You may want to keep coffee in the fridge for preservation purposes or for chilling when you need a cold refreshment on blistering hot days. How long does coffee with milk last in the fridge? Well, it depends on how the coffee is prepared and preserved. Ideally, you should use coffee with milk within a short window to enjoy its flavors. The best way to consume cold coffee with milk is to keep milk and unmixed coffee separately in the fridge.
This article examines how long coffee with milk can last in the fridge. You will also learn the factors to consider when refrigerating coffee with milk, top tips for proper refrigeration, and alternatives to refrigeration. The tips will help you enjoy refrigerated coffee and avoid consuming expired coffee that may affect your health.
Storage and preparation are the critical factors determining how long a cup of coffee with milk can remain in the fridge. For instance, storing hot coffee in the fridge shortens its shelf life as it is more susceptible to harm. Here are different scenarios that explain how long you can preserve a cup of coffee in the fridge:
Iced coffee is best consumed before it has thawed. However, it would still be good if you stored it in the fridge. Remove all the ice in the coffee before storing it in the fridge to avoid taste blending. It will be good in the fridge for up to five or six days.
Cold brew does not oxidize at room temperature like hot coffees, thus having a longer shelf life. You can keep the cold brew in the fridge for up to two weeks, and it will still have a fantastic flavor. Just make sure you keep it in a tightly sealed container.
Milk coffees like cappuccino and lattes taste best when consumed immediately after brewing. You can chill and reheat them as you desire but don’t keep them in the fridge longer than two days. Otherwise, the milk will go sour, and the coffee will taste stale.
Storing coffee beans and ground coffee in the fridge is not a good idea. The humidity or moisture in the fridge can cause the growth of mold in the coffee beans or grounds. The coffee will also lose its aroma and flavor. Moreover, coffee is porous in nature and thus will easily absorb other smells in the fridge. According to an article by Science Direct Trusted Source Carbonized coffee grounds remove foul smells -- ScienceDaily In research to develop a novel, eco-friendly filter to remove toxic gases from the air, scientists found that a material made from used coffee grounds can sop up hydrogen sulfide gas, the chemical that makes raw sewage stinky. www.sciencedaily.com , carbonized coffee grounds can remove foul smells from the air. You don’t want the coffee to taste like your leftover meals or vegetables in the fridge.
According to National Coffee Association Trusted Source How to Store Coffee Beans For the best cup of coffee, start with quality beans and store them properly to maximize freshness and flavor. www.ncausa.org (NCA), mason jars and vacuum sealed are the best ways of storing coffee beans and grounds. Keep the coffee in a cool area away from light.
If you make a huge batch of coffee and can’t throw away the leftovers or refrigerate it, try the following alternatives:
Black coffee can sit out for a night and still be safe for consumption the next day. You can leave the cold brew in the carafe or coffee maker on the counter and then use it the following day. Coffee enthusiasts and baristas would never approve of this, but it is a good choice if you hate wastage.
This is possibly the best way of using leftover coffee. Pour the fresh coffee into an ice tray and freeze it. Use the coffee cubes when making a cold brew or iced coffee.
You can put the extra brewed coffee in a thermos flask for later use. Thermoses can keep coffee fresh for up to 12 hours, plus you wouldn’t need to warm the coffee if you take it a few hours later. The taste won’t be as good as freshly brewed coffee, but it will be better than reheated coffee from the fridge.
Here are top tips for keeping coffee in the fridge:
Just like coffee beans, brewed coffee can easily absorb smells from its environment. If you store brewed coffee in an open mug in the fridge, it may taste like broccoli or lettuce in the fridge. Moreover, oxidization may happen faster if the coffee is exposed to constantly moving air, reducing its quality. An airtight container is your best bet. It will keep the coffee fresh without foreign odors and maintain its aromatic flavors. Avoid insulated containers and ceramic containers because of their insulating properties.
It is bad practice to put hot things in the fridge. When you put hot coffee in the fridge, the temperature in it will rise, forcing the unit to use more energy to lower the temperature. What’s more, every other food item in the fridge will warm up, creating conducive conditions for the spread of germs. Therefore, keeping a jug of steaming coffee in the fridge is not bad for the coffee but for the fridge and every other thing in it.
As mentioned earlier, the fridge is no place for coffee beans or grounds. However, if you must store your coffee beans in the fridge, do so in an airtight container. Do not store ground coffee in the fridge as they won’t stay fresh as long as the beans; however, well you store them. Ground coffee has a considerably larger surface area than beans and thus is more exposed to oxidation.
