How Long Does Espresso Stay Fresh?

Feeling the smell of a hot espresso shot in the morning is always a great start to your morning. It's that part of the day when you can take your sweet time and wake up to the nice warm feeling of a shot of espresso on your hands.

Usually when you make coffee, though, you don’t use the whole package so you save it for later. There are also cases when even after you make your espresso, you can’t drink it immediately and it might go bad. Keep reading to find out how long after brewing, a shot of coffee can stay fresh. Hint: It’s not for long.

Why Does Espresso Expire?

There is an important distinction that we need to make here. Ground and roasted espresso beans last significantly longer than the brewed espresso drink. 

Just like any other type of coffee, espresso grind goes stale and loses flavor over time. How long it takes for coffee beans to go bad depends on how it's stored, but in general, it should be consumed within two weeks of being roasted.

When espresso starts to go stale, the flavors of the coffee beans get muted and it tastes bitter. Coffee oils start to rise to the surface of the brew, which will also cause it to look unappealing. Your drink may also taste sour and acidic if it goes bad. When espresso is very old, the coffee oils will start to clump together and you will end up with a thick oily lump.

How Long Does Espresso Stay Good?

Espresso only stays fresh for a few days up to a few weeks, depending on how it is stored. If kept in the fridge, your espresso grind can be good for up to 3-4 weeks depending on the temperature, the type of beans and whether it was freshly roasted. To make sure you get the most out of your grind you should keep it in an airtight container. 

Pro tip: The espresso grind should be taken out of the fridge 30 minutes before consumption to get it back up to room temperature to get the best taste out of your brew.

Brewed espresso stays fresh up to a day after brewing. After that the flavor starts to deteriorate and it starts settling down. If you keep your brewed espresso in the fridge, it will stay fresh for up to two days but all the crema will be gone.

Once brewed, the way to know that your espresso has gone stale is that the crema will dissipate. This means that the oils will rise to the surface as the rest of the drink will have settled down. When this happens your espresso will taste bitter or sour and won’t be pleasant to drink. 

What Happens to Coffee After Brewing?

Coffee loses freshness even faster once it’s brewed. It tastes best when consumed within 2 hours after brewing. After this time frame, espresso starts losing its flavor and additionally cold coffee is not for everyone. While it will still be drinkable even a day after brewing, some of the flavors will be gone and it will be bitter. Here are the main stages that your espresso shots will go through after brewing:

Too Hot To Drink

Once your coffee is done, you might not want to drink it immediately as it will burn your tongue.  Espresso is brewed at a very high temperature of around 200 degrees (95°C) Fahrenheit so you’ll want to wait for it to cool off.

Best Drinking Temperature

The best serving temperature for espresso is between 140 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit (60-70°C). The drink usually gets to the perfect temperature a few minutes after it is brewed. If it is too hot, it will be difficult to drink and can cause burns and if it is too cold, it will be difficult to taste the flavors of the coffee beans.

Too Cold To Drink

Espresso should be left out for a few minutes before you drink it. If you leave it for longer, it will be too cold and that special espresso taste will be gone.

Crema Dissipates

The crema on top of espresso is a key indicator of freshness. As espresso sits, the crema will dissipate and eventually disappear. This is because the CO2 gas escapes and takes the crema with it. Once it has dissipated, the espresso has lost a big part of its flavors and is no longer fresh. 

Acidity and Bitterness Increase

Your espresso can become bitter and acidic as it’s no longer fresh. When this happens, the espresso is said to have "gone bad." This occurs when the oils in the coffee beans start to decompose. The acids and bitterness will also increase as time goes on. A notable bitter taste or an odd smell means that the coffee has gone bad.

Espresso Becomes a Sludge

If you leave your coffee out for longer it will turn into an overly bitter cup of muddy sludge. How long exactly it takes depends on many factors, including the coffee you used, ambient temperature, altitude, and coffee quality.

If you insist on drinking it, it will still wake you up though. Caffeine isn't one of the chemicals that lose their potency as coffee stops being fresh, so your espresso drinks will remain strong. Nevertheless we don’t recommend doing that as you might have some stomach issues later. 


How Long Can You Keep Espresso in the Fridge?

Coffee drinks can last in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. If you've added some milk or cream to the drink, they can start to spoil after a few days, so it's best to drink them sooner rather than later. 

Furthermore, espresso is acidic and contains a lot of caffeine, which speeds up the decomposition of organic matter. This means that your espresso won't go stale overnight like some drinks but will still go bad pretty fast.

