Does Bottled Cold Coffee Go Bad – Necessary Facts To Know

After five centuries, cold brew coffee has been staying in its most sophisticated form currently. Bottled cold brew is one of the most obvious indications of its latest development symbols. If you barely have any time to make coffee and are used to drinking cold brew from outside, you must’ve the solution in the proper answer to the question: does bottled cold brew coffee go bad?

In some conditions, bottled cold brew coffee can go bad. Its preparation process, ingredients, additives, preservation and bottling method, etc., may lead to cold brew coffee getting damaged. Even if they are used properly, cold brew may become bad after a certain period. It starts deteriorating slowly with the passage of time and some indications. At a certain point, it becomes totally undrinkable.

We will help you to keep cold brew coffee safe and drink it safely. Furthermore, our article will add value to your coffee-drinking habit. Let’s reveal what made cold brew coffee go bad, when and how. 

Before figuring out – “Does cold brew go bad after a certain period” we have to know some facts that will help us in identifying good and bad coffee. This will assist us in storing cold brew more authentically. Moreover, it will assure safe, healthy and easy cold brew drinking in everyday life. 

What is bottled cold brew coffee?

Due to daily life’s excessive business, sometimes people don’t have enough time to make cold brew. If a cold brew lover is in this situation, he/she will undoubtedly miss it. To get recover from this situation, cold brew coffee has been introduced in a new form – bottled cold brew. 

Today’s bottled cold brew coffee is an outcome of increasing public demand and consequential commercial production. Generally, people do not want to bottle cold brew coffee on their own due to its larger arrangement necessity. 

Cold brew’s commercial manufacturers make bottled cold brew coffee by following some specific process to meet up public demand. 

Shelf life of bottled cold brew coffee

How long bottled cold brew coffee can last is called its “shelf line”. Since cold brew is bottled to keep it safe for a remarkably long duration, it last for the longest duration among all the coffee types. Depending on some conditions, it can amazingly remain well for one year. Almost 5 – 6 months is a very common duration.

Depending on the manufacturers, cold brew may last for a shorter duration like 3 – 4 weeks or 8 -10 weeks. In this perspective, this duration will also be called a shelf line for these types of cold brew.

Factors affecting cold brew coffee’s shelf life

A lot of factors play a role in fixing the shelf life of bottled cold brew. If any of the factors go bad or are missed from cold brew in its making process, it will affect cold brew. All the important factors are described below.

Water type

What type of water you are using will certainly affect the cold brew shelf life. Only pure and accurately tempered water plays a vital role in keeping cold brew safe for longer. 

Coffee to water ratio

In the cold brew-making process, you can not add water that you wish to, instead, you have to follow the ratio properly. You must add the exact ‍amount of coffee ground ‍ and what will make the coffee so tasty and durable.

Otherwise, it will unevenly be so strong (with less water) or weak (with much water) that plays a role in cold brew’s shelf line. This unexpected weak or strong cold brew affects the shelf line. Choose a standard ratio like 1:4 or 1:6 and bottle your cold brew at an undiluted concentrate stage, this will ensure a durable shelf life.

Quality of coffee beans and ground

Coffee beans should be accurately roasted for the betterment of the shelf line. If you wish to preserve cold brew longer, take the genuine coffee bean and grind it properly. There are a lot of options for choosing roasting level, darkness and origin. Choose these as you want the duration and taste. 

Choosing beans from reputed brands can be beneficial for you as so many trust them already. Here are some of them – Fabula, Stone Street, Coffee Kult, Arabica, etc. 

Quality of bottle

The use of bottles for storing cold brew is vital for proper reservation. Always avoid less-quality plastic bottles and choose glass or stainless bottles. Poor quality bottles will help cold brew to get damaged quickly. 

The airtightness of the cork 

Bottles cork should be tight enough to prevent outside air. If your bottle’s cork fails to do so, cold brew will damage quicker than usual. A fully airtight bottle increases the shelf line of cold brew. 

