Cold-brew is the latest in delicious coffee drinks. It’s heavily caffeinated compared to other coffees, which makes it the perfect pick me up in the middle of the afternoon or to start your day.
This cold coffee drink is perfect for summer but can be enjoyed throughout the year. If you’ve experimented with making cold brew coffee at home or have purchased it from a store, you’ll need to store it in your fridge to keep it fresh. But how long does cold brew coffee last in the refrigerator?
The Shelf Life of Cold Brew
When you put your cold brew in the fridge, you’ll want to drink it before it goes bad. No one likes to waste coffee. Cold brew coffee has a shelf life of about two weeks when you store it in the fridge.
Typically when you make cold brew at home, you end up with a lot more coffee than you’re comfortable drinking in one day. Storing the cold brew in your fridge will let you have fresh coffee for up to two weeks.
What Factors Affect Cold Brew’s Shelf Life?
Even though cold brew has a general shelf life of about two weeks in the fridge, a few factors can lower that to less than two weeks.
1. Storing Cold Brew With Nothing Added
It’s the morning after you’ve been steeping your cold brew coffee for 24 hours or at least overnight. After you’ve poured yourself a delicious glass and prepared it to your liking, you need to store it in the fridge.
Storing your cold brew in the fridge with nothing added or without diluting it will make your cold brew stay freshest the longest. Doing this is how you give your cold brew a shelf life of two to even three weeks.
2. Storing Cold Brew With Cream or Sweetener
Most people enjoy adding creamer or other sweeteners to their cold brew to cut through the intense flavor. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you’ll want to do this as you make a cup each day.
When you prepare your pitcher of cold brew as you would drink it every morning, you’re cutting the shelf life of the cold brew by more than half. Storing cold brew with creamer or other sweeteners has a shelf life in the fridge of only two to three days compared to weeks.
3. Storing Diluted Cold Brew
Similar to adding creamer or sweetener to your cold brew before storing, diluting the coffee with water will cut the shelf life down to two to three days.
Depending on how long you steep your cold brew, your cold brew may be too strong. You can cut the robust flavor with water to make it more manageable to drink. If you’re going to do this, do this for every cup you pour, not for the entire batch before storing.
How to Ensure The Freshest Cup of Cold Brew
Cold brew coffee isn’t something you’re going to make from scratch every morning. The steeping process alone takes 12 to 24 hours.
The best way to ensure that you have the freshest possible glass of cold brew every morning is to store the coffee in the fridge without diluting it with water, creamer, or other sweeteners.
Each morning when you head to the kitchen to pour yourself a glass, this is when you can dilute the beverage if needed or at whatever you want to it.
Another way to keep the beverage as fresh as possible is to store it in a container other than a pitcher. Finding an airtight container for your cold brew may prolong the shelf life for longer than two weeks.
If you’re going to store cold brew in the fridge, keep in mind that the flavor will dilute throughout the week regardless of if you store it correctly. It’ll still taste great if it’s not gone bad, but the flavor weakening is normal.
Can I Store Cold Brew Coffee at Room Temperature?
Since many people brew their cold-brew coffee at room temperature, many people think it’s okay to store the final product at room temperature. While there’s nothing wrong with leaving the cold brew on the counter for an hour or so, you do not want to keep it there any longer.
Cold-brew needs to be stored in the fridge once it’s finished brewing. You need to keep it in the refrigerator because, much like tea, cold brew coffee will become moldy if it’s not kept in the fridge.
The quickest way to ruin the cold brew you worked so hard on is to leave it at room temperature.
Alternatives to Storing Cold Brew Coffee at Home
If you love cold brew, but now that you know you have to store it in your fridge, don’t have space for it, here are a few alternatives to this chilled coffee drink.
1. Make Iced Coffee at Home
Making iced coffee at home is by far the easiest alternative to making cold-brew at home. Unlike making cold brew coffee, making iced coffee will take up much less space because you’re likely not storing a large batch at once.
You can make iced coffee by making a pot of traditional coffee in your machine, or even a single serving by using a Keurig. ONce you’ve done this, you can just place the smaller container in your fridge overnight or while you’re getting ready for your day.
Once the hot coffee has reached a colder temperature, you can make it how you like it, and voila. You have an iced coffee beverage that doesn’t take up tons of space in your fridge.
2. Purchase Smaller Containers of Cold Brew
A few companies sell containers of cold brew that are airtight and will last for a couple of weeks in your fridge. Not only does this save you time brewing the coffee, but they may take up less space in your fridge if you have a large family with tons of food in the refrigerator.