How Long Does Cold Brew Last? The Best Way to Keep Your Cold Brew Coffee Delicious

how long does cold brew last

As summer temperatures start to rise, so does the popularity of cold brew coffee. But how long does cold brew last? Is there a shelf life? Can you freeze it? And is it really worth all the hype?

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at cold brew coffee and answer these questions and more. Stay tuned for more insights on this trendy beverage!

What is cold brew coffee and how is it made?

Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period of time, typically 12 hours or more. The resulting coffee is then filtered to remove the grounds and can be served over ice or diluted with water or milk.

While the process may sound simple, making a good cup of cold brew coffee requires a bit of patience and some trial and error. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to enjoy this delicious drink all summer long!

Is cold brewed coffee the same as iced coffee?

No, cold brew coffee and iced coffee are not the same. Despite the brewing process for cold brew being similar to that of iced coffee, iced coffee is brewed hot and then cooled down, while the cold brew is never heated. This difference in brewing method results in a smoother, less acidic drink that many find to be more refreshing and easier on the stomach.

Read more: Can you heat up cold brew coffee 

How long does cold brew last?

One of the great things about cold brew coffee is that it has a relatively long shelf life. When stored properly, cold brew concentrate can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. That means you can make a big batch at the beginning of the week and enjoy it all week long! 

However, the length of time that cold brew remains good varies considerably depending on how you store it, the quality of the beans, and other factors. Coffee experts suggest refrigerating cold brew undiluted for at least one or two weeks (for undis diluted cold brew), whereas leaving it at room temperature will cause it to sour in 2 hours and mold will form in another few hours.

how long does cold brew last
how long does cold brew last

Can you freeze cold brew coffee?

Yes, you can freeze cold brew coffee! Just like iced cubes can help keep your drink cold, they can also help extend the shelf life of your cold brew. Simply pour the cold brew concentrate into an ice cube tray and freeze for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, defrost the cubes and dilute them with water or milk.

The benefits of cold brew

In addition to being delicious, cold brew coffee has a few other benefits that make it worth trying.

– Cold brew coffee is less acidic than regular coffee and therefore easier on the stomach for those who are sensitive to acidity.

– The extended brewing time results in a higher concentration of caffeine, so cold brew may give you a bit more of a boost than regular coffee.

– Cold brew is also less likely to cause dehydration than other caffeinated beverages because it contains less caffeine per cup.

– Cold brew coffee has a longer shelf life than regular coffee, so you can make a big batch and enjoy it all week long!

– Finally, cold brew is often less bitter than regular coffee because the flavors have had more time to develop during the brewing process.

Does cold brew go bad?

Like all food and drink, cold brew coffee will eventually go bad. It will degrade in a fridge at that rate, even though it is frozen. Nothing stays fresh forever. Over time, the flavor of food will alter. Fresh is better than old.

When stored at room temperature, cold brew coffee will sour in 2 hours, and mold will form in another few hours. Therefore, it’s best to refrigerate cold brew coffee concentrate and dilute it with water or milk when you’re ready to enjoy.

How can you tell if cold brew coffee has gone bad?

There are a few signs that your cold brew coffee has gone bad:

– The color of the coffee changes from brown to gray or black.

– The flavored coffee is weaker.

– The coffee develops a sour smell or tastes stale.

– It is no coffee kick.

– The texture of the coffee becomes watery or slimy.

– It is mold or mildew.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw out the cold brew and start fresh.

In addition, if you buy them from the coffee shop or the store, check the expiry date first and the above-mentioned tell-tale signs, so you will be changed better others. With the large company, the expiry is long because they use pressurization, pasteurization, and similar methods to increase the life of cold brew.

How to make cold brew coffee at home

If you want to try your hand at making cold brew coffee at home, we’ve got you covered! Check out our how-to guide below for everything you need to know about making this delicious summertime drink.

To make cold brew coffee, you’ll need:

– 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee beans

– 4 cups of cold water

– A French press or mason jar with a lid

Instruction:

– Start by adding the ground coffee beans to your French press or mason jar. Then, add the cold water and stir to combine. Cover the jar with a lid and let it sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours.

– After the brewing time is up, gently press down on the plunger of your French press (or strain the coffee through a cheesecloth if using a mason jar). Pour the cold brew concentrate into a pitcher or jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

– When you’re ready to drink, dilute the concentrate with water or milk and serve over ice. Enjoy!

Some ways to enjoy a cold brew

Black: Add cold brew concentrate to a glass of ice and enjoy as is.

With milk: Dilute cold brew concentrate with milk of your choice for a creamy, refreshing beverage.

