Can You Put Hot Coffee In The Fridge? Barista’s Guide

Can you put hot coffee in your fridge? You can place an iced, mildly hot cup of coffee in the refrigerator. The best method is to put your coffee inside an air-tight container to stop it from becoming oxidized. The coffee can be enjoyed for 3-4 days, but it will be less flavorful when stored for longer.

There’s nothing quite like freshly-brewed cups of coffee hot – however, what if you don’t complete it all in one go and would like to keep it for future use? I love my morning, afternoon, or evening coffee piping hot, but I know too well that many people like iced coffee. After all, I worked for what seems to be my childhood in Starbucks!

Find out more about how to store hot coffee in the refrigerator, how to store it safely, along with some safety tips, and how long until it becomes only fit for the bin!

Cooling And Storing Hot Coffee

Refrigeration and hot coffee don’t typically go hand in hand – except when you’re making an iced cup of coffee, which is, of course.

A freshly brewed coffee is intended to be drunk within 10 to 15 minutes after it has been made. If you are anything like myself, you nearly burn your mouth drinking it – I don’t understand cold to look warm coffee!

We’ve been there, it’s possible to underestimate one’s capacity to drink large amounts of coffee (or the time they’re working in the morning).

If you’ve been faced with the problem of an unfinished beverage, you’re not alone! This guide will assist you in finding the most efficient way to store your coffee according to your requirements.

Coffee comes in wide varieties: Instant, pre-ground, and whole beans.

What is the distinction between the two types? It can impact the storage duration, the storage method, and how the beverage is made!

Let’s talk about how you can cool these diverse kinds of coffee.

Instant Coffee

Instant coffee is the most difficult to store as it’s made in a pre-made form and then transformed into a powder.

Manufacturers can brew custom-made coffee in the factory and drain any excess water in the mix.

The slurry that you brewed is dried and then processed until it is a fine powder that is concentrated, which you refresh with water at home for instant cups of coffee.

It’s an extremely practical way to drink coffee, but it’s not easy to keep in storage. The coffee you have brewed in advance is in danger of losing its taste and aroma therefore, even if you get it is to cool down in the refrigerator, it is best not to heat it.

Reheating any kind of coffee can ruin its delicate smell and taste, but you can reheat coffee very easily. Although it has little or no effect on the coffee’s caffeine concentration, it can affect its quality and taste.

Here’s how to cool it and preserve it correctly:

  1. The most efficient method of cooling up instant coffee is to transfer it into an airtight container — but ensure that the coffee isn’t boiling hot before that. Allow the coffee to cool for five to ten minutes before moving it into the container.
  2. Store the instant coffee container in the back of your fridge at a temperature of 40°F. Drink the cup within the first 24 hours to enjoy the best taste or within 3-4 days before it begins to degrade.
  3. Enjoy a refreshing instant cup of coffee straight out of the container!

If you are planning to heat it up, be careful not the process of boiling as it will cause the coffee to lose its subtle flavor and aromas that the coffee has.

Simply warm it up until it begins to steam, and then you can enjoy it.

Fresh Or Pre-Ground Coffee Beans

Pre-ground coffee and coffee brewed with freshly roasting coffee beans are nearly identical.

But, you will gain more value by drinking coffee made of whole beans! In essence, this small change happens because of the stress of oxidation.

freshly roasted, freshly ground coffee beans can be the perfect kind of coffee, and you can create a fresh cup with all the original flavor and aroma notes from the beans!

The pre-ground coffee, On the other hand, has the same benefit, however less so because it has been processed and is slightly oxygenized.

The longer the granulated coffee remains on the shelf, the more it loses its inherent characteristic! This is why we suggest grinding the beans and then brewing the coffee yourself to ensure the most optimal storage and drink experience.

Although it’s not a mandatory procedure, if an avid coffee drinker is a case, you’ll certainly appreciate the extra effort to gain the most value for your money — and more flavor!

