to 5 months at room temperature and 5 to 6 months in the freezer.

If you’re speaking about brewed coffee, you can freeze and keep it in the refrigerator, but you need to do so within 90 minutes of brewing. In the refrigerator, you can store it for a maximum of six weeks.

During this time, it won’t lose its flavor. Anything beyond that and coffee might not be fit for consumption. You can only keep it in the freezer if you haven’t added any sweetener, cream, or any additional flavors to it.

Can Coffee Go Bad Sitting Out?

The taste of brewed coffee can change after thirty minutes. It is best to consume it before it cools down. If milk has been added to coffee, after two hours, the bacteria content will be so high that it won’t be fit for consumption.

If the coffee you are talking about doesn’t have milk, it won’t go bad at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours. After that, the oils in the coffee will go bad, and therefore you won’t be able to consume it.

On the other hand, coffee beans at room temperature are good enough for two weeks. After that, they can go rancid.

Can Coffee Go Bad In The Heat?

Heat is undoubtedly detrimental to coffee. Coffee can indeed go bad when exposed to heat consistently. Not only that, coffee beans lose flavor when exposed to heat consistently.

The best way to store coffee beans is in a cool and dry place. So they will remain fresh, and you will be able to brew up some delicious coffee whenever you want.

As for brewed coffee, it will lose its freshness within twenty minutes, whether kept at room temperature or exposed to sunlight.

When exposed to sunlight, the loss of flavor is even faster. It should be consistently refrigerated to ensure that it doesn’t go bad. In the fridge, you can keep it for up to 3 days when it is not exposed to heat. However, you can keep it in the fridge only when no dairy product is added.

Can Coffee Go Bad And Make You Sick?

No, coffee can’t make you sick. Even when it goes bad, it doesn’t deteriorate as how normal foodstuffs go bad. When it goes by the best-by date, it still might be consumed, but there will be a loss of flavor.

Coffee going bad refers more to coffee losing its flavor, and the acidic taste increases rather than making you sick.

However, it is a different matter when you have added milk to the coffee and already brewed it. Keeping it for more than two hours at room temperature will increase the bacteria content significantly, leading to food poisoning and consuming such coffee.

However, if you haven’t added any sweetener or dairy products to it, it can’t necessarily make you sick.

Can Coffee Go Bad If Sealed?

If coffee is sealed, it can remain perfectly fine for up to 2 years. Even after the best-by date, the coffee will lose taste and not necessarily go bad.

If you’re referring to the vacuum-sealed method of storing coffee, it can remain good for nine months.

The reason why coffee remains good for such a long time is because of the gradual oxidation process. The downside to the oxidation process is that the coffee will lose flavor and not necessarily develop any side effects.

Can Coffee Go Bad In A Thermos?

If you store coffee in a thermos, it will remain good for 24 hours. However, to be sure, you need to check the temperature of the coffee in between.

If, 5 hours after brewing the coffee and putting it into the thermos, the temperature is 140 Degrees Fahrenheit or 60 Degrees Celcius, so, it will remain good for another 8 to 9 hours. If the temperature is lower, consuming it for an extra couple of hours is a good idea.

When storing it in a thermos, a few additional factors must be kept in mind. These include:

  • The heat inside the thermos is trapped, which is why the coffee is consistently exposed to heat. It will accelerate the oxidation process.

Even though the coffee is still good for consumption for up to 24 hours but the bitterness of the coffee might increase depending on the beans used.

  • To store the coffee in a thermos, it is good to brew it and directly put it into the thermos while it is hot. If you cool it down to room temperature, you might not be able to store it for a longer time.
  • The quality of the thermos also matters a lot. If an old thermos does not retain most of the heat, it is not good to consume the coffee after 12 hours of storing it in the thermos.

Thus, you can store it in a thermos and consume it within the first 24 hours but keep in mind the additional factors we have highlighted above.

Storing coffee is not that difficult once you know how to do it right. After you go through the answers above, it will be easier to understand how to store coffee and which techniques you should avoid.