Sweetened: Mix cold brew concentrate with simple syrup or honey to sweeten.

Flavored: Add a pump or two of your favorite coffee syrup to cold brew concentrate for a flavor boost.

Frozen: Pour cold brew concentrate into an ice cube tray and freeze for an iced coffee that won’t water down your drink.

Irish: Add a shot of whiskey or Bailey’s to cold brew concentrate for a boozy twist.

Espresso: For a quick coffee pick-me-up, combine cold brew concentrate with some freshly prepared espresso.

Chocolate: Add a splash of chocolate milk or syrup to cold brew concentrate for a mocha flavor.

Vanilla: Add vanilla extract, syrup, or beans to cold brew concentrate for a delicious vanilla cold brew.

Recipes for different types of cold brew coffee drinks

Cold Brew Coffee Martini: This martini is the perfect marriage of coffee and alcohol. It’s strong, yet smooth and silky all at the same time.

Vanilla Bean Cold Brew: This recipe is for all the vanilla lovers out there. It’s rich, creamy, and has just the right amount of sweetness.

Chocolate Cherry Cold Brew: If you’re a chocolate lover, this one’s for you. The chocolate syrup and cherry juice give this cold brew a delicious chocolate cherry flavor.

Dirty Chai Cold Brew: This dirty chai cold brew is the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and strong. It’s sure to wake you up and keep you going all day long.

Peach Mint Cold Brew: This cold brew is perfect for summertime. It’s refreshing and has a beautiful peach mint flavor that will leave you wanting more.

Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew: This cold brew is perfect for fall. It’s full of pumpkin flavor and has just the right amount of spice.

Bailey’s Irish Coffee: This coffee drink is made with cold brew coffee, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and cream. It’s the perfect way to enjoy your coffee and get a little buzzed at the same time.

Espresso Cold Brew: This cold brew is made with espresso and cold brew coffee. It’s the perfect drink for those who need an extra boost of caffeine.

Vanilla Latte: This latte is made with cold brew coffee, vanilla syrup, and milk. It’s smooth, creamy, and has just the right amount of sweetness.

Caramel Macchiato: This macchiato is made with cold brew coffee, caramel syrup, and milk. It’s smooth, creamy, and has a delicious caramel flavor.

Mocha: This mocha is made with cold brew coffee, chocolate syrup, and milk. It’s rich, chocolatey, and the perfect way to start your day.

White Russian: This recipe is for all you Big Lebowski fans out there. It’s made with cold brew coffee, vodka, and cream. It’s the perfect drink to enjoy while watching your favorite movie.

Spiked Cold Brew: This cold brew is made with vodka, cold brew coffee, and your choice of mixer. It’s the perfect drink to enjoy on a hot day.

Nitro Cold Brew: This cold brew is infused with nitrogen for a smooth, creamy texture. It’s the perfect drink for those who like their coffee on the sweeter side.

Make a cold brew last longer

Choose the kind of coffee beans should you purchase

When it comes to cold brew, the quality of your coffee beans really matters. Cheap, low-quality beans will produce a weak and watery cold brew that won’t have much flavor. Spend a little extra money on high-quality beans, the longer your cold brew will stay fresh and you’ll taste the difference in your cold brew. Prior to grinding your coffee beans, ensure that they haven’t expired. The quality of your coffee beans can be compromised by various factors such as: the type, freshness, roast, storage, and grind.

To get the most out of your beans, grind them right before you’re ready to brew. And if you can, use filtered water to make your cold brew.

The method of grinding

When it comes to cold brew, the coarseness of your grind is very important. To achieve the greatest amount of caffeine and taste, crush the beans until they are fine enough. If your grind is too fine, your coffee will be over-extracted and taste bitter. If your grind is too coarse, your coffee will be under-extracted and taste weak. The perfect grind for cold brew is somewhere in the middle.

How long to steep

The length of time you steep your cold brew will also affect the flavor. If you steep for too short of a time, your coffee will be under-extracted and taste weak. If you steep for too long of a time, your coffee will be over-extracted and taste bitter. The ideal steeping time for cold brew is 12-24 hours:

  • A minimum of 12 hours is required for proper steeping; any length less than that will produce a lackluster drink.
  • The optimal time to harvest coffee beans for the best taste and caffeine concentration is between 14 and 16 hours.
  • 20-24 hours of brewing time will make your coffee extremely bitter and high in caffeine.

The temperature and container of storage

The ideal storage temperature for cold brew coffee is between 39-46°F (4-8°C). If your coffee is stored outside of this temperature range, it will spoil more quickly and lose its flavor.

