As someone who loves a good cold brew coffee, I was curious whether it would go bad if not refrigerated.
After researching and testing it out myself, I learned a few things about the shelf life of cold brew coffee.
In this article, I’ll discuss whether cold brew goes bad if not refrigerated and give you some tips on keeping your cold brew fresh for as long as possible.
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Does Cold Brew Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
The short answer is yes, cold brew can go bad if not refrigerated. In fact, if left at room temperature, it can start to spoil within just two days. But it can last for up to two weeks in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container.
This is because cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to grow.
How I Tested Shelf Life of Cold Brew
To test the shelf life of cold brew myself, I made a batch and left it on my kitchen counter for two days.
When I tried it, it tasted a little off and had a slightly sour smell. I could tell that it had started to spoil, so I poured it down the drain.
Next, I made another batch and stored it in an airtight mason jar in my refrigerator. After two weeks, I tried it again and was surprised that it tasted fresh and delicious.
The only difference was that it wasn’t as strong as it was when I first made it, which is to be expected as it had been diluted with water.
How Long Does Cold Brew Last?
The shelf life of cold brew coffee can vary depending on a few factors. If stored in its concentrated form in an airtight container, it can last for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
However, if it has been diluted with water or milk, it will only last for a few days. Additionally, the coffee beans’ quality can affect the shelf life of cold brew, which can typically last for 1-2 weeks.
How To Keep Your Cold Brew Fresh for Longer
Now that you know that cold brew can go bad if not refrigerated, here are some tips for keeping it fresh for as long as possible:
Store it in an airtight container
When storing cold brew, it’s important to use an airtight container to prevent air and bacteria from getting in.
A mason jar is a great option, as it has a tight-fitting lid to keep your cold brew fresh for longer.
Keep it refrigerated
As mentioned earlier, cold brews should always be stored in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for as long as possible.
Ensure your refrigerator is set to a temperature of 40°F or below, as this is the optimal temperature for storing cold brew.
Use high-quality coffee beans
The coffee beans’ quality can affect the shelf life of cold brew. Using high-quality, fresh beans will ensure that your cold brew stays fresh for longer.
Make smaller batches
If you don’t plan on drinking a lot of cold brew at once, making smaller batches is best to avoid wasting any leftover coffee. This will also help to ensure that your cold brew stays fresh for as long as possible.