How Long is Brewed Coffee Good For?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 24th, 2023

Carefully selected coffee beans may last for 2 years. But a cup of brewed coffee-in terms of taste- is said to be best for the first hour it was served. Traditional coffee drinkers wouldn’t care to dispute that claim about the brew because you may even agree that the statement is true.

I had been using a 12-ounce coffee maker and never got to brew more than 16 ounces for 4 spoonfuls of finely ground arabica coffee. However, someone had told me that the finely ground coffee powder yields a stronger brew than the coarse variety when the brew is continuously heated for up to 12 hours.

How Long is Brewed Coffee Good For?

But I did not try it because I had dropped the practice of drinking reheated brew; the taste of reheated coffee isn’t like the taste of the original fresh brew.

I didn’t realize brewed coffee isn’t meant to be prepared in bulk until I came across the cute 2-ounce coffee maker at a hotel in New York. It confirmed my theory that brewed coffee is unlike wine, which becomes more desirable as it ages.

But then, I realized why the customized 2-ounce coffee maker existed. You cannot simply throw away without regretting the precious leftover brew.

Coffee making tips

hot coffee

I got curious when someone suggested I look into several websites or coffee-making tips; the websites didn’t yield anything new or remarkable, but most of what they say is similar to what I found others also said. I found from other sites the following interesting quips:

So, does brewed coffee go bad?

  1. Brewed coffee’s longevity depends upon whom you ask about it.
  2. Brewed coffee is good only up to the point where its distinct taste ends.
  3. Consume brewed coffee while it’s hot. The brew becomes either safe or harmful to consume after it has gone cold.
  4. Flavor and safety are the common parameters used to measure brewed coffee’s longevity.
  5. It’s better to brew small amounts of coffee good for 1 to 2 hours. If you want coffee later in the day, brew anew.
  6. Is it safe to drink day-old coffee? You could refrigerate the brew for up to 4 days. After that, you may serve it hot or cold.
  7. If you brew coffee with cold water may last for 2 weeks in the fridge.
  8. How long can coffee sit out with milk? Unadulterated brewed coffee lasts longer than when milk, creamer, or sugar is added to it. Likewise, coffee with pasteurized milk last longer than coffee with unpasteurized milk.
  9. Brewed coffee using coffee powder derived from selected coffee beans tastes better and lasts longer.
  10. You do not get sick from imbibing stale brewed coffee; you get sick because of the harmful organisms contaminating it.
  11. If you drink brewed coffee for what it is meant to be, regardless of what science may say- drink your coffee within 20 minutes from the time it was brewed.
  12. The validated Ig-Nobel prize-winning 5-minute rule applies to coffee. Coffee is an astringent, a lot of growth may occur in it for a while, but contamination eventually happens.
  13. The longevity of brewed coffee is notably influenced by the quality of water, the roasted beans, the brewing procedure, and the storage conditions.
  14. Some people like to drink cold-brewed coffee. So cold-brewed coffee is being served along with liquor in some bars.
  15. It’s best to refrigerate brewed coffee in airtight sealed bottle containers.
  16. It’s also possible to preserve brewed coffee as ice cubes, but ice cubes can’t convert into full-fledged coffee.
  17. Remove from your fridge decaying items that may contaminate the coffee brew.
  18. Pathogenic bacteria thrive and grow more rapidly in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Your brewed coffee is susceptible to these kinds of bacteria. Remember that refrigeration only slows down the growth of bacteria.
  19. Cooking generally kills microorganisms. But repeatedly reheating cold coffee makes its taste turn sour.
  20. Any coffee left at the counter for 12 hours becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
  21. A scientific study has yet to confirm how long brewed coffee may last conclusively.

Obviously, based on the quips- I endeavored to carefully state- you could see that most of the statements are based on direct or indirect experiences; you could either deny or affirm them depending on your circumstances. I agree with those who believe that a scientific study has yet to confirm or deny our guesses of how long brewed coffee is good for.

Your taste bud

pour over coffeee

But for now, I would say that as soon as the brew is transferred to the drinking cup, its aroma starts to fly away with the vapor escaping from the steaming cup of black liquid.

If you don’t consume your steaming brewed coffee fast enough, the aromatic liquid cools down, and its alluring scent and distinct taste gradually vanish; as soon as it becomes cold, you’ll have to find another coffee drinker whose taste-bud version is compatible with the cold liquid if you don’t want the cold brew wasted.

The growing number of cold coffee drinkers is one reason coffee shop parlors are looking for ways to lengthen the useful life of brewed coffee; the other reason is that you can’t simply waste a costly drink when it is not consumed in time.

Besides the issue of the deterioration in taste, the safety concern of drinking leftover brewed coffee is the other issue. The health-related concern revolves around whether it is safe to drink left-over brewed coffee.


According to a science-based account: “food spoilage is caused by bacteria, yeast, fungi, the food’s enzymes, insects, temperature changes and oxidation. Therefore, food flavor, texture, and appearance changes caused by enzymes, oxidation, and light exposure are undesirable. Still, the changes generally do not make food unsafe to eat unless such changes induce microbial growth.

Bacteria thrives more in low acid, high protein foods. Both molds and yeast could contaminate highly acidic foods. For example, brewed coffee is acidic; it could become a dangerous playground for harmful molds and yeast if left alone.


cold brew

Brewed coffee, unlike wine, attains greater value as it grows old. On the contrary, brewed coffee deteriorates as time goes by.

Hence, enterprising coffee parlor owners had been trying to preserve the brew. But unfortunately, it seems the persistent ones had stumbled on converting liquid coffee into ice cubes as a cheap and practical way to extend the useful life of brewed coffee.

Preserving brewed coffee as an ice cube could be simpler in many ways than storing brewed coffee in a tightly closed container in the fridge. But the ice cubes couldn’t convert into full-fledged coffee, but these could serve as iced-coffee candy.

Should there be a scientific experiment to study brewed coffee’s longevity, I hope the scientists will also determine if the nutritional value of the brew should be a factor to consider.


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.