How Long Does Brewed Coffee Stay Fresh?
There's nothing like a freshly brewed cup of coffee. But you can't drink an entire pot of coffee at once. So, how long does that pot of coffee stay fresh?
Many factors combine to make a fresh-tasting cup of coffee. Beginning with freshly roasted beans which you grind to order then brew right away, you can't get fresher coffee than that. Just remember, it won't stay that way forever.
We've talked about not grinding your coffee until just before you brew it. Keeping your coffee in whole beans then storing them in an air-tight container will keep the coffee beans fresh for quite some time. Once you grind it, the coffee immediately starts to deteriorate.
Once you brew the coffee, the liquid also begins to deteriorate right away. Freshly brewed coffee only stays fresh for about 20 minutes. If you will be drinking all the coffee you brew within the 20-minute window, you won't have much to worry about.
If you won't be able to finish your brewed coffee within that 20 minutes, here are some tips to either keep it tasting fresh for longer or how to store it or prepare it for use later.
Instead of leaving your coffee in the decanter on the burner or in the French press (or whatever vessel it was brewed in), transfer it to an airpot or some other air-tight container. The most damaging element to coffee, other than time, is air. Remove the air variable and you can extend the life of your brewed coffee.
An airpot can also keep your coffee hot for longer without burning it. If you leave your decanter filled with coffee on the coffeemaker burner, you will end up with stale and burnt coffee. Yuck!
There are many different types of airpots. Finding one best suited for your needs shouldn't be difficult. You can find more information and a variety of airpots on our site.
Carafe or Thermos
If you don't have an airpot, an insulated carafe or thermos will do just fine. These can keep your brewed coffee warm while keeping it protected from the air. A bonus: carafes and thermoses tend to be more visually pleasing. You can find one that fits your aesthetic and protects that life-giving elixir.
If all you have is an air-tight glass container, that will do. Transfer your coffee to the container and keep it on the counter. We don't suggest moving it to the refrigerator as that could cause your coffee to break down faster. Coffee reheated from the refrigerator tends to have more reduction in flavor than coffee reheated from room temperature.
Rather than trying to keep your leftover coffee for drinking, try freezing it into ice cubes. You can then use the ice cubes to chill your iced coffee without watering it down. Once your coffee is frozen, transfer the coffee cubes to a freezer-safe resealable bag to keep unwanted flavors from the cubes.
With the exception of cold-brewed coffee, it is not ideal to store your brewed coffee in the refrigerator. It tends to break down and cause bitter tasting coffee when reheated. Due to the manner in which the coffee is brewed, cold brew coffee concentrate can actually keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Keep your cold-brew in an air-tight container to keep fridge flavors from corrupting the flavor.
If you don't like pouring out old coffee or drinking old coffee that has compromised flavor, try brewing less coffee more often. Determine how much coffee you tend to drink over the course of twenty minutes and only brew what you use.
If you only tend to drink half a pot of coffee, then that's all you need to brew. If it's only a couple of cups, you can just brew that as well. Depending on how much you prefer fresh-tasting coffee, you might want to invest the time in brewing smaller batches more often.
Finally, if you only drink one cup at a time, try single-serve coffee. Coffee-on-demand has come a long way over the years. Instead of watered down, weak brews you can now get a full-flavored cup at the touch of a button. Check out our line of excellent Keurig compatible coffee pods for the ultimate in speedy, flavorful coffee.
How do you keep your brewed coffee tasting fresh? Let us know!