Coffee that is too cold will taste weaker and less flavorful. Coffee that is too warm will taste bitter and more acidic.

When it comes to storing cold brews, the best container to use is a glass jar with an airtight lid. This will help keep your coffee fresh for longer and limit the exposure of coffee to oxygen. If you want to keep your cold brew coffee for longer, you can freeze it in ice cubes. However, thawing the coffee will change the flavor somewhat.

You can also store cold brew in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. However, be sure to leave some headspace in the container so that the coffee can expand as it cools.

Using the Right Ratios

The ratios of coffee to water you use will also affect the flavor of your cold brew. If you use too much coffee, your cold brew will be bitter. If you use too little coffee, your cold brew will be weak. The perfect ratio of coffee to water is 1:8 (1 part coffee to 8 parts water).

You can adjust this ratio to make your cold brew more or less concentrated, depending on your preferences. For example, if you want a weaker cold brew, you would use a 1:16 ratio (1 part coffee to 16 parts water). If you want a stronger cold brew, you would use a 1:4 ratio (1 part coffee to 4 parts water).

Conclusion

Cold brew coffee is a delicious and refreshing alternative to hot coffee. It’s simple to make at home with just a few ingredients and a little bit of time. Now you know how long does cold brew last, by following the tips in this guide, you can make cold brew coffee that is perfectly customized to your taste preferences.

FAQs

How long does it take to make a cold brew?

It takes about 12-24 hours to make a cold brew. The brewing time is longer than for regular coffee, but the end result is worth it!

What is the best way to store cold brew coffee?

The best way to store cold brew coffee is in a pitcher or jar in the fridge.

How do I make my cold brew less acidic?

To make your cold brew less acidic, try brewing with coarsely ground coffee beans and using a longer brewing time. You can also add milk to your cold brew to reduce the acidity.

How long is unopened cold brew good for in the fridge?

Unopened cold brew coffee is good for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Once opened, it will start to lose its flavor after a few days.

What happens if you drink old cold brew?

If you drink old cold brew, it will taste weak and watery. It’s best to discard any cold brew that is more than 2 weeks old.

Can cold brew coffee mold?

Cold brew coffee can mold if it is stored in an airtight container for too long. Be sure to leave some headspace in the container so that the coffee can expand as it cools.

How do I make cold brew concentrate?

To make cold brew concentrate, use a 1:4 ratio of coffee to water. This will produce a strong and concentrated cold brew that can be diluted with water or milk.

How much caffeine is in cold brew?

Cold brew coffee generally has more caffeine than regular coffee because it is more concentrated. The caffeine content will vary depending on the ratio of coffee to water used. A 1:8 ratio will result in a coffee with about 96 mg of caffeine per cup.

Why does my cold brew taste like alcohol?

If your cold brew coffee tastes like alcohol, it is probably because you used too much coffee in the brewing process. Using a ratio of 1:8 (1 part coffee to 8 parts water) will result in a coffee that is not too strong or too weak.

Can I reuse the grounds from my cold brew?

Yes, you can reuse the grounds from your cold brew. Just add more water and let it brew for a longer period of time.

Should you refrigerate cold brew?

Yes, you should refrigerate cold brew coffee. This will help it stay fresh and prevent it from going bad.

How long is Starbucks cold brew concentrate good for?

Once opened, Starbucks cold brew concentrate will begin to lose its flavor after a few days, but it is still good for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Do I need a cold brew coffee maker?

No, you don’t need a cold brew coffee maker. You can make cold brew coffee using a French press or even a mason jar.

How do I make iced cold brews?

To make iced cold brew, simply dilute your cold brew concentrate with water or milk over ice. You can also add flavorings like syrup or chocolate to your iced cold brew.

Do I have to steep cold brew coffee in the fridge?

No, you don’t have to steep cold brew coffee in the fridge. You can let it steep at room temperature, but the brewing time will be shorter.

How does added milk, cream, or sugar affect the shelf life of cold brew?

Adding milk, cream, or sugar to your cold brew will not affect its shelf life. These ingredients will actually help preserve the coffee and keep it fresh for longer.

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Lucky Rodrigues

Lucky Rodrigues

I'm Lucky Rodrigues and I'm the founder at identitycoffees. I've always been obsessed with creating things, which led me to start my first business identitycoffees. At identitycoffees, we focus on building community while providing an amazing cup of coffee. But that's not all. I'm also the founder at Simpleton Cafe- a coffee roastery in Sacramento. Here, I'll be sharing more experience, receipts, and knowledge about coffee, brewing, and roasting... so stay tuned!

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