Preservatives of cold brew coffee

Many commercial producers of cold brew coffee use preservatives to extend the normal shelf line of cold brew. Using the right preservative at the right level will increase the cold brew storage duration. Proper use of preservatives may improve the cold brew shelf line.

Additives (if used)

Actually, there are a lot of additives for cold brew. Which additive and how much additive do you use, will affect the shelf line of cold brew coffee? So, avoiding additives for the best shelf line is the best practice. Otherwise, you can use an additive that has a lower effect. 

What is the process of making bottled coffee?

The cold brew bottling process ensures longer preservation. Large-scale commercial producers follow their own process for bottling. Some cold brew lovers also make it individually at a larger scale to enjoy it with low effort in their leisure time. 

There are two types of bottled coffee –

  1. Commercially produced bottled cold brew coffee
  2. Homemade bottled cold brew coffee

The first one relates to the commercial manufacturers and the second one to the individual producers. As a cold brew lover, you need to have knowledge of both types. 

Commercially produced bottled cold brew coffee

After collecting all the cold brew ingredients, cold brew concentration is made on a large scale. In most cases, the process is totally dependent on automation. Then previously prepared bottles are placed to collect the cold brew coffee from containers. Next, it is poured into the bottles and the cork is placed to make it airtight. 

Sometimes preservatives and additives are added to cold brew. This process impacts a lot on the security of cold brew’s lifetime. 

Homemade bottled cold brew coffee

Individual cold brew lovers fond of make cold brew coffee at home and keep it for a longer time. When he has no time to make cold brew coffee, this pre-made coffee will assist him a lot. But a lover or maker must know the proper process of bottling cold brew coffee, otherwise his hardship will go in vain.

Characteristics of good cold brew coffee?

We have found some practical ways to find good cold brew easily. All the ways show the actual state of bottled cold brew coffee. When you have found the characteristics of bottled cold brew,  it seems it is safe to drink.

Checking the expiration date of the cold brew coffee

In modern days, all food items contain an expiry date – to show how long it is safe to consume. Like other food items, you can identify cold brew’s condition by checking the expiration date. It is the easiest and safest way to detect a safe coffee. 

Unbeatable fragrance

Good coffee will have a pleasing fragrance until it gets worse. When coffee becomes damaged, it will lose its unique aroma. How much aroma it will lose depends on the damage level.

Original and indifferent taste

Healthy and safe cold brew always has an indifferent taste like its original state. The sign is obvious and exists always. So, whenever you take cold brew, it will provide a smooth and original taste until it gets damaged. When it comes good after drinking, be sure – your cold brew is okay.

Color of the coffee

The color of cold brew coffee almost remains the same as the original after a period, but sometimes differs slightly for various reasons. A heavily bad coffee color will be changed somewhat or more. When you can trace the undamaged color; it is safe for drinking.

How long does bottled cold brew coffee last?

You can check the expiry date if you collect cold brew from a commercial producer. In case, you have a sort of cold brew that is produced non-commercially, you have to calculate the general lifespan as well as color, fragrance, taste, caffeine boost, etc.

How to identify bad coffee?

When you have traced almost all the good characteristics of cold brew and one or a few is susceptible, you need to know the bad coffee identifiable factors. Here we are revealing important bad cold brew factors. 

Quality deterioration of cold brew coffee

The real taste of cold brew will be deteriorated depending on its bad’s level. If it has started to become bad, the quality will deteriorate to a lower level. Increasingly the deterioration level will rise with extension of worseness. 

Damaged aroma

Normal cold brew coffee comes with a superb aroma. It stays longer. After a duration, however, it starts losing its original condition gradually. When you can detect this loose or damaged aroma, think it has gone wrong.

Reduction of bottled cold brew coffee’s freshness 

Bad coffee loses its freshness gradually. It will be very low at the beginning of being bad and then increase over time. But it depends on how bad it is. If it has deteriorated a little the freshness reduction will be small. In case deterioration goes bigger,  the damage will be bigger too. 

