How long can coffee sit out?

How Long Can Coffee Sit Out Will Not Affect The Taste & Health?

How long can coffee sit out? I suspect you’ve taken at least one or two sips from the coffee mug left on the counter overnight. Let’s face it, we’ve all had stale coffee at some point in our lives, whether we know it or not. But is it safe and can it harm us in any way?

Of course, storage conditions and coffee ingredients like milk or coffee cream play a role in the shelf life of the drink. Products stored in the refrigerator usually last longer, but is there a way to drink yesterday’s Starbucks coffee without ill effects?

What about pure black coffee that’s been stored at room temperature for a while – is it bad for you?

If you’re looking for absolute clarity on how long it’s safe to skip coffee, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to this Centralparkwestcafe article for the ultimate guide to when you can go coffee-free.

Try it and see!

How long can coffee sit out?

The exact answer depends on many factors – and we’ll get to that later in this article. But in general, you can expect your brewed coffee to last about half an hour at room temperature. After this time, the taste and aroma will gradually decrease.

How long can coffee sit out?

Black coffee

If you love black coffee, the good news is that you can leave your black coffee for days before it becomes unsafe to drink. However, it certainly won’t taste very good, but at least it won’t harm you.

Coffee lacks protein and carbohydrates for microorganisms to eat, so pure black coffee is not an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. It will take at least 4-7 days for your black coffee ky to appear moldy. This time will be even longer if you store leftover coffee in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Coffee with milk

If you love the rich flavor of adding milk to your coffee or prefer a frothy latte or cappuccino, the time you have to say goodbye to your coffee when it’s left outside will be a lot quicker.

Coffee with added dairy products or milk substitutes should be drunk within 1-2 hours of preparation. After this point, throw it away.

When milk and other perishable foods are between 4.4 and 60 degrees Celsius, bacteria grow quite quickly and coffee becomes unsafe to drink after about two hours.

For black coffee, the taste and aroma of the coffee will decrease within the first 30 minutes. If you normally drink milk-based coffee drinks, especially those with sweeteners, you may not notice much loss in flavor, but we all know that a warm cup of coffee isn’t special comfortable. If you notice a sour taste in coffee, it’s definitely time to ditch your drink.

If you tend to drink slowly, choose an insulated pitcher or mug to keep your drink at a safe temperature.

Never put leftover milk coffee in the refrigerator if left outside and avoid reheating milky drinks. Reheating can kill some bacteria, but trust me, it’s not worth the risk, and drinking coffee tastes pretty awful.

Cold brew coffee

Cold brew coffee lasts the longest. It will stay fresh longer because heat accelerates oxidation, and you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

The best method is to make pure cold brew concentrate, adding water and other ingredients to each serving.

Cold brew is delicious, retains more flavor and aroma than any other method, and isn’t just for summer. Enjoy a cold beer at any time of the year, especially if you’re in a hurry in the morning.

Cold brewing takes a little more time at first, but once it’s done, just take it out of the fridge and you’re ready to go.

Ice coffee

Needless to say, your iced coffee will taste bland as the ice melts. When you’re enjoying it on a chilly winter’s day, that probably won’t happen anytime soon. But during the hot summer months, your iced coffee will be watery in an hour or less.

Can you drink the coffee left overnight?

Can you drink the coffee left overnight?

We know you don’t want to waste day-old coffee. We do not recommend drinking coffee that has been aged for a long time, especially if it has gone rancid and has accumulated unpleasant odors and tastes.

Even if you don’t, it won’t be a pleasant cup of coffee because it’s freshly brewed. Treat yourself to something better, make another cup.

Brewed coffee can easily go moldy if not refrigerated and consumed quickly. This can cause some problems in your stomach.

Why does coffee taste go bad after sitting for a long time?

Oxidation is the main reason why coffee tastes bland when left out for a while. The distinctive flavor of coffee beans is made up of volatile aromatic compounds that easily oxidize when exposed to oxygen.

In particular, the process of making coffee is the first step in a long chain of chemical reactions. As the hot water permeates your ground coffee, these molecules immediately release their intense aroma, and the oil and the aroma of the coffee begin to secrete.

For this reason, the most suitable water temperature for brewing coffee is 195-205 F. Boiling water will over-extract the coffee and result in a bitter taste. The aroma also disappears very quickly at such high temperatures.

Oxidation does not stop after annealing. Your coffee cup is exposed to oxygen, which continues to break down and react with some of its compounds. Although it is not spoiled and is still safe to drink, the taste and aroma will fade.

This oxidation occurs faster at high temperatures. That’s why cold brew coffee retains its flavor longer, while a pot of coffee on the hot plate of your coffee maker becomes more bitter.

How to store brewed coffee?

The best way, you should only make enough coffee to drink while it is still hot. But there are still some things you can do when storing brewed coffee to keep it fresher for longer.

How to store brewed coffee?

Use an airtight container

If you immediately notice that you have made too much coffee, you should immediately transfer the coffee to an airtight container. A thermos is ideal, but if you don’t have a large enough thermos you can always use a Tupperware or a glass.

It’s important to keep your coffee out of the air to slow down the degradation process.

Avoid using dairy products

Dairy products will greatly shorten the shelf life of beverages, especially when stored at room temperature.

However, I am not saying that you should only drink black coffee. But don’t add milk until you’ve removed the glass and are ready to drink it. That way, even if you don’t use up the cup in about an hour, it won’t be so tragic to throw it away.

Refrigerate leftover coffee

Finally, don’t forget that refrigerators extend the shelf life of most things. I recommend storing your brewed coffee in the refrigerator, even if you’ve poured it into an airtight container.

It won’t taste as good as pre-made, but at least you’ll avoid mold and bacteria growth in your favorite beverage.


As you can see, you should try to drink fresh coffee as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean you should devour it while it’s hot. But don’t leave it on your desk for hours, either.

While coffee is technically safe to drink a day after brewing, any milky-flavored coffee beverage should be drunk within an hour.

Do you have any more questions? Contact us via the comment section

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