Ever wonder how long does iced coffee last in the fridge? Here are some answers for when you to need to save your leftover iced coffee for later.
Iced coffee is one of my favorite drinks, not just in the summer, but anytime of the year. It’s great to make at home or grab on the go and you can drink it without worrying about burning your mouth!
But sometimes, you may not have enough time to drink your delicious iced coffee all in one go. You want to save it for later, but you find yourself wondering, “How long does iced coffee last in the fridge, anyway?”
Well coffee drinkers, here are some answers.
Types of iced coffee
First, let’s take a look at a few types of iced coffee and some of the add-ins that can affect the shelf life of coffee.
Regular iced coffee
The simplest form of iced coffee is made by brewing a pot of fresh coffee, allowing it to cool until it’s room temperature, then pouring it in an ice-filled glass. This will stay cold and icy for a relatively long time as the coffee itself was already cooled down. So it can stay out longer without refrigeration.
How long can you store it in the fridge: You can store regular iced coffee made at home for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. For best results, it’s a good idea keep it in a sealed glass jar to make the cold coffee last longer.
If you’re storing an iced coffee you brought home from your favorite coffee shop, it will likely keep for up to 2 days. But since you’re probably just keeping it in the plastic cup it came in, you might notice some flavor drop off. That’s because it will be exposed to other food items in your fridge. So, for the best taste, drink it no later than the next day if possible.
An iced Americano tends to have more of a rich flavor than regular iced coffee. It’s made by first making a shot of espresso, then adding ice to quickly it down. You can also add cold water if you want to dilute the espresso a bit. This is also a favorite way to simply increase the size of your drink.
Since this drink starts with hot espresso, the ice melts more quickly than regular iced coffee. So it won’t stay as cold as long at room temperature.
How long can you store it in the fridge: Like with regular iced coffee, you can store an iced Americano in the fridge for up to 3-4 days in a sealed glass jar.
Cold brew coffee is made altogether differently. Typically, coffee is steeped in water for several hours at room temperature or colder. Next, the coffee grounds are strained out and the coffee is chilled.
Once the brewing process is complete, it can be served straight up or with ice. Since this drink is made by steeping coffee over a long period, you get intense coffee flavors.
How long can you store it in the fridge: Your homemade cold-brewed coffee will last for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge without added ice.
What if I add cream or sugar to my iced coffee drink?
Anytime you introduce other ingredients to your iced black coffee, the shelf life in the fridge goes down dramatically. This is especially true for cream or other dairy products. Since this can spoil more quickly, any ice coffee with this type of product added will only stay good in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
If it’s not in a sealed container, the length of time may be shorter and it may spoil faster.
How long does iced coffee stay good outside the fridge?
Even though you may have the best intentions to store your leftover iced coffee in the fridge, there are those times when you inadvertently leave it on the kitchen counter.
At room temperature, the ice will likely melt in a few hours, but the coffee itself (without dairy) will stay good for about 10-12 hours.
With dairy and sugar, that drops to around a couple of hours. So it’s best to simply discard your iced coffee with cream if you’ve left it out for more time than that.
How long will ground coffee last?
What if you haven’t yet brewed your coffee? The grounds themselves will keep for up to a couple of weeks in the fridge. The good news is, if you store them in the freezer, they’ll last for up to a month.
If you simply store them at room temperature, you can expect them to last around 1-2 weeks. If they’re stored in a more humid environment, that could allow for moisture to penetrate the coffee. That means the coffee grounds will keep for less time and it may affect the taste of the coffee as well.
If you notice mold, mildew, or other signs of spoilage, throw out the grounds.
So, best practice is to store coffee grounds in the freezer.
Best ways to store iced coffee
The best way to make your iced coffee last longer is to keep it in a sealed container like a glass jar.
But another great option is to freeze leftover coffee in an ice cube tray to save for later. Then you can add these coffee ice cubes to iced coffee you make later. It’s a great way to prevent your drink from getting diluted like it does with regular ice cubes. And you preserve more of that great coffee taste!