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How Long Does Cold Brew Last? | Some Storage Tips

Cold brew is a well-known brewing method that can be enjoyed all year long. And despite no longer being a trend, many people still confuse cold brew coffee with iced coffee. But the truth is that they are quite different. And the process of making cold brew is quite different from the traditional way of brewing. The term cold brew coffee does not refer to hot coffee that has been poured over ice.

So, if you are a coffee lover who visits coffee shops frequently, then you have heard about cold brew coffee. Maybe, you have even purchased a bottle or tried making it at home. Well, if that is the case, then you might be wondering how long does the cold brew last? And does it last longer than iced coffee?

Well, in this article, we're going to answer that question and give you tips on how to make your coffee last longer. Remember, the process of preparing and storing it will determine how long your cold brew will last. 

How Long Does Cold Brew Last?

So you have finally learned how to prepare cold brew coffee or have purchased some. Now you have questions. How long does cold brew last? Does it go bad? And if it does, what can you do to extend its shelf life? 

Well, cold brew coffee lasts longer than normal brewed coffee. And its long shelf life is one of its unique qualities. Therefore, you can enjoy this beverage for numerous days, plus it has several health benefits.

The quality of the flavor of hot coffee starts reducing half an hour after the ground coffee beans have been touched by water. This is also very true for iced coffee, as it's simply regular coffee poured on ice. However, cold brew lasts longer and has high flavor stability than regular coffee. Homemade cold brew coffee can last for about 14 days. But the best flavor is normally evident in the first seven days.

If you diluted your cold brew with cream before storing it, you could expect a very short shelf life. When diluted, cold brew coffee can last for about three days before it starts spoiling and the flavor changes.

Storing Cold Brew Coffee

Once your cold brew is diluted or concentrate is ready, you should store it in a nicely sealed container. Storing it in a properly sealed container can help slow down the degradation process and prolong its flavor components. You can keep it in your refrigerator for about two weeks.

Remember, it's always a good idea to store your cold brew in its concentrated form. And dilute a small amount of it with water to whatever strength you like every morning or when you want to drink it. Storing it in its concentrated form increases its shelf life. You can also store it in a diluted ready to drink state, but it will only last for three days in your refrigerator.

how long does cold brew last?

Does Cold Brew Coffee Go Bad?

Just like all beverages and edible foods, cold brew can also go bad. But how long it lasts in your refrigerator will depend on how it was stored. This brew does last for about two weeks in the refrigerator. However, there are numerous signs you can watch out for to confirm if your beverage has expired. Some of these signs include:

  • Rancid smell or mold in the coffee
  • High acidic taste
  • Noticeably low flavor
  • The caffeine-kick has disappeared
  • And little to no aroma

Commercial brewers use high-pressure pasteurization or heat pasteurization to increase the shelf life. And in most cases, their products can last for about three to six months. However, these types of pasteurization can affect the flavor of their coffee and increase production costs.

How Can You Extend the Shelf Life of Your Cold Brew Coffee?

Properly storing this beverage is one of the best ways to extend its freshness. You can either store it in a plastic or glass container, but glass is always better. Plastic tends to be porous; therefore, crucial flavors can oxidize at a very fast rate. In fact, some of the chemicals in the plastic can affect the flavor of your beverage.

With a glass container, you will never have to worry about chemicals interacting with flavor profiles. Plus, the glass container can be sealed tighter than a plastic one. Coffee press beaker and mason jars are the best options for refrigerator storage. Here are a few preservation tips that can extend your drink's shelf life:

Make Smaller Batches

When following a recipe online, you should focus on the volumes used. Remember, most online guides focus on preparing huge batches of coffee. So you should make small batches that suit your family's needs and avoid throwing away good coffee. So you should start with small batches and increase the production level with time.

Freeze This Drink

If you have space in your ice cube tray, you can freeze the cold brew coffee and thaw it overnight when you plan on drinking it. Freezing this brew can extend its shelf life to about two months. Freezing changes some chemical components and even the taste of your coffee.

What Is Cold Brew?

The phrase "cold coffee" refers to the entire process of making this type of coffee and not the temperature of the coffee. Cold brew is normally commercialized as iced coffee, but it is more than just a cold beverage. The main difference between cold brew coffee and the other types of coffee is the water temperature at which the extraction occurs.

While traditional coffee use boiling water, cold brewing exchanges temperature for time. So, instead of taking less than 20 minutes to prepare, cold brew can take between 4 to 24 hours, depending on the method used to prepare it.