The beans, in particular, are best stored at room temperature, but if you plan to use them more than 2 weeks post-roast, you should store them in the fridge. As long as the container is airtight, your coffee will stay fresh for up to 4 weeks.

How Long Does Coffee Last?

Regular coffee has a slightly longer shelf life than espresso. This is due to its lower acidity levels and the fact that espresso is usually made from stronger sorts of coffee. Coffee beans that haven’t been opened last around a month if kept at room temperature and up to twice as much if refrigerated. Once they are open, they will stay fresh for around a week and espresso will only be fresh for 4-5 days.

How Do You Store Roasted Coffee Beans?

To store coffee beans it's best to keep them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. You can also store them in the fridge or freezer. Roasted coffee beans will stay fresh for up to two weeks when stored in the pantry, four weeks when refrigerated, and up to six months when frozen.

For What Can You Use Old Coffee?

If you find your coffee has gone bad you usually throw it out, no matter if it’s espresso or any other type of brew. Nonetheless, there are some uses of old coffee around the house that you might not have considered. 

Exfoliant

Old coffee grounds are a great exfoliant for the skin. They are rough enough to remove dirt and dead skin cells, but gentle enough not to cause irritation and are also a natural antioxidant.

There are many ways to use coffee as an exfoliant. You can make a scrubby paste by mixing coffee grounds with a small amount of water or oil, or you can use a coffee filter to make a DIY face mask. You can also add leftover coffee to your bathtub for a relaxing soak.

Garbage Deodorizer

People often pour old coffee down the drain, but there are other ways to use it. One way to do that is use it as a garbage deodorizer. Instead of pouring it down the drain, throw it in the trashcan and they will neutralize most unpleasant smells. The grounds will also help to keep pests away.

Scouring

Cleaning with coffee is nothing new—people have been using it to clean their kitchens and dishes for years. But what about using it to clean other things? Coffee makes a great scouring agent, and it's a natural way to get rid of dirt and grime.

Coffee grounds are abrasive and can quickly remove dirt and build-up. As you know they are also a natural deodorizer, so they can get rid of unpleasant smells too. All you need to do is sprinkle some coffee grounds on the surface that needs cleaning, scrub with a brush, and rinse with water.

Coffee is a great alternative to commercial scouring agents, which can often be harsh and contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Theny can also be harmful to humans and pets if consumed, so it's best to use coffee grounds instead of other commercial scouring agents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Expired Coffee Bad?

Expired pre-ground coffee will have a bland or even sour taste. If you decide to brew coffee after its expiration date you should be careful as it might cause stomach ache or just ruin your morning.

How Do You Know You're Buying Fresh Coffee Beans?

There are a few ways to check if the coffee beans you're buying are fresh. One way is to smell them. They should smell earthy and fresh, not musty or sour. Another way is to look at the beans, they should be green and shiny, not dull and brown. You can also grind a few whole coffee beans and taste them. 

How Long Does Iced Coffee Drink Stay Good?

Iced coffee can stay fresh for up to two days in the fridge. Make sure to keep it in an airtight container to prevent it from watering down. You can also freeze iced coffee. Just pour it into a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to two months.

Can Different Types of Coffee Last Longer?

Although coffee is often stored in the same way, espresso stays fresh for a shorter period than other types of coffee because it is made by forcing water through the coffee grounds and the process exposes the coffee beans to air much more quickly.

How Can You Make Espresso Last Longer?

To make espresso last longer, it should be kept in an airtight container and placed into the fridge. Airtight containers not only help espresso stay fresh for longer but also stop the kitchen from smelling like it.

Can Coffee Be Reheated?

Once espresso has been brewed, it can't be reheated to make it last longer. When espresso is reheated after cooling, the coffee oils will rise to the surface of espresso and espresso will taste bitter.

Final Thoughts

Brewed espresso doesn't last as long as other types of coffee because the process exposes the coffee beans to air much more quickly. However, if you store it in a container and place it into the fridge, it will stay fresh for longer. 

How long your espresso grind can keep fresh depends on how you store it. That's usually around two weeks if kept at the counter and around twice as much if refrigerated. If you freeze it, you will be able to enjoy it up to six months after opening.

Even if your coffee is not stale or old, it might taste bad and that can be due to one of many reasons. Among the main ones is poor tamping. To make sure you always get the best-tamped shot of espresso head over to our store and check out our calibrated pressure tampers.