If you are a regular coffee drinker you are well aware that it is best consumed when it is still fresh out of the coffee machine. However, certain distractions such as a phone call or a domestic emergency could prevent you from finishing your cup of joe in one sitting. Most people would keep their unconsumed coffee in the fridge and reheat it later. However, is it safe to drink day-old coffee? In this article, let us try to assess if day old coffee is still safe to consume or not.
Can you drink day old coffee?
Yes, you can drink day-old coffee provided it is black coffee and does not have any dairy components like milk or cream or even non-dairy alternatives like soy or almond milk. It should also be in an airtight container.
Coffee that has been left to sit out for at least 30 minutes will still have its original flavor so long as it is at room temperature of around 20 degrees Centigrade or 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, beyond that time it will develop a bitter taste and lose its aroma due to oxidation. If it is plain black coffee you can still drink it after a day although it won’t have its original flavor anymore. It can even last for up to a week if stored inside the refrigerator with temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit while cold brew can last for up to two weeks.
Reheating coffee with a microwave is not recommended since it will further ruin the flavor and also reorganize the chemical makeup of coffee.
How long does brewed coffee stay fresh?
Brewed coffee only stays fresh for just a few minutes since it loses flavor with every passing moment after the brewing process. This is because coffee oxidizes when it brews and it will continue to do so even after it has been brewed in a coffee maker. Coffee experts note that you should enjoy your coffee right away to take full advantage of its freshness.
As mentioned, brewed coffee can still be consumed a day after it has been brewed so long as it is plain black and with no dairy products. If you normally put milk or creamer in your coffee, do not try to drink it after a day despite placing it inside the fridge as you could suffer from an upset stomach.
Factors to consider when checking the freshness of your coffee
Here are the factors to consider in assessing the freshness of coffee:
The ingredients of the coffee.
Brewed coffee that is plain and black may not be fresh after a day but it can still be consumed. However, if the ingredients of your coffee include milk you have to dispose of it since it is already unsafe to consume if left for two hours unrefrigerated.
The timing of how old your coffee is.
Brewed coffee starts to lose its flavor after 30 minutes and when it cools down. After four hours, the coffee oils are depleted and coffee tends to become more acidic. Reheating coffee at this time is not reasonable as it will only become more bitter. If you left coffee on your coffee machine for over a day it could develop bacteria and molds and should be thrown out.
How to drink day old coffee safely without losing too much flavor?
Here are ways on how you can drink day-old coffee safely without losing too much flavor:
Put your coffee in a dark place.
You can still drink day-old coffee if it is stored away from direct light and if it is plain black coffee. This is especially helpful when storing coffee beans which should not be exposed in direct light so it won’t spoil.
Seal it in an airtight container.
Place the coffee in a sealed and airtight container to prevent its exposure to oxygen. If you brewed more than you can drink, remove the coffee from the pot and transfer to the container so you can still drink it after a day.
Opt for porcelain and treated glass containers.
Do not keep or store your unconsumed coffee in plastic as it leaches into your coffee and it will have a plastic smell. Use porcelain or treated glass containers.
Can drinking day old coffee make you sick?
No, drinking day-old coffee will not make you sick. However, do not expect that it will still taste the same as fresh coffee. Day-old coffee starts to go stale and loses its flavor. Before indulging in a cup of day-old coffee, try to feel its taste and consistency. If you taste a hint of rancidity, do not consume it.
Does coffee lose caffeine overnight?
No, coffee does not lose caffeine overnight because caffeine does not evaporate. Although you brewed some coffee, left it on the counter overnight, and drank it the following morning, the caffeine will still be present unless it is specifically removed from the beans to make decaffeinated coffee.
Forgetting to finish up a cup of coffee or brewing too much coffee in the coffee machine happens to everyone once in a while. Do not fret though since you can still drink it after a day provided that it is plain black brewed coffee with no milk, cream, or even non-dairy substitutes like almond milk. Make sure to store it in an airtight container to prevent oxygen from getting inside.
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