The results of these types of brewing may be different. Therefore, it's crucial that you know the difference between cold brew and iced coffee. And despite the fact that you can take it with ice, cold brew is not iced coffee. So you shouldn't confuse it with other iced coffee like:

Regular Brewed Coffee With Ice

This type of cold coffee is simply normal coffee poured over ice to make it iced coffee. This process can be done with any beverage, and the flavor won't change. The only difference will be the temperature.

Japanese Iced Coffee

For this brewing process, ice is placed inside the container under the draining coffee. Therefore, coffee will be chilled as soon as it's brewed with hot water. The brewed coffee drops will fall on the ice and become cold instantly.

cold brew vs iced coffee

Cold Brew vs. Iced Coffee: What Is the Difference?

Cold brew is the process of preparing your favorite beverage and not the temperature of the water. During this process, coffee beans are grounded and then soaked in water at room temperature for over 12 hours. Cold brew is a highly caffeinated, less acidic, and super smooth coffee that is normally served cold or hot. On the other hand, iced coffee is prepared using hot water and then poured over iced.


Iced coffee produces a thinner taste than cold brew because of the melting ice. However, Cold brew tastes better since it has half the acidity, and it can be easier on your stomach. Cold brew is normally chocolatey and smooth.


Cold brew is normally served cold or hot and with some milk, while iced coffee is served with ice. Luckily both of these beverages can be enjoyed on a hot summer afternoon.

What Are the Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee?

Less Acidic

Unlike hot brew, cold brew coffee is about 50% less acidic than hot brewed coffee. However, this doesn't mean that acidity is bad for your health. In fact, some people love the flavor produced by acidity. But it can be harmful to your stomach and teeth.

More Antioxidants

Green coffee beans have more antioxidants than the other types of coffee beans. However, when exposed to a high temperature, a huge percentage of the antioxidants get destroyed. So between the hot brewing and roasting process, most of the benefits of antioxidants get lost. Luckily, cold brewing doesn't destroy the antioxidants, so cold brew is healthier than a regular beverage.


Cold brew coffee is sweeter than hot brewed coffee. And that is because it is less acidic than regular coffee. Therefore, individuals who love adding sugar to their coffee can drink cold brew with less sugar.


Even though it can take longer to brew, this type of coffee can remain fresh for more than ten days. Therefore, if you love enjoying this beverage without brewing it every day, you should go for cold brew coffee. All you have to do is brew it before your week starts, and you are covered for two weeks.


A good thing about this beverage is that it can be used in a wide range of recipes like ice cream and alcoholic cocktails. And that is because of its stability in body and flavor.

Flavor Consistency

You might have noticed the change in the taste of hot coffee over the years. And that is because its flavor changes with temperature. The colder it gets, the less flavor consistency it has. However, that is not a problem with a cold brew as it maintains its flavor for about two weeks. A chilled coffee will maintain its taste and flavor consistency as long as it's stored under normal temperature.

Easy to Make

As a coffee lover, you can either purchase a bottle of cold brew or make it at home. However, making it at home has more economic advantages than buying one. And to make it, all you need is two bottles, water, and a bag of your favorite coffee beans.

Caffeine Concentration

Caffeine is actually healthy in the right amounts. Caffeinated coffee can lower the risk of getting throat and mouth cancer by about 50%. Caffeinated beverages can also reduce the risk of stroke by more than 22%. Luckily, cold brew has double the caffeine content than hot brewed coffee. Cold brewing for almost 24 hours produces the right concentration of caffeine.

Final Thoughts 

Despite being mistaken for iced coffee, cold brew does last longer than regular coffee. Cold brew coffee can serve you for almost two weeks when stored properly. So you can enjoy your favorite drink every morning without worrying about brewing every day. But, make sure you store it in a tightly closed glass container in your refrigerator or freeze it in your freezer. Freezing cold brew increases its shelf life to about three months instead of two weeks.

Cold brew has numerous health benefits, which include the fact that it is 50% less acidic than hot brewed coffee. So, it is less harmful to your teeth and stomach. Remember, highly caffeinated beverages can reduce your risk of getting stroke and throat or mouth cancer. So why don't you brew this drink and enjoy its benefits for 14 days before preparing another batch? 


Born in Italy but currently brewing from the UK, Giada is a highly-caffeinated coffee expert with a soft spot for espressos. She worked in cafés for years and has recently fallen in love with the practical Kalita Wave (just don’t tell her Italian moka pot!).

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