Less appealing taste

What a fresh shot of cold brew can provide, nothing is comparable to it. It is so much appealing at its fresh condition.  Though over time your cold brew coffee can lose its original appeal, it will remain acceptable at a lower level at least until it goes totally undrinkable.

Color depreciation

Original cold brew coffee concentrate provides a dark brownish color, also called original coffee color. At an earlier stage, it looks dark and original. When it becomes older and starts damaging, in some cases, you will find color deterioration. 

Excessive acidity

Damaged cold brew coffee sometimes produces heavy acidity due to its age. This may happen at a certain point of damage but not all the damage levels. If you can detect the higher acidity of cold brew coffee, it is damaged. 

Remember, cold brew may produce an excessive level of acidity in case you use more coffee grounds than what it usually needs. 

The presence of mold in the coffee

Cold brew liquid may have mold in it at its older age. This is a  fact by which you can be so sure that your coffee is damaged. Subsequently, don’t drink it at all.

The presence of mold around the lid

Obsolete coffee can allow mold to grow around the bottle’s lid. That means the lid allowed air to come into the cold brew bottle. This mold development is not obvious for all cold brew types. But can be found in many cases.

No or less presence of the caffeine boost

Good cold brew has a strong caffeine effect as it produces a huge amount of caffeine. On the other hand, bad coffee contains very poor levels of caffeine. This will result in a weaker boost in the human body. 

Remember, in some exceptional cases, older cold brew may have more caffeine in it. And it can cause serious health issues.

Watery look

Damaged cold brew coffee becomes watery day by day. If you look deeply at the coffee liquid, you will find it watery if it has become unfit to drink. So, be careful to detect the watery look of cold brew coffee and if find, avoid it.

Bacterial growth in bottled cold brew coffee

Even bottled cold brew coffee can get attacked by bacteria. Many aspects of damaged cold brew can cause bacterial growth. Improper brewing, heat disorder, wrong management for preservation, leakage in the airtight system, etc. work in bacterial growth in cold brew coffee. 

Does bottled cold coffee go bad – unveil the truth

In reality, cold brew coffee can be bad. Because of many reasons, you might find your cold brew undrinkable in its old age. You can check your cold brew by following the below steps to detect bad and unhealthy cold brew coffee.

  • Take the cold brew bottle in your hand
  • Check its expiry date
  • If the date is over, avoid it.
  • If the date has not expired but your cold brew is old enough to doubt, remove the cork 
  • Pour a little amount of cold brew into a glass
  • Observe it closely
  • Search for the bad cold brew characteristics (watery look, no or reduced aroma) which are visible externally.
  • If nothing is found, drink a little.
  • Try to feel the taste, aroma and caffeine boost
  • You should get the original taste, flavor, aroma and caffeine boost.
  • Otherwise, your cold brew has gone bad.

What should you do with bad bottled coffee?

Damaged cold brew coffee can cause serious issues to your health. Sometimes, with a low level of damage, you may think it is okay to drink. But remember, it may cause an imbalance in your body condition by causing nausea, insomnia, headache, diarrhea, excessive acidity along with some stomach diseases. Bacterial food poisoning can be fatal for even a healthy person with the creation of some foodborne diseases. 

To get rid from the above issues, always drink fresh cold brew coffee. If you doubt, check the above process to find the bad cold brew characteristics. 

How to preserve cold brew coffee for longer?

If you have the will to keep cold brew safe for the longest duration, you have to ensure proper storing methods. There are some other factors as well e.g. refrigeration, sorting out the best coffee beans and grounds, well-bottled condition, good water and careful use of water. 

Fulfill the refrigeration requirement for bottled cold brew 

To keep cold brew healthy and safe for the longest time, you have to keep the cold brew in the fridge mandatorily. It’s better to store cold brew in the fridge when it is bottled and capped. If you wish to keep somewhat and rest to drink, in this open cap condition, refrigeration will bring better results. 

