A fresh cup of espresso can be a great way to start the day. But how long does espresso last once you make it? And how long will the grind stay good for?
I love a good espresso. It always tastes the best when it’s hot and fresh, but what if you make a cup and get distracted, then simply forget about it? Do you need to discard it or can you save it for later?
The good news is that brewed espresso on its own can stay good for 4-5 days in the fridge. And ground espresso beans will last much longer if stored properly.
In this article, I’ll go over how to store brewed espresso and espresso coffee beans. Plus, I’ll cover how long you can store other espresso-based drinks like cappuccinos, mochas, and lattes.
How long does an espresso shot last?
A brewed shot of espresso has a fairly short shelf life. At room temperature, it will keep for about 1 day. After that, the flavor will start to weaken and become bitter and stale-tasting. But let’s face it, would you really want to drink an espresso coffee that’s been sitting out for a day? That’s where the fridge comes in.
You can create a longer shelf life — up to 5 days — by storing brewed leftover espresso in an airtight container in the fridge. The cold environment will help preserve your espresso and the container will help keep odors from other foods from seeping into your coffee.
For the best flavor, drink brewed hot espresso right after you make it. You get the most robust taste as well as a satisfyingly thick crema head on top.
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How long do espresso beans stay good?
In many cases, espresso beans labeled as such are simply coffee beans that have undergone a longer roasting process in order to develop a dark color. But in reality, you can make espresso from any type of coffee bean you like.
What makes an espresso and espresso is that the beans are finely ground and then brewed under high pressure to result in very concentrated coffee.
Whole espresso beans can keep for up to a month if stored in a cool, dry place at room temperature. The best option is something like a pantry or kitchen cupboard where the fresh beans can be kept out of direct sunlight.
If you don’t plan on using the roasted beans for several weeks, the best place to store them is in an airtight container in the freezer where they can last for a fairly long time. Coffee beans can stay fresh in the freezer for up to six months.
How long does ground espresso stay good?
Once you grind the beans for espresso, those grounds will only stay good for about a week. That’s because the grinding process accelerates the oxidation of the coffee, which decreases both its taste and richness.
Keep espresso grind in a cool, dry spot in an airtight container at room temperature. One of the best ways to store it is in its original packaging as it’s designed to keep the grounds fresh for as long as possible. If you’re unsure of how long they’ll stay good for in the bag, just check the expiration date. You can also use another sealable container like a coffee tin or mason jar to store the espresso grounds.
💡 Tip: Avoid keeping the grounds in the fridge. The humid environment will cause them to dry out. That will make the espresso taste stale and flat when you brew it.
If you need to save to grounds for longer than a week, the best way to store them is in the freezer. Just be sure to defrost them overnight before you use them.
How long do espresso drinks last in the fridge?
Brewed espresso on its own can last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator if sealed in an airtight container. That’s also the case for espresso drinks that only add hot water like an Americano.
But if you use it to make espresso-based drinks that also include dairy, like lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas, the shelf life will decrease. That holds for both hot and iced coffee drinks.
The milk in those drinks will spoil more quickly, so even if they’re kept in an airtight container, they will only stay fresh for 2-3 days. Even then, the milk could start to spoil sooner. So if you notice an off or sour smell coming from the drinks, it’s best to simply discard them.
👉🏼 Related: Americano vs Cappuccino: What’s the Difference?
What’s the best temperature to brew espresso?
A fresh espresso shot is created using high pressure and high temperatures. During the brewing process, the temperature should reach around 200° Fahrenheit. That’s really hot, so don’t drink it immediately after you make it. Instead, wait a couple of minutes for it to cool down a bit. A good drinking temperature for the perfect espresso is around 150° F. That will decrease any chances of burning, and you’ll be able to enjoy maximum flavor.
It’s best to grind coffee beans shortly before you use them rather than storing ground coffee long term. That’s because whole coffee beans will stay fresh for longer. For the best results, grind the beans within a week of when you intend to use them.
You can reheat espresso, but you’ll likely notice a bitter taste. When espresso cools and is reheated, the oils break down, which can affect the aroma and flavor of espresso. To lessen the bitterness, don’t warm it up in the microwave. Instead, use a steam wand on an espresso machine or a warming milk frother. Or you can add a bit of hot water.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a single shot of espresso contains about 64 milligrams of caffeine. A double espresso has around 128 mg of caffeine. That’s less caffeine than an average 16 oz cup of regular coffee, which can contain more than 300 mg.