How Long Does Coffee Last After You’ve Brewed it? (+How To Make It …

By James Kilpatrick


Brewing a full pot of coffee in the morning is every coffee lover’s routine. It gives you that instant boost of energy just after ten minutes of consumption.

This kick-starts your day, leaves you feeling energetic, and gives you that much-needed boost as you leave your house either for work or errands. But oftentimes, we forget that we have a pot of coffee left. What happens next?

Your freshly brewed coffee does not stay fresh forever, but how long does coffee last exactly? Any avid coffee drinker needs to know how long is brewed coffee good for and how to keep brewed coffee fresh. This saves you money from throwing away a left-over pot of coffee, but also gives you a fresh perspective on what happens after a few days to brewed coffee.

How long is coffee good for?

Your coffee’s shelf life highly depends on how it is prepared and how it is stored  Here’s some information to note:

Ground Coffee

It lasts anywhere between three to five months when placed in storage at room temperature. However, if you are wondering how long is coffee good for in the fridge?  It has a shelf life of 12-24 months when stored in the freezer.

Whole-Bean Coffee

Coffee Cup

This lasts longer than ground coffee by a few months as it can last anywhere between six to nine months. So, how long can you keep coffee in the fridge? it can last for 24 to 36 months in the freezer.

Instant Coffee

Instant Coffee

Instant coffee gives the longest shelf life, as it can last two to twenty years in a pantry at room temperature, depending on how secure the packaging is.

Most commercial coffee sachets are composed of an aluminum layer that keeps out both moisture and heat, extending their shelf life. To answer the question: Can you refrigerate coffee packets? Yes, you can and these sealed packets can last indefinitely.

How long is coffee good for after brewing?

Apple Coffee

First of all, does brewed coffee go bad? Yes, it does. 

Brewed coffee can retain its quality and freshness for only thirty minutes, mainly because coffee oxidation continues after you have brewed a cup.

Also, the beans you use play a huge factor. If you are using stale grounds to produce coffee, then expect a stale cup of Joe even though it is freshly brewed.

Store your coffee in a quality airtight thermos to keep it fresh for longer. You can leave your brewed coffee for a few hours without having it go bad.

How long does coffee last? Understanding coffee oxidization

As soon as roasted beans are in contact with air, it starts to oxidize. In other words, the process is no different from how sliced apples begin to oxidize (1) and turn brown when you leave them out in the open.

Unlike the case with apples and bananas, you cannot see a significant visible change to the coffee beans, So, is it ok to drink day-old coffee? No, it is not even if it looks the same as the day before.

However, there is a significant change in taste. The process of oxidation (2) makes the coffee’s flavor composites to depreciate.

The act of brewing coffee itself is referred to as oxidation. The moment the beans interact with water, the beans start to release their oils into the liquid, giving you your favorite rich and flavorful cup of Joe in the morning. It is best to avoid oxidation before brewing to get the best-tasting coffee.

How long can coffee sit before it goes bad?

You can extend its quality by practicing food safety techniques to prevent foodborne illness. There is no better way to tell if your cup of Joe has gone bad than by using your sense of smell.

The rich aroma goes away, which is also an indicator that the taste has deteriorated. Also, you will notice its rich, dark color turning light brown a few hours after brewing.

How to keep brewed coffee fresh

Use an Insulated Thermos

Coffee Tumbler

You can transfer your freshly brewed coffee to an insulated thermos, as it helps preserve both heat and flavor without ruining the taste. This allows you to have your caffeine fix throughout your day without the bitter taste.


Keep It Refrigerated

If you have brewed a full pot of coffee and only consumed a cup or two, pour the leftover coffee into a carafe and place it in the refrigerator. Making the beverage cold allows you to preserve the coffee’s flavor and aroma.

It is possible to keep it in the refrigerator for a few days up to a whole week and turn it into an ice-cold drink. While you can always reheat the coffee, it will not taste as flavorful as a freshly brewed one.


Coffee Ice Cubes

Coffee Iced

Use the remaining brewed coffee to make ice cubes, pour the coffee into the tray and pop it into the freezer. You can, later on, use this to cool down your hot coffee (for times when you are in a hurry for a drink) without lowering quality. You can also use it to create caffeine-infused shakes.

You can be a little more creative by making flavored coffee ice cubes by adding cream, sugar, or vanilla syrup.

Check out the reviews of drip coffee maker to learn more!

Frequently Asked Questions


James Kilpatrick

Article By:

James Kilpatrick

I’m James, a self-professed coffee enthusiast in pursuit of finding the perfect daily brew and likes to live by the motto ‘Just brew it”. may earn commissions when you purchase items through links to external source such as Amazon. Read our affiliate disclosure here.