Can You Freeze Brewed Coffee? Here’s Why & The How

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on June 19th, 2022

We’re way too addicted to coffee, and we’re not even ashamed to admit it.

However, what you’re meant to do with leftover coffee might be a mystery. You make a big pot only to know you’re not going to have time to finish it. You can practice making the perfect amount each day, but that depends on how much you need for that day *Scratch head.

brewed coffee ice cubes

If you made too much coffee, you might dump it down the drain, but it seems unnecessary, so how about freezing it? Is that a thing? Can you freeze some brewed coffee?

In short, YES, you can, yet you might freeze your coffee, but you won’t want to drink it later. The taste is ruined if you attempt to heat it out of the freezer again, even if you are defrosting it in the refrigerator. Instead, you can freeze your brewed coffee and make it into ice cubes, which are fun to have in the house.

But how are you going to make them? What are they for? And if you’re still motivated to freeze coffee for a drink later, read on…

filled pitcher

Why freeze coffee anyway?

There are many reasons why people stick to freezing coffee, despite the reported risks; some purchase bulk coffee before the “best by” date expires. That means they’re going to have to keep it in the freezer. People with several favorite brands are particularly likely to do this because they could not drink all five or six (or ten or fifteen) bags of different coffee brands before the expiry date.

But, of course, there are those coffee lovers who frequently buy a small amount of coffee and never have to think about a stale cup of morning coffee. They probably have all of their coffee neatly listed on the spreadsheet, sorted by “best by” dates. The remainder of us is left with the freezer as the easiest option.

Many of us are not people in the morning, and the situation worsens if we don’t get coffee without delay. Frozen coffee can be a handy choice if you have unexpected visitors at home and you need to get them a hot cup of coffee in an eye blink. In these situations, taking out a jar of frozen brewed coffee and quickly defrosting it in the microwave will give you coffee for many people in less than five minutes.

Is caffeine reduced by freezing brewed coffee?

There’s a common misconception that the caffeine will dissipate if you retain a cup of coffee for several hours after making it. On the other hand, caffeine is a rather stable chemical that does not deteriorate much in roasted beans or even brewed coffee over a reasonable amount of time.

Caffeine has a four-year average shelf life and remains stable at freezing temperatures for several years. Thus it is not true that its caffeine level will be diminished after a few days in the freezer. However, other coffee components, such as antioxidants, may decay over time due to temperature fluctuations.

How long can brewed coffee be kept frozen?

Coffee is a perishable beverage with a limited shelf life. It will get stale and lose its flavor and scent if stored for too long. Instead, brew coffee and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Most people store brewed coffee in the freezer for two weeks.

Coffee can be kept in the fridge for up to a week and much longer if frozen. However, most coffee experts recommend freezing brewed coffee for no longer than a week. Depending on the grind and concentration of the brew, the coffee will still be safe to consume after that time, but the flavor and freshness of the beverage may be damaged.

How are you going to make coffee ice cubes?

As I mentioned earlier, coffee ice cubes are the perfect use for frozen coffee, they fit in a few different areas that I’m going to be discussing later, and you don’t have to reheat them at all, so you don’t have to face a coffee taste that isn’t so good anymore.

But making them is not as easy as pouring them into an ice cube tray and keeping them in the freezer. There is a significant additional step.

Step 1 

Brew your coffee, drink what you can, and then let the leftovers cool down. Unfortunately, putting hot coffee in the freezer isn’t suitable for all you’ve got. It makes the freezer work much harder and wastes a lot of energy. Sure, you can place hot coffee, but it’s not advisable.

Step 2

Pour into a sealable ice cube tray. This is the most crucial step. If you’re planning to do it regularly, I’d consider having a sealable ice cube tray with a cover that you can close, but if you can’t, cover it in plastic wrap.

This is vital since coffee is an odor magnet; you can use coffee beans to remove odor from your refrigerator, which is so good for deodorizing. So you’ll have to cover up your coffee every time you’re storing it, or you’ll end up with a coffee that tastes somewhat like whatever else is in your freezer.

Smells are weaker in the freezer, but they’re still worth covering so that the aroma doesn’t spill into the coffee.

Step 3

Freeze it up! It’ll take about four hours for your brewed coffee to freeze entirely if it’s a regular ice cube tray. It’s ready to use after that.

I’d say stick to freezing black coffee whenever possible because if you add milk, there’s a fair risk that it will separate when it’s freezing, and you’ll end up with some very clumsy ice cubes. They’re not going to taste any worse, but they’re not going to be pretty, and they’re not going to be appetizing.