Homemade cold brew coffee needs this refrigeration process more. Generally, homemade cold brew does not fulfill the necessary demands of a good shelf line. So, don’t converse the cold brew outside the fridge. 

Use healthy water

Use germ-free, and filtered water to control your cold brew. First of all, it ensures a healthy coffee drink and another point, it keeps cold brew safe for longer, which means it strengthens the shelf line. 

Applying the best coffee bean and ground

Various grades of coffee beans and grounds are available in the market. You have to choose the upper grades sources for these elements. This will ensure the longest lifespan of cold brew.

The above section option will not be available for you in case you are taking premade coffee. Bottled coffee made in your hand will allow you to follow the option. 

Ensuring good condition of bottle and cork

A good bottle and cork are necessary for extending the cold brew lifetime. Here you have to choose a glass bottle, of course, not a plastic bottle and the cork will highly be air preventive. The whole cold brew lifetime depends largely on these two. 

Dilution of cold brew with water

Dilute cold brew coffee as much as you exactly need. If you cold brew concentration with much water, it will damage quickly. Diluted coffee lasts less than undiluted coffee because diluted coffee gets in touch with water and becomes more affected by bacteria because of much water. So, dilute cold brew with proper ratio. This will help to get a better shelf line. 

Stability of cold brew coffee

Besides the above-mentioned facts, there are some other subjects that can make your cold brew stable. You have to take some things into consideration for increasing the shelf life of cold brew and safe preservation. 

For example, 

  • Maintain the proper temperature of bottled coffee or homemade one when it is outside, 
  • Refrigerate cold brew as soon as possible after opening the cork
  • Try to avoid any sort of additives
  • Buy a trustworthy brand of coffee
  • Make cold brew with the best elements when you wish to make it yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you know if cold brew has gone bad?

You can identify bad bottled cold brew coffee easily with some professional tips and tricks. Cold brew will be watery, less tasty, more acidic, mold-grown or date-expired. By checking these characteristics in cold brew, you can identify cold brew coffee almost effortlessly.

Is it okay to drink an expired cold brew?

Drinking date-expired cold brew coffee is never acceptable. You need not understand so much to realize expired cold brew is harmful to your health, just leave it. Expired coffee can have many issues with your sound health and affect your stomach dangerously.

How long does bottled cold brew last after opening?

If you just have opened your cold brew bottle, it will not last for a reduced duration. While normal bottled cold brew coffee can last for 2 to 3 months, open and undiluted cold brew coffee can last for almost a week.

On the other hand, opened and bottled cold brew coffee may remain good for 2 or 3 days. Cold brew shelf line is highly dependent on various matters – like water and coffee ground type, dilution stage, preservatives, etc.

Does bottled cold brew coffee go bad in the fridge?

In reality, bottled cold brew coffee can go bad in a fridge too. But it will be after a long period – around one year in refrigerated condition. At room temperature, it will last for a notably shorter time like 4 or 5 months.

The preservation duration of cold brew in various conditions is not certain for all cold brew coffee. Because it depends on a lot of matters. Refrigeration of cold brew always ensures maximum safety.

How to extend the shelf life of cold brew coffee?

Cold brew’s shelf life can be extended with some almost effortless steps. Follow the below steps to increase cold brew coffee’s shelf line – ensuring healthy and proper water use, keeping the mixture (water and coffee) at proper heat, ensuring bottle and cork’s airtightness, etc.

Final Thought

By the end of this article, does bottled cold brew coffee go bad – is revealed. Now, you can enjoy both bottled and homemade cold brew coffee safely. Additionally, it will increase your family safety regarding cold brew drinking. 

If our article can assist you and your near and dear ones at a minimal level, all our hardships and efforts will be successful. Keep visiting us to learn more about cold brew coffee and some exciting facts about cold brew coffee. 

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