How Long Can You Safely Store Cold-Brew Coffee In The Refrigerator?

We love taking strolls to coffee shops or our favorite chains to purchase daily cold brews. But considering the average American spent $269.60 on coffee in 2023 according to Statista, making your own at home is a much more cost-effective option. All you need are coffee grounds (or beans), water, a jar, and a little patience, and you can save time and money by letting your own cold brew steep in the fridge.

But once it's made, how long do you have to drink it before it goes bad? Unlike with a French press or espresso maker, a jug of cold brew often contains enough juice to last you a while. In its original jar or pitcher, your stock will be good for up to four days, so you'll likely run out before it goes bad if you're drinking it daily. If you're using a concentrate, however, you generally have up to two weeks after opening the bottle before you should toss it — although its quality may deteriorate a little over time. If you dilute your concentrate, consider it regular cold brew and revert back to the four day timeframe. In general, however, cold brew is a longer-lasting option than iced coffee since the lack of heat involved means less oxidation and acidity in your drink.

Store your cold brew properly and know when to toss it

If you want to extend the shelf life of your cold brew even more, consider reaching for store-bought versions instead. You can typically follow the expiration date on the bottle but, if you wait to open it, it can last for a whopping six months — so it can still be a more cost-effective option than a daily Starbucks. Once you crack open your can, you'll want to finish it within about three days for optimal freshness.

Although the process is slower, cold brew can still oxidize once it's exposed to air, which is why it starts to go bad after the time frames we mentioned. There are a few key ways to check if yours is starting to spoil: Note if its flavor becomes extra acidic with less of an enjoyable coffee taste. If the java smell is almost nonexistent or you see any mold in your jar, these are also signs that it's time to toss.

To help your cold brew last longer — whether you make it at home or buy it — transfer it into an airtight container in the fridge (after you open your can), which will minimize oxidation. And if you're afraid yours is about to spoil before you get a chance to drink it, you can always transfer it to the freezer as well.