Variations that you can use to make different coffee ice cubes are:

Mocha Ice Cubes – Mix coffee, milk, and chocolate milk to your desired ratio using a measuring dish. Whisk the mixture until it is combined, and then pour into the ice cube tray and freeze.

Caramel Macchiato Ice Cubes – Mix coffee, caramel, and milk using a measuring bowl. Whisk the mixture until it is all mixed, pour into the ice cube tray, and freeze.

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cubes – Using a measuring bowl, mix coffee and sweetened condensed milk. Stir the liquid until it is well blended, pour into the ice cube tray, and freeze.

Uses of frozen coffee leftover 

Now we’ve got our ice cubes; what will we do with them? I’m going to show you. We’re going to be innovative, and we’re going to be amazing.

Making iced coffee

cold brew

If you don’t have time to make cold brew coffee and have just enough time to put ice on your coffee, there is a big taste difference. Iced coffee is good and everything, but it’s always toned down when you pour it over the ice as it melts and releases plenty of water into your adequately brewed coffee. But what if the ice cubes were made of coffee?

A big glass of iced coffee cubes primed to have coffee poured over it; what’s wrong? A cold refreshing drink on a hectic day and a nicely balanced cup.

I’d hold on to using the same coffee brand together if you do that, perhaps with the same roasts, too, or you might find the flavor combinations a bit strange. Not the worst, but there’s going to be something odd about it.

Making smoothies and coffee milkshakes 

baked desserts

Do you make milkshakes? Protein shakes? Smoothies too? Any scenario where you blend ice can be used to replace your coffee ice cubes. Banana, Vanilla, and coffee is my personal preferred protein to shake. Just a few coffee ice cubes, and you’ve got a good undertone of coffee that isn’t overpowering but also raises the overall flavor.

I wouldn’t advise that you go too fruity. Blueberry, strawberry, and coffee, for example, probably won’t taste the finest but experiment and have fun. You never know what entertaining coffee you will make at the end of the day. So check out some of our coffee recipes.

Cooking with coffee

flat-lay photography of vegetable soup on white ceramic cup

Coffee is acidic and can be employed to complement a meal you’re making nicely. At any stage, you are meant to add vinegar; why not add a coffee ice cube instead? Chilli, for example, has a deep taste that goes well with dark roast coffee.

Just as with steak or BBQ marinade, consider tossing in a coffee ice cube to accentuate red meat’s dark, rich flavors. I know it sounds a little weird, but believe me, it’s delicious. Check out some food recipes with coffee in them.

Water your plants

green leafed seedlings on black plastic pots

Not all plants, but a good number of plants do well with some more acidity. It takes a bit of research, but if your plant loves acidic soil, a coffee ice cube every two weeks might do the trick to keep it healthy and thriving.

Not too much, though; if you do it every day, you’re likely to result to causing more harm than good.

How do coffee ice cubes taste?

The beauty of coffee ice cubes is that if they are correctly frozen, they taste more like regular coffee. Most people use coffee ice cubes and put them inside their iced coffee because they don’t dilute the taste. Starbucks does this!

Some say that coffee cubes made 3 or 4 days before use are often more delicious because the coffee is “aged,” and you can experience a deeper taste.

Thawing frozen coffee

How you defrost the frozen coffee will depend on how you plan to use it. For example, when it comes to coffee ice cubes, you won’t want to thaw them. Instead, you’re just going to drop the cubes into the drink you want to enjoy.

You can opt to leave the frozen coffee in the refrigerator overnight to enjoy the next day. This way, coffee is allowed enough time to thaw naturally but not attain a higher temperature than what your refrigerator offers.

If you want to use the frozen coffee immediately and don’t want to wait for it to defrost overnight, you could place it in a microwave, in a suitable container and defrost in the microwave. Then, when the coffee has become liquid, you can use the microwave’s heating feature to steam the coffee to enjoy it.

There are quite a few thawing coffee methods, but it all depends on how you want to do it and how soon you need it.

Good practices for coffee freezing and reheating.

You’ve been cautioned that it doesn’t taste good, and it doesn’t taste as good as fresh coffee. If you’ve got so many beans, you’d probably be better off freezing the coffee beans and using them to make fresh coffee rather than brewing extra coffee and freezing it.

But if you have to, let’s make sure you do it correctly.

Tip 1

Don’t go from the freezer to the microwave. It’s not worth it because the coffee doesn’t heat the same way, so you’ll end up boiling the coffee that isn’t frozen while the rest defrosts. Instead, you want to leave it in the refrigerator overnight so it thaws and then heats.

