What's the deal with cold coffee? Can it go bad?

What's the deal with cold coffee? Can it go bad?

During Cattail Hour this past weekend we talked about the differences between cold brew coffee and cold hot brewed coffee. We mostly talked about the differences in how they are brewed, but also how they taste. We thought we would do some digging on the subject and here is what we found.

Does Brewed Coffee Go Bad?

After you brew your morning coffee, you may wonder how long before it goes bad. Leaving it on the coffee maker's hot plate does buy you a little bit of time. Your coffee maker might have a function that keeps the coffee hot for a predetermined amount of time. But, once that time is up, it will start to cool and lose its freshness. This changes the way the coffee tastes and at around 30 minutes at room temperature, the flavor will be compromised considerably. If you're not concerned about taste, and add milk and sugar there's less to worry about.

But, If you're a coffee connoisseur and you enjoy the nuances of  your coffee, you should make sure to drink your coffee before it reaches room temperature.

By contrast, day-old coffee will taste dramatically different. Not in a good way. It's still relatively safe to drink. "You can drink day-old coffee if it's black and without any milk products," says registered dietitian Supriya Lal, RD.


But, is it safe to drink old coffee?

Day old coffee probably isn't dangerous, according to the National Coffee Association. Obviously you should use your best judgment before drinking a cup of day old coffee. Check to see how the coffee looks and smells?

 Coffee served in restaurants or coffee shops should be fresh and served steaming hot, according to the CDC. Avoid warm or room-temp coffee that has been sitting out, as there's a higher risk for contamination. If you didn't personally brew the coffee, you may want to be more careful about it. 

Over all some sources say you have 24 hours before the coffee goes bad. Others suggest drinking your coffee within four hours at room temperature or a few days if refrigerated. Either way there isn't a lot of scientific research that suggests how long you have until brewed coffee goes bad. 


But remember…coffee beans never go bad. They DO loose their freshness and over time won’t taste very good. But as a general rule, un-opened coffee is good for 6-9 months. Lucky for you, Catfight Coffee rarely keeps anything on the shelf for more than 30 days, which is the optimal window for taste when it comes to coffee. 

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