Can You Put Hot Coffee in the Fridge?

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We’ve all been there. We brew a pot of coffee, drink a few cups, and then pour a good 4-6 cups of leftover coffee down the drain. But what if I told you there was a way to save that brewed coffee for a late night iced coffee? In this blog post, I’ll be answering the question of whether or not you can put hot coffee in the fridge, along with methods for preserving leftover coffee.

Can you put hot coffee in the Fridge?

Can you put hot coffee in the refrigerator? Yes, but let it reach room temperature first. Keep the coffee in a mason jar with an airtight lid or an other airtight container.

If you put hot coffee directly into the fridge it’ll one, absorb the smells of the food in the fridge and oxidize it, making it taste even worse. Also, hot coffee can raise the refrigerator’s internal temperature, which could spoil food–especially in older fridge models.

How to store your cooled coffee

When you put coffee in the fridge, it’s important to use a container that keeps air out, like a mason jar. But even then, you should drink it within three to five days to keep it from going bad. Adding milk or creamer shortens the coffee’s shelf life to just 1-2 days.

Can I Reheat Cooled Coffee?

If you’ve refrigerated your coffee and are thinking about reheating it in the microwave, you might want to reconsider. Microwaving refrigerated coffee, including iced coffee and cold brew, will make the coffee taste super gross.

Reheating Coffee In A Microwave
Reheating few-hours-old coffee is fine, but you never want to reheat cold brew.

Thinking outside the box for a second…try freezing your leftover coffee in ice cube trays. This way, you can chill your ice coffee without watering it down as the ice melts.

Refrigerated Coffee vs. Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee, which is made by soaking ground coffee in cold water for 12 to 24 hours, creates a unique brew with different qualities compared to traditional hot coffee. This brewing process results in coffee that’s generally less acidic, a feature that’s even more pronounced in darker roasts.

This is different from coffee you’ve brewed and then refrigerated to drink later. Cold brew creates a much smoother, less acidic coffee concentrate, while brewed coffee that you’ve cooled tastes like, well, cold coffee.

Iced coffee, on the other hand, is coffee that is brewed with a bit more coffee grounds than normal. The hot coffee is brought to room temperature and then poured over ice and then placed back in the refrigerator in a large plastic pitcher. This is how we made it at Starbucks back in 2006.

My Personal Perspective

I was a barista for a good 20 years. I’ve seen how storing brewed coffee improperly can change its taste. One day, after playing with the three baby chicks my roommates and I bought at a farm supply store, we sat on our back deck, loaded up our 3 foot bong, and drank some freshly brewed french press coffee from Tully’s.

Me, not one to waste anything, decided to put my half-finished mug of coffee in the fridge before heading off to play ultimate frisbee. The next morning I gleefully opened the fridge, took a sip, and immediately spit it in the sink. It tasted like the leftover rotisserie chicken sitting one shelf up. One of the top 10 worst moments of my life.

Honestly, and this is a hot take, but I think it’s better to leave your leftover coffee on the counter for 24 hours than it is to leave it in the fridge uncovered.

✍️ A Survey on Refrigerating Hot Coffee

What are your thoughts?

Hey there, fellow coffee lover! We’ve got a simple survey about putting hot coffee in the fridge. Ever do it? We’re curious about how people handle their brew. It’s super quick to fill out, and it would be awesome to get your take on this. Thanks for sharing your coffee habits!

What The Internet Says about Refrigerating Hot Coffee:

When it comes to storing coffee in the fridge, everyone (the internet) seems to have their own opinion, and there’s no unanimous agreement. What they do agree on though is the importance of storing your coffee in an airtight container. Here’s a quick rundown of what people are saying on Reddit and Quora:

A Stereotypical Reddit Use And Quora User Talking About Refrigerating Hot Coffee
The reviews are mixed

🤔 Different Opinions on Taste: Some people think that chilling coffee in the fridge (sealed) might alter its flavor, while others believe it’s fine for keeping it fresh for a bit.

🤔 Worries About Smell and Freshness: A lot of people are concerned that coffee stored in the fridge might absorb odors from other foods, affecting its taste. There’s also talk about the risk of coffee becoming stale or losing its quality due to exposure to air.

🤔 Personal Preference Rules: What’s clear from both Reddit and Quora is that it really comes down to what each individual prefers. Whether or not to refrigerate coffee is a personal choice based on taste and convenience.

🤔 Iced Coffee Fans: Quite a few people discuss using the fridge to cool down coffee for making iced coffee, indicating that it’s a favored method for those who love their coffee cold.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cool Before Refrigerating: Let hot coffee cool to room temperature first.
  • Avoid Warming the Fridge: Hot coffee in the fridge can raise its temperature, risking food spoilage.
  • Fridge Shelf Life: Store coffee in the fridge for 1-5 days; 1-2 days if milk or creamer is added.
  • Reheating Affects Taste: Don’t microwave refrigerated coffee; use it for iced coffee or freeze into ice cubes.

FAQs: Answering Common Questions

How long is coffee good in the fridge?

It’s best to drink your stored coffee within 2-3 days. If you’ve added milk or cream, try to finish it within 1-2 days.

Can I freeze coffee?

Absolutely! Freezing coffee in coffee ice cube trays is a clever way to use it later. These coffee cubes are perfect for chilling ice coffee without making it watery.

Does putting coffee in the fridge change its health benefits?

The brewing process is more crucial for health benefits than refrigeration. For example, hot brewed coffee usually has more antioxidants than cold brew.

What’s the best method to cool hot coffee for iced coffee?

Cooling coffee quickly in an ice bath works well. Or, for better taste, let it reach room temperature before refrigerating.


Don’t put hot coffee in the fridge. Wait for it to reach room temperature, and then store it in an airtight container–like a mason jar, in the fridge. Oh–and never reheat cooled coffee. Just brew a new pot.

Avatar Of Kelsey Todd
With over two decades in the coffee industry, Kelsey is a seasoned professional barista with roots in Seattle and Santa Barbara. Accredited by The Coffee Association of America and a member of The Baristas Guild, he combines practical expertise with a profound understanding of coffee's history and cultural significance. Kelsey tries his best to balance family time with blogging time and fails miserably.

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