As a coffee lover, you may want to enjoy your favorite beverage multiple times in the day. It is time-saving to brew a few cups of coffee once and store it to keep sipping as you go. Will you be saving time and losing caffeine? Will you lose flavor too?
Consider the good news first.
How Long Does Caffeine Last in Coffee
Caffeine is a chemical that is naturally found in coffee. It is solid and water-soluble, so it does not evaporate even when exposed to air. If all the water was to evaporate in the cup of coffee, caffeine would still remain.
It can also be found as a supplement. But it is not advisable to consume it as a supplement because it is easy to overdose. Caffeine overdose can cause serious health damages.
This means that fresh, hot, cold, or old coffee does not lose its caffeine concentration.
This also applies to coffee grounds that have not been brewed yet. If you were to leave out coffee grounds for a long period of time, caffeine levels would still remain. Caffeine is so stable and complex that you would still have some good levels of caffeine even if you were to reuse your coffee grounds.
This stability though does not apply to the flavor.
How Long Does Coffee Flavor Last
The flavor in coffee is so delicate that it starts to oxidize as soon as it is exposed to air. Coffee flavor as compared to caffeine has a relatively short lifespan. After about one hour assuming you maintain the same temperature, coffee starts to lose its flavor.
Reheating left-out coffee will make it warm but will not retain the flavor and taste you enjoy. This is because reheating adjusts the chemical composition of the coffee and destroys the taste profile. If you need a second cup of coffee, you are better off sparing a few minutes and brewing a fresh one. Or simply be adventurous and make it a frappe. In a long glass, add ice cubes and pour your cold coffee on them, use a drinking straw and sip away.
How to Preserve the Shelf life of Coffee
Caffeine on its own can last for a much longer time as compared to coffee flavor. It is important to know how to preserve coffee in order to retain all components as they are needed in equal measure.
Here is how;
- Coffee beans may retain more flavor than pre-ground coffee. Grind only the coffee beans you intend to brew at a go.
- Store your coffee beans in a dark and cool place. Direct sunlight and heat tend to damage the flavor of the coffee.
- Store your ground coffee in an air-tight container. When the coffee ground is exposed to air it oxidizes, loses taste, and expires quickly.
- You can use leftover coffee in your cooking. There are numerous recipes that add coffee for flavor especially meat dishes.
- Add coffee to your baking as well. Replace water with warm or cold coffee to add a kick of taste to your cakes and cookies.
Caffeine is stable and complex in composition so it can last for a very long time even in leftover coffee. The taste of leftover coffee is not pleasing because its shelf life is quite short.
You can preserve your coffee by storing it in a dark and cool place. Also in a tight container.
You can use leftover coffee in cooking meaty dishes and in baking.
Whichever way you choose to use your leftover coffee depends on your palate and preference but rest assured you will be getting your caffeine in full quantity.