I love coffee, that’s one thing for sure, I mean, who doesn’t? It fuels you every time of the day, hot or iced, black or creamy, it is indeed a hug in a cup. And these days, many (including me) are getting crazy about this new coffee technique called ‘Cold Brew’, but many are also wondering, how long does cold brew last? So here are some truths about cold brew coffee.
Cold-brewed coffee is not the same as your traditionally brewed hot coffee that is poured over ice, it undergoes the process of slowly steeping your favorite ground coffee beans in water for some good hours, (20 hours maximum) before you strain the coffee from the liquid. Giving you a pure, concentrated, and flavorful coffee to enjoy for weeks.
It is also known that cold brew is less acidic but more caffeinated than the regular brewed coffee you usually have. It has a more pleasant and stable flavor than the traditional one, due to the process that it has undergone; it will give you a sweet, and strong-flavored coffee concentrate.
You can make as much cold brew as you want in your home, have a bottle of it reserved for future use. But just like iced tea, the cold brew also has a short shelf life. Because your coffee concentrate is made at home, it can only last up to two weeks or less.
Your coffee’s best flavor is more palpable in the first week, its good flavor and aroma can only be enjoyed in the earlier days it was made and will slowly depreciates its quality and flavor on the second.
On the other hand, a cold brew has to be diluted with water, or cream, or milk, depending on your liking because it’s a concentrated coffee. And when it is mixed with other things like milk, it will have a shorter shelf life than the concentrated one, and could only last for about 2-3 days.
So, it is not advisable to dilute the whole batch of cold brew you made in one go, as it will further reduce your coffee concentrate’s shelf life.
Since there’ll be a lot of coffee concentrate leftover, cold brew should be refrigerated right away to prevent mold from developing immediately. And it is best for your cold brew coffee to be consumed within the first week it was made when it’s still in its best quality.
Since your cold-brewed coffee could only last for 2 weeks, the flavor and the quality of your coffee will start to decrease, as mold and bacteria will start to build up in your cold brew.
Loss in aroma, the once strong and aromatic coffee will get dull and not as pleasant as it was in the first week, it will start to become stale. The change in its flavor is noticeable too.
However, it is not advisable for you to still have a taste of your cold brew coffee if it has been sitting around for more than two weeks. As it may cause health issues, if you knew that your cold brew is long overdue, it is highly suggested that you just discard it and brew another fresh batch.
A homemade cold brew could only last up to 2 weeks, and certain procedures such as proper sterilization and pasteurization should be done to lengthen the period of the cold brew just like what commercial manufacturers do to make their cold brew last up to 6 months.
Because we don’t have proper equipment and sterilization at home, what we could only do is proper practices to retain the freshness of your cold brew.
Cold brew is undeniably an amazing drink, it is timeless, you can indulge yourself with a nice cup whenever you want to. But cold brew only has its duration.
Aside from the fact that it will lose its strong flavor, mold and bacteria will build up and take over your cold brew’s quality, making it undrinkable overtime. That’s why it is best to consume it immediately within the week that it was made, so there’ll be no coffee that’ll put to waste.