Does Cold Brew Need to Be Refrigerated?

Does cold brew need to be refrigerated? Learn the answer to this question and more about cold brew coffee, including how to make it, how long it takes to steep, and what temperature to brew it at.

Wondering if your cold brew needs to be refrigerated?

If you’re a coffee enthusiast who enjoys the smooth, less acidic taste of cold brew, you’ve probably questioned how to store it properly. After all, nobody wants to sip on a cup that’s gone bad or lost its flavor.

So, does cold brew need to be refrigerated? Absolutely, cold brew should be stored in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness and prevent bacterial growth.

Curious to know more? Stick around. As an expert in content creation with a focus on food and beverage topics, I’ll guide you through the ins and outs of cold brew storage. You’ll learn how room temperature affects its shelf life, the ideal cold brew coffee brewing time, and even some food safety tips to keep your brew tasting its best. Let’s dive in!

Key Facts:

  1. Cold brew should be refrigerated to maintain freshness and prevent bacterial growth.
  2. Cold brew can last up to two weeks in the fridge.
  3. The taste of cold brew may start to deteriorate after about two weeks.
  4. Cold brew can only last for two days at room temperature.
  5. Room temperature storage is more prone to bacterial growth.

Does Cold Brew Need to Be Refrigerated?

Yes, cold brew absolutely needs to be refrigerated. Refrigeration is essential for maintaining the taste and freshness of your cold brew. It also plays a crucial role in food safety by inhibiting bacterial growth.

Why Does Cold Brew Coffee Need to Be Refrigerated?

Cold brew coffee needs to be refrigerated because the brewing process creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth. When you steep coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period, you’re essentially creating a petri dish for bacteria.

How Refrigeration Affects Cold Brew Taste and Freshness

Refrigeration helps preserve the taste and prevents the deterioration of your cold brew. When stored at room temperature, the coffee’s aromatic compounds begin to break down, leading to a flat and stale taste.

How Long Can Cold Brew Coffee Be Stored in the Refrigerator?

Cold brew coffee can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. However, the type of container you use can impact its shelf life. Glass containers with airtight seals are generally the best option for long-term storage.

What Happens If Cold Brew Is Left Unrefrigerated?

Leaving cold brew unrefrigerated poses risks of spoilage and bacterial growth. If your cold brew has been left out, look for signs like a sour smell, mold, or a change in color as these indicate spoilage.

Can Cold Brew Coffee Be Left Out Overnight?

No, it’s not advisable to leave cold brew coffee out overnight. Doing so increases the risk of bacterial growth and compromises both food safety and taste.

Is It Safe to Leave Cold Brew Out Overnight?

Leaving cold brew out overnight is not recommended due to the risks of bacterial growth and food safety concerns. Even a few hours at room temperature can significantly increase these risks.

Best Practices for Storing Cold Brew Coffee

The ideal conditions for storing cold brew include using an airtight container and placing it in the coldest part of your refrigerator. This ensures that the coffee remains fresh and free from bacterial growth for as long as possible.

Tips for Making and Storing Cold Brew Coffee

For the best results, use fresh, cold water and coarsely ground coffee beans. Steep the coffee grounds in the water for 12-24 hours, depending on your taste preference. Once the brewing time is up, strain the coffee grounds and transfer the liquid to an airtight container for storage in the refrigerator.

How to Choose the Right Container for Cold Brew Storage

Glass containers with airtight seals are generally the best for storing cold brew. These containers prevent air from entering and spoiling the coffee, thereby extending its shelf life.

FAQs About Does Cold Brew Need to Be Refrigerated

Q: How long does cold brew last unrefrigerated?
A: Cold brew can only last for two days at room temperature before it starts to spoil.

Q: Does Stok cold brew need to be refrigerated before opening?
A: Yes, it’s recommended to refrigerate Stok cold brew before opening and consume it within 14 days.

Q: Can you freeze cold brew coffee?
A: Freezing cold brew is possible, but it may affect the taste and texture of the coffee.


In summary, cold brew coffee absolutely needs to be refrigerated to maintain its freshness, taste, and to meet food safety guidelines. Refrigeration inhibits bacterial growth, making it the safest option for storage. So, the next time you brew a batch of cold brew, make sure it goes straight into the fridge in an airtight container. Got more questions about cold brew? Feel free to drop them in the comments below. Cheers to great coffee!

By adhering to these storage guidelines, you’re not just preserving the taste of your cold brew; you’re also ensuring that every sip is as safe as it is delicious. So go ahead, enjoy your cold brew with the peace of mind that it’s stored correctly. Cheers!

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Nick Cho
Nick Cho

Nick Cho is a Korean-American entrepreneur and specialty coffee expert. Cho is a writer, speaker, and social media influencer, inspiring excellence in the specialty coffee industry.

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