Can You Refrigerate Coffee? – The Definitive Guide

Coffee is great and most of us start our day with a hot cup of coffee that breathes freshness into our life. Okay, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but it wouldn’t be overstating it if I said we like our coffee hot. Even when this is the case, some of us might want to keep our coffee in the fridge. That’s when this question comes to mind.

Can you refrigerate coffee? Yes, you can refrigerate coffee. Over time, coffee tends to lose its flavor and taste. Storing black coffee over other coffee types will give you a better result. Always use glass, airtight containers for storing your coffee. Also, it is advisable to consume your coffee within 3 to 6 days to avoid losing most of its flavor due to oxidation. 

How To Refrigerate Coffee?

We have given the green signal to refrigerating coffee as long as your ok with the deterioration in taste and smell over time. 

Now, it is time for us to show you how it is done the right way. Follow them to the T to get the best results.

Step 1: Pick The Right Coffee

We did say that you can store any coffee in the fridge. But you will get the best results only with black coffee. Black coffee doesn’t have two things.

  1. Milk
  2. Sugar

The lack of these two components helps the coffee to stay good with the loss of flavor for quite a long time.

If you’re going to refrigerate coffee with milk or creamer in it, then the shelf life will be a lot less. Milk will not hold good for more than a couple of days and after that, the coffee is not good for consumption.

If you must store your coffee in the fridge, we recommend going with black coffee, but it is really up to you. Just be prepared for the shelf life depending on the coffee you choose.

Step 2: Pick The Right Container

You can store your coffee in any container.

The container you use to store your coffee in the fridge is very important, and this section will give you some handy tips.

Tip #1: Avoid plastic pitchers at all costs. They might look nice and might be great for organization inside the fridge, but they are not good for storing coffee.

Over time, when you open and close your plastic pitcher, it will start letting in more and more air into your coffee, increasing the chances of oxidation. 

If your pitcher has a strong smell to it, that will also get impart to your coffee. No one wants a plastic-flavored coffee unless that’s your thing.

Tip #2: Do not use metal containers.

Metal containers might be better when it comes to being airtight. But there is one problem with them. They are made up of metal!

Coffee is acidic in nature and some coffees are more than other. Depending on the coffee you choose, it can react with the metal in the container giving obnoxious results. 

Tip #3: Always use a glass container for storing your coffee.

You can go for an airtight glass jar or a mason jar that won’t let any air into your coffee. This will help preserve the coffee better and will increase its shelf life. 

If you must use plastic containers, then you can get an airtight lid for the container. You can also prevent air from entering the coffee by rapping the plastic bottle with plastic wrap.

Tip #4: Never leave your coffee container open in the fridge.

The obvious reason is to avoid oxidation that could result in stale and bitter coffee.

Another reason is that coffee can pick up the smell and flavor of the items surrounding it. So if you have some chicken in your fridge, then get ready the next day for some chicken-flavored coffee.

Always close your coffee container. If possible, make use of an airtight lid.

Step 3: Use Clean Containers

Experts recommend using the same storage container for all your coffee storage purposes.

So when one batch of coffee is done with, it is important that you clean your container thoroughly before filling it up with the next batch.

Clean your coffee container with hot water and soap. Make sure there isn’t any stain on the inside. Also, check for any leftover odor which could impact the flavor of the next batch.

Once the cleaned container is perfectly dry, pour the next batch of coffee into it.

Is It Safe To Refrigerate Coffee?

Yes, it is safe to refrigerate coffee.

If you’re running for time and don’t have enough to make a cup of coffee every morning, then storing some in the fridge for consumption tomorrow or the next isn’t a bad idea. 

We have a lot of brewing methods these days and not all of them are against storing your coffee in the fridge. A cold brew coffee is meant to be stored in the fridge and should be good.

Do keep in mind that coffee (not cold brew) stored in the fridge for a couple of days won’t have an ounce of freshness in it and will taste not that good. But if you’re okay with it, then you can do as you wish.

However, you need to do it right. In the section above, we have given you step-by-step instructions on how to refrigerate coffee. If you follow that, you won’t have any problem. 

Does Refrigerated Coffee Go Bad?

Refrigerated coffee won’t go bad for days.

But once your coffee has stayed in the fridge for a day or two, you will find that your coffee doesn’t quite have the same taste as before. Even the smell isn’t as good.

This is because your coffee has been oxidized. Oxidation is a process when your coffee reacts with the surrounding air and loses all its flavor and other goodness. When oxidation happens, your coffee will become stale and sometimes sour or even bitter to drink.

The good news is that you can control the rate of oxidation. When you store your coffee in your refrigerator in an airtight container, you will slow down the process of oxidation. This way, your coffee will retain its taste and smell for a longer period.

Another key thing to note is the type of coffee (and the coffee bean it is made from) you store. If you’re refrigerating black coffee, you will get a very good shelf life. But if you’re trying the same with coffee that has milk or creamer in it, it will get stale a lot sooner.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can You Make Coffee and Refrigerate it? 

Yes, you can make ground coffee and refrigerate it. 

Coffee will be awesome when you brew and drink it as fresh coffee. But, for some reason, if you want to store your coffee in the fridge, you can do so.

When it comes to iced coffee, you don’t have to worry much.

Do follow the instructions we have given above to refrigerate your coffee.

Can You Refrigerate Coffee and Reheat it?

Yes, you can reheat refrigerated coffee the next day.

Reheating will definitely impact the taste and flavor of the coffee.

If you must, you can reheat the coffee at a low temperature on a stovetop. You can also use the microwave, but we found the stovetop method to retain more flavor.

Should You Refrigerate Brewed Coffee?

Whether you should or not depends on your everyday needs.

Coffee is best consumed fresh immediately after brewing it. A freshly brewed coffee will lose most of its freshness within 30 minutes of brewing it.

If you can’t make coffee every morning and would like to have ready-made coffee when you wake up, you can refrigerate your coffee. Always use black coffee for the best experience.

All of this applies to instant coffee as well.

What Happens If You Put Hot Coffee in the Fridge?

It is recommended to cool your coffee to room temperature before placing it in the fridge. 

Since we recommend using glass jars or carafes, moving them with hot coffee into a cold environment would cause stress on them, and in the worst case, it could even fracture them.

We know you might not have the time to wait to cool it to room temperature, but storing hot coffee in a glass jar inside the fridge is not a great idea. 

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