Here’s what you need to do to prep, cool, and properly store it:

  1. Make the coffee grind in the burr or regular grinder, take 2 to 3 tablespoons of ground (or already ground) coffee beans, and then steep the coffee beans by soaking them in boiling water.
  2. The coffee should be allowed for about 4-5 minutes to be brewed within the water. After that, you can take out the coffee beans granulated and strain the coffee. We suggest you use a French press to accomplish this.
  3. Put the hot cup of coffee inside an airtight container. Wait another 5-10 seconds before sealing the container. Do not use cheap plastic containers!
  4. Place the container in the back of your fridge at 40 degrees F and drink it within the first 24 hours for the most flavorful experience.

This kind of coffee makes excellent cold coffee, too!

We suggest that you refrain from the process of reheating and instead make use of the cold coffee as the base for your other tasty cold coffee drinks.

Coffee With Milk

Coffee containing milk and other ingredients is best used at the earliest within the 24 hour period of the time of storage.

Although you can keep commercial coffees in a ready-to-go cup, we suggest transferring the contents to an airtight container at home to ensure the best freshness.

You can extend the time for storage up to 2 days at 40 degrees F, and you must always inspect the milk for any signs of spoilage before drinking.

Tips For Storing Coffee

Here are some essential tips and techniques to remember:

  • Add several ice cubes to the cup to rapidly cool down a cup of hot coffee. Make sure you include the extra water! We recommend making a more robust drink, particularly if you’re planning to dilute it with ice cubes.
  • Don’t store the coffee you have just brewed in the refrigerator. This is not the best method to preserve the original flavors and aroma from the cup. Freshly brewed coffee may absorb stronger aromas from the surroundings as it cools!
  • Don’t let any kind of coffee sit around for longer than two hours at room temperature! Bacteria grow quickly after this point, but not necessarily in a healthy way.
  • Don’t put scorching hot coffee into an airtight container. It may seem like an ideal way to store your coffee, but it could cause damage to your container and even lead to an elevation in the temperature of your refrigerator!
  • Use containers that weren’t made to be used to store heated beverages. Always check the safety labels on containers or bottles before placing them in storage!
  • Coffee should be served at temperatures ranging from 150degF to 175degF. Avoid going above the temperature range, or you could significantly decrease its overall flavor.
  • Always look for indications of spoilage before making use of any coffee that has been stored!

Signs Of Spoilage

It’s not a good idea drinks coffee that has been ruined — it’s not a good idea for everyone. Here are some clues to watch for (and scent) to spot bad coffee.

Smell Test

The most important thing in coffee is its flavor and smell. These two aspects are the primary features of a great coffee and can help you judge the safety and quality of your coffee.

Try a sniff and then check to determine if there is any rancid smell before. For freshly ground coffee, read the labeling for the exact aromatic notes you can expect to detect.

Most coffee beans have an earthy, chocolaty, and sweet scent similar to caramel or brown sugar.

If you notice distinct coffee flavors from the coffee you have stored (even in a smaller amount), This would suggest it is safe to be consumed.

If you cannot detect any smell or smell a rancid odor, then it is best to throw away the contents and clean the container before using it again.

Appearance Test

A look test provides an effective method to distinguish between good and bad coffee.

Based on the mix of cream or milk, the coffee may be brownish or blackish brown in appearance. Inspect your coffee’s top layer coffee to look for signs of spoilage.

The appearance of a cloud or small, island-like growths visible on top could suggest that the coffee has become stale. This could happen anytime after the 1 week storage period and can result from poor storage conditions.

We suggest putting your coffee in a clear container or cup to examine every bit of it. If you observe tiny particles floating about or suspended in the mix, you should eliminate all of them.

Other Questions Asked

The storage of hot beverages in the refrigerator is an excellent method to extend their shelf life or even make cold coffee! Once you’ve figured out what to expect, let’s look at a few related questions.

You can immediately freeze coffee?

The freezing of a hot cup of coffee is not recommended until the coffee cools to about the temperature of room temperature.

Storing hot coffee in a freezer can result in a drastic alteration in the temperature inside your freezer and may be a strain on the container.

Make sure the container can withstand different temperatures and has been designed to be safe for freezing.

The coffee you freeze can be enjoyed over the course of a few months. However, you should try to drink it within 2 to 3 weeks.

Do you have to microwave cold coffee?

Yes, you can heat cold coffee. We recommend you drink chilled coffee or prepare an amazing cold drink to protect its already diminished flavor and aroma.

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