If you’ve ever purchased cold-brewed coffee from the store, you know the stuff is pretty good, especially for something that’s been sitting in a bottle for days already. Of course, major brands aren’t the only ones that can store cold-brewed coffee for extended periods. You can do the same thing so long as you know-how.
Coffee itself is already pretty resilient and self-sustaining, but there are a few things that you need to do by including the right ingredients, never storing it at room temperature, and using ice cubes before you store it away.
Coffee, whether cold-brewed or hot brewed has an extended shelf life beyond what you want from it as well. An old coffee can be used to perk up your plants as well, so not only are you storing it for the long haul, but you’re also getting much more out of it than you realize, if you choose to, that is.
Cold Brew or Cold Brew Concentrate?
The cold-brew concentrate is typically what you are getting when you opt for store-bought cold brew coffee. The cold brew concentrate method combines the grounds and water in a more direct method with a higher number of coffee grounds and a lower volume of water.
The concentrate method is more sharp and flavorful and is a process that, like your standard cold brew, takes place in the fridge. The only drawback is that after it’s done, the coffee grounds have to be filtered out.
The best coffee, in terms of strength, is a cold brew concentrate that is refrigerated for at least 18 hours before it is separated from the grounds and poured over ice.
One of the better aspects of cold brew coffee, regardless of methodology, is that you can do it in bulk. Set aside the appropriate amount of time on the weekends and you can have cold-brewed coffee, ready to go when you are, all week long.
However, you shouldn’t go any longer than 2 weeks. Once you get outside of five or six days, the coffee is no longer nearly as fresh and won’t taste as good anymore.
Vacuum Sealed Cold Brew Coffee
Fortunately, there are vacuum sealing technologies available out there if you want to take advantage of them and store your cold-brewed coffee for longer than a single week. Food Saver sells a jar sealing kit that you can use, especially if you want to store your cold-brewed coffee for much longer.
Vacuum sealing your cold-brewed coffee will extend its overall shelf life, however, you still shouldn’t let your coffee sit for longer than a couple of weeks in the fridge. Part of what makes coffee great and appealing to coffee lovers is the flavor.
Even though it won’t go bad while it is vacuum-sealed, there is a degree of loss in the overall flavor of the coffee when it sits for too long of a period before you crack it open and drink it.
Can Your Cold Brew be Stored at Room Temperature?
You can certainly store it at room temperature while it is brewing but after the brewing is complete, which is normally 12 hours when it’s at room temperature, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator.
No matter how clean the process, there are still bacteria lurking in the air that’s in the bottle of coffee you’re brewing. You don’t want to give that bacteria time to gain some real traction. Sticking your coffee in the fridge after brewing, reduces the likelihood of that happening.
Can You Freeze Cold Brewed Coffee?
You can freeze your cold-brewed coffee if you want to but it’s not going to taste very good when you thaw it out and try to drink it.
You can always turn your frozen coffee into ice cubes for a flavorful addition to another drink but the moment you thaw out a cup of coffee, the taste that makes it so good is gone.
There are a lot of uses for frozen coffee, even if drinking it once it thaws is not one of them.
- Turn it into coffee flavor ice cubes
- Use it for iced coffee with a fresh brew
- Thaw it and pour it on your plants
- Use it as an odor magnet in your fridge
- Coffee milkshakes
- Smoothie ingredient
You can store your cold-brewed coffee in the refrigerator but you should never store it long-term at room temperature, as bacteria becomes a problem. Cold-brewed coffee is growing in popularity, especially store-bought. However, knowing that you can do it yourself is even better.
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