You can keep brewed black coffee in the fridge and then add milk to it only when you need coffee with milk. Let’s say you need an iced latte and won’t have time during the day to brew a fresh batch, you can make a cold brew or black coffee and store it in the fridge. Cold brew concentrate can stay fresh in the fridge for up to two weeks. You will only mix the coffee with fresh milk when you need to drink the iced latte.
Ultra heat-treated (UHT) milk is a shelf-stable type of milk with decent frothing properties. It has a longer shelf life than pasteurized milk, thus a top preference for many commercial applications. If your primary concern is a longer shelf life, UHT milk is a great choice, but if you want flavor and nutrients from the milk you use in your coffees, it is not the best option. The high heat used to treat the milk denatures its proteins and compromises its taste. You won’t get the smooth velvety texture that pasteurized and whole fresh milk give.
Milk and other dairy products don’t do well in hot and humid conditions. Your fridge is designed to be cool and dry to keep your food items fresh longer. When you open your fridge, the contents on its door get exposed to dramatic temperature changes. Since you open your fridge several times, the constant temperature changes can create conducive conditions for the spread of bacteria in the milk and other food items. Milk is best kept at 37 degrees Fahrenheit. The back of an upper shelf in the fridge will give you this optimal milk storage temperature.
Leave the coffee to sit out for a short while before putting it in the fridge. You can put it in a large container to cool it down or use a frozen metallic container for faster results. Put a container in the freezer for a while, then pour the hot coffee in it and allow it to cool before transferring it to an airtight container for refrigeration.
If the fridge is not at the right temperature, your milky coffee will not stay as fresh for two days as it should. The optimum temperature for storing milk is 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius. Ensure the fridge is set at the recommended temperature range for proper preservation of your milky coffees.
Leaving your fridge door open will reduce not only your milky coffee’s shelf-life but also that of other food items in the fridge. You also risk a surge in your power bills. When the fridge door is open, warm, humid air enters and interferes with the cool, dry conditions in the fridge. Most foods go bad in warm, humid conditions. Moreover, the fridge will be using more power to lower the ambient temperature, hence the surge in power bills. In a nutshell, an open fridge door reduces your fridge’s efficiency.
Most organic milk brands sterilize milk at the highest temperatures and thus have longer shelf lives than regular pasteurized milk. Organic milk can go up to two months as it is sterilized at 280 degrees Fahrenheit. Regular pasteurized milk is only heated at 165 degrees Fahrenheit, hence the shorter shelf-life.
Milk alternatives like plant kinds of milk are not only healthier but also have a longer shelf life than dairy milk. Most plant milk types don’t even need refrigeration before use. Some of the dairy milk alternatives you can use include soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, oat milk, and coconut milk, among others.
You can get creative and make the most out of leftover coffee. For starters, you can bake with coffee. It would make a great substitute for water when baking chocolate cakes, cookies, and brownies. You could also make a coffee liquor like Kahlua or add it to your creative cocktail recipes. Leftover coffee can also add value to your houseplants. The caffeine adds nitrogen to the soil giving your plants a good growth boost.
If you brew cold brew as a concentrate and store it properly in the fridge, it can stay fresh for up to two weeks. If you add water to the concentrate, the shelf-life reduces to 2-4 days.
Storing coffee beans or grounds is not a good idea. The refrigerator is not a good place for high-quality coffee beans or grounds. The best practice is to buy fresh coffee beans that you can finish in a short period. You risk compromising the quality of coffee when you keep beans or coffee grounds in the fridge. It may grow mold and lose its aromatic flavor if the moisture in the fridge seeps into the packaging.
The best way to store brewed coffee is to wait for it to cool, pour it into airtight containers, and place it at the back of the fridge on the top shelf. Ensure the fridge’s temperature is at the recommended 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit range. Coffee beans and grounds should not go in the fridge, but if you must, keep them in airtight canisters.
Any barista or coffee expert would cringe at the idea of storing coffee in the fridge, but it is not the worst thing, especially if you hate wasting it. No need to fret when you make a large batch of coffee that you cannot finish. The coffee can still be useful if you store it in the fridge properly. How long does coffee with milk last in the fridge? A maximum of two days. Milky coffees do not have a long shelf-life like cold brew and black coffee. The milk shortens the shelf-life.
We have provided top tips for ensuring your milky coffees remain fresh in the fridge up to the recommended two days. Past two days, the coffee will be less ideal for consumption because it is likely that the milk will have gone sour.