Tip 2

Don’t overheat it. You’ll have to take it easy while you’re reheating in the microwave, 30 seconds to start with a 10-second burst, so you don’t overheat it. This should help with the reheating process and do what it can to retain the taste.

In the perfect world, you’d slowly heat it in a container over hot water, but if you have enough time to do that, you’ll most likely have enough time to make a fresh cup.

Can you freeze cold brew coffee?

Cold-brew coffee can be frozen. The coffee that tastes better after it’s defrosted. Conversely, cold brew ice cubes may be used to make iced coffee or are good to eat on their own. Make sure you ice it in an airtight jar and let it defrost before you drink it again.

No, it’s not as good as it was when you made it new, but it’s still pretty good. Cold-brew lasts only two weeks in the freezer until it begins to decline, but it will be safe for consumption for at least a few months afterward.


brewed coffee ice cubes

How long can brewed coffee be kept in the freezer?

The damage is once the coffee is frozen, eliminating some of the essential oils that make up the coffee’s flavor profile. Hence, once it’s in there, it can remain there for a long time. Approximately 3-6 months is usually a safe rule of thumb, but after about two weeks, the taste will start to fade.

Can you freeze a hot cup of coffee?

You can, but it’s not suitable for the refrigerator because it has to work extra hard to cool it down. It can also trigger some of your other freezer products to thaw slightly and then freeze again, which is where bacteria could start to develop, mainly when raw meat is in there. So it’s better to let it cool down, very cold if possible before you freeze.

Can you freeze iced coffee?

You can keep iced coffee in the freezer, but the problem is that it will all freeze into a considerable lump. If you want to convert it back to iced coffee, you will have to thaw it in the microwave and then put in more ice cubes which will further dilute the taste. Then, it needs to be drunk until it’s iced coffee.

Do freezing brewed coffee lower caffeine levels?

There is a common misconception that caffeine dissipates if you leave a coffee for a few hours after brewing. However, caffeine is stable and does not significantly decline in roasted beans or even brewed coffee for a reasonable period.

Caffeine has an average shelf life of around four years and has been stable for many years at cold temperatures, so it is not accurate that its caffeine content would be decreased in the freezer for a few days. Other coffee components, such as antioxidants, can diminish over time due to temperature changes.

Also, certain people may have a milder taste of coffee that takes a long time to freeze. This is because hot water breaks down coffee more quickly. As it cools, its ability to dissolve can diminish. The slower the freezing process, the longer the coffee grounds fall to the base of the container. So, if you whip out frozen coffee from the top of the container, it can have less coffee and caffeine content than the bottom.

Is it possible to freeze decaffeinated brewed coffee?

Decaffeinated coffee is nothing more than coffee stripped of 97 to 99 percent of its caffeine content. As a result, high-quality decaffeinated coffee will gain from the freezing process just as much as regular coffee.

If your decaffeinated coffee tastes a little weird after it has been frozen, likely, you did not freeze it in the right way, just like the one described above. In addition, the solvents used to extract caffeine from the coffee can also remove some of the other flavors, which implies that your coffee may not taste as good as regular coffee, irrespective of whether it was freshly brewed or made with a frozen brew.

Why do ice cubes evaporate in the freezer?

Your coffee ice cubes do not evaporate. They sublimate. But why does this occur? You do not require a Ph.D. in chemistry to understand why this occurs. The reason is: that you may think that the ice is not supposed to change in conditions below freezing, but the temperature of your freezer changes every time you open the freezer door. Also, dry air is the root problem.

In many freezers, the heating cycle is automatically activated to clear ice from the cooling surfaces occasionally. As a result, your coffee ice cubes can be sublimated and vaporized quicker when they’re warmer than the air in your freezer.

This should not be a big problem unless you intend to leave your coffee ice cubes out in a tray for months. However, based on how delicious your morning iced coffee will be after you add coffee ice cubes, we feel your coffee ice cube tray will be empty before you reach the two-week mark.

How do you store leftover brewed coffee?

If you don’t want to freeze your brewed coffee, you can pour the rest of the pot into a carafe and place it in the refrigerator. Holding the coffee cold retains its taste and aroma outside the two-hour window. Experts say that you can refrigerate coffee for up to a week and recommend three to four days in the refrigerator. You can even reheat it from the refrigerator, but it won’t taste as good as a freshly brewed cup.

Final thought

And there you go; I can suggest making coffee ice cubes if you have a little leftover coffee and are unsure what to do with it. But it’s not a good idea to freeze coffee to reheat and drink later. It will wreck your taste and leave you with a cup that only tastes bland and lifeless, not exploding with the flavor of a good coffee.

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.