Does cold brew coffee need to be refrigerated?

In the coffee world, many discuss how to make and store cold brew coffee. The love for this smooth, low-acid coffee is increasing. It’s vital to know how to brew and store it well. Many ask: does cold brew coffee need to be refrigerated?

Experts say cold brew coffee can be brewed warm or cold, and both ways work great. Making it at room temperature is faster, 12-18 hours, than in the fridge, 15-23 hours. However, the fridge method might make it a bit less strong.

After brewing, keep the cold brew in a tight container in the fridge. Proper storage can keep it fresh for two weeks if it’s not thinned out.

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Key Takeaways

  • Cold brew coffee can be brewed at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  • Room temperature brewing takes less time (12-18 hours) but may result in a more intense flavor.
  • Refrigerator brewing takes longer (15-23 hours) but produces a slightly milder, smoother taste.
  • Regardless of the brewing method, cold brew coffee should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Properly stored, cold brew coffee can have a shelf life of up to 2 weeks for an undiluted concentrate.

Understanding Cold Brew Coffee

Let’s explore the world of cold brew coffee. We’ll find out what makes it so unique compared to iced coffee. We’ll learn about the special way it’s made and the high-quality coffee it produces.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee uses a clever technique. It brews coffee grounds in cold or room temperature water for 12-18 hours. This creates a coffee that’s less acidic and more mellow. The slow process brings out a smooth, bold flavor not found in hot-brewed iced coffee.

Difference Between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee

Cold brew and iced coffee are both cold, but they’re prepared differently. Iced coffee starts hot, then cools down. This process can make it taste more acidic and bitter. Cold brew, on the other hand, is mild because it’s made with cold or room temperature water. This creates a chilled drink with a lovely taste, especially when using top-notch coffee beans.

cold brew coffee: To Refrigerate or Not?

When making cold brew coffee, you can brew it at room temperature or in the fridge. Each method offers unique benefits. The choice really depends on what you find more convenient and tasty.

Brewing at Room Temperature

Making cold brew coffee at room temperature takes 12-18 hours. This shorter time makes the taste more intense. The result is a cold brew concentrate that’s concentrated and flavorful. This method might suit those who love strong coffee.

Brewing in the Refrigerator

Brewing cold brew coffee in the fridge takes 15-23 hours. The cold brewing process makes the flavor mild and smooth. This technique is for people who enjoy a less intense flavor in their cold brew coffee.

Choosing between room temperature and fridge for making cold brew coffee is up to you. It all depends on how you like your cold brew – strong or mild. Both ways can make great cold brew. It’s fun to try both and see what you prefer.

cold brew coffee

Storing Cold Brew Coffee

Storing cold brew coffee well keeps its great taste. Undiluted cold brew concentrate stays good for up to 2 weeks if you keep it tight in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Shelf Life of Cold Brew

The flavor of cold brew concentrate lessens after a week in the fridge. If you mix it with water, it only lasts 2-3 days.

Proper Storage Techniques

The best way to keep your cold brew coffee fresh is by storing the undiluted concentrate in the refrigerator. Use an airtight container. This stops the coffee losing flavor and keeps its smooth tastes.


In summary, making cold brew coffee is best done using either room temperature or the fridge. Each way has its own plus points. Fridge brewing takes longer but creates a mild taste. Meanwhile, brewing at room temp is quicker but gives off a stronger flavor.

Choosing how to brew is one thing, but keeping it fresh is another. To keep your cold brew tasty for longer, use an airtight container in the fridge. Doing this lets you enjoy your cold brew for up to 2 weeks without losing its great taste.

Learning about making and storing cold brew coffee means more enjoyment. You get to experience a unique and smooth coffee. Plus, with the option to brew using different ways and keeping the flavor fresh, it’s a win for coffee lovers everywhere.


Does cold brew coffee need to be refrigerated?

Yes, it’s best to keep cold brew coffee in the fridge. Storing it this way can make it last up to 2 weeks. Just remember to use an airtight container.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee doesn’t involve any heat. Instead, coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for 12-18 hours. This makes a coffee concentrate that’s smooth and low in acid.

What is the difference between Cold Brew and Iced Coffee?

The key difference is in how they’re made. Iced coffee is hot coffee that’s been cooled. This way, it can turn out more bitter. Cold brew is made over time, without any heat. That’s why it tastes smoother and less sharp.

Can I brew cold brew coffee at room temperature?

Yes, you can make cold brew at room temp or in the fridge. Room temp brewing takes 12-18 hours. Fridge brewing, on the other hand, takes 15-23 hours. The flavor changes a bit based on where you brew it. Room temp gives it a strong taste, while the fridge makes it milder.

How long does cold brew coffee last?

Kept cold and sealed, cold brew can last up to 2 weeks. But, its flavor starts changing after the first week. If you dilute it with water, it only stays good for 2-3 days.
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Emily Reynolds

I am an unapologetic coffee aficionado with an insatiable passion for all things java. Pour-overs, French presses, espresso machines—each holds its own thrill, a chance to unlock new levels of taste and aroma. So let the aroma of freshly brewed coffee guide us through the world of flavor and inspiration that is coffee.

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