Is It Ok To Drink Coffee That Sat Out Overnight


It is a common practice to brew a pot of coffee in the morning, but the rest of the coffee that is left in the coffee maker will eventually go cold. Is it safe to drink overnight coffee, or should it be thrown away and a new pot be brewed again? This article will discuss the safety of drinking overnight coffee, analyzing recent studies as well as its potential side effects on our health.

What Happens To Coffee When Left Overnight?

Coffee can easily become contaminated and bacteria can start to grow rapidly in it if left out on the countertop. This is because the fatty oils in coffee are a food source for bacteria and other micro-organisms. In addition, the temperature of the room or the environment it is kept in also plays a role in the growth of bacteria. It is recommended to keep coffee at 40-degrees Fahrenheit or below for it to be safe for consumption.

The oils in the coffee can also start to break down, resulting in a less fresh taste. In addition, some of the aromas and flavors that make up the deliciousness of coffee will also start to dissipate. For these reasons, it is recommended that coffee is kept in an enclosed space after which it should be consumed within a few hours of being made.

Pros and Cons of Drinking Overnight Coffee

Drinking coffee that has been left overnight isn’t completely off limits, however it doesn’t come without its risks. Some studies have shown that caffeine is still present in the coffee regardless how long it has been left out. The concentrations vary, but the amount of caffeine will remain measurable.

It is important to remember that the process of degradation does happen. As such, drinking coffee after it has sat for too long can increase its acidity and corrosiveness. This can cause harm to our teeth and stomach lining as it affects the natural pH balance of our bodies.

What Is The Healthiest Way To Enjoy Coffee?

In a perfect world, it would be best to make a new pot of coffee every time you want to enjoy it. However, if you storing your coffee in an air-tight container and keeping it in a cool environment you can enjoy coffee the next day without any safety or health risks.

If you are using a single-use product such as a K-Cup, it is recommended to not use it more than once. These units do not provide an airtight environment and will cause the coffee to go bad quicker than if you were using ground coffee.

Tips For Storing Coffee

If you wish to store coffee for a short period of time, here are three tips for storing coffee the right way.

  • Invest in an airtight container: An airtight container is the best way to store coffee. This will ensure that the beans or ground coffee will retain its freshness and avoid bacteria from entering in.
  • Keep it away from any heat or light source: Keeping coffee in a dry and dark place will avoid the coffee from getting stale. In addition, it will not be affected by any type of variation in temperature.
  • Don’t forget to freeze it: After you put it an airtight container, it is possible to freeze the coffee and extend its shelf life even further. Just make sure to avoid water vapors to come in contact with it.

How To Enjoy Overnight Coffee

When the situation arrives, it is important to prepare for it. Here are some tips for enjoying coffee that has been left overnight.

  • Opt for an espresso-based drink: After coffee has been left out for too long, the flavors will have changed drastically. Therefore, it is more likely that coffee might taste bit strong. For this reason, an espresso-based drink is the best way to enjoy it. Instead of having a large mug of straight coffee, a mocha, cappuccino or latte will help make the drink more enjoyable.
  • Add some cream and sugar: Adding cream and sugar into the coffee will help mask the unwanted flavors that are found in overnight coffee. The cream and sugar will provide additional sweetness and flavor.
  • Opt for a cold brew: Cold brew is a great way to bring life to old coffee. To make a cold brew, simply combine cold water with the ground coffee and let the mixture steep for a few hours. This will give you a smooth and mellow cold drink.

Final Thoughts On Overnight Coffee

Drinking coffee that has been left overnight can be risky and can potentially harm your health. Therefore, it is recommended that you make a new pot of coffee every morning to ensure you get the full flavor and benefits out of it. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you only have access to overnight coffee, there are still some ways to make sure it still tastes delicious.

Nellie Mills is a coffee aficionado who loves to share her knowledge of the world's best beans. She has traveled all over the world in search of rare and unique coffee varieties, and she is passionate about teaching others about the nuances of different brews.

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