Espresso is a much-beloved drink for those who want a concentrated shot of alertness. Popular around the world, it owes its origins to Italy, where coffee fanatics were keen to find new ways to brew their favorite drink.
Now, many people count on this thickened form of coffee to get them going in the morning. If you’re among those people, you’ve probably wondered whether you can brew a shot the night before so it’s ready to go as soon as your feet hit the floor.
When it comes to espresso, you need it to be fresh and potent. So what we really need to know is how long espresso stays fresh.
Espresso grinds can stay fresh for up to a month, depending on how you store it, and brewed espresso should be fresh for about a day after brewing.
What is espresso?
Espresso is a strong black coffee and an espresso machine is usually the main appliance you’ll need to create a traditional espresso. The machine will push water through fine grinds of coffee beans, resulting in a thicker, more concentrated drink than standard coffee.
How should it be stored?
Ground espresso beans should be kept in a dark, cool location. Many people choose to store their beans in an airtight container inside the refrigerator, where the grind will stay good for three to four weeks.
If you prefer to keep it in a pantry, you will still want an airtight container to keep outside contaminants from getting in. Remember that if you live in a humid climate, your grinds will be more susceptible to bacteria the longer they are exposed to moisture in the air.
What happens after it is brewed?
If you’ve brewed your shot already, you have about a day to drink it before it begins to lose its flavor and potency. Try storing it in the fridge to keep the freshness as crisp as possible until you’re ready to drink.
What happens after it loses freshness?
The main thing that will happen is the taste will grow bitter. Fans of espresso know that the natural flavor can be a bit harsh for some, but be aware that the old espresso loses its pleasant flavor altogether. There’s nothing about this drink that you’ll enjoy.
This happens because the oils in the crema have separated from the drink, leaving nothing but a poor taste.
Is it safe to drink an old espresso?
There are a couple of things to consider when we’re deciding whether it’s safe to drink an old espresso.
First, coffee beans don’t really go “bad,” like many other foods do. They may lose their potency or go stale over time, but generally they’re safe to brew long after their “best by” date.
However, if you notice any mold or other strange things on the beans, they have been contaminated and should not be used.
Next, if you’ve brewed your espresso and added any milk, it’s the milk that becomes a safety concern. If it’s been sitting out at room temperature for two hours or more, it’s not worth the risk.
How long does espresso last in the fridge?
If you keep your grinds in the coldest part of the fridge in an airtight container, you should expect them to stay fresh for three to four weeks. After that, the taste will begin to deteriorate.
You can get about a week for a straight shot of espresso in the fridge, as long as you store it safely. That means storing it without any milk or other sweeteners added in, as those will cause different reactions within the drink. It also means storing the liquid within an airtight container to protect it from bacteria.
How long does espresso last in the freezer?
You can store espresso grinds for months in the freezer without much deterioration. However, over time, there will be some change in the grinds, and they may become difficult to brew right away when you take them out. Be prepared for the drink to be a little different from your usual espresso if you’ve kept it in the freezer. It should be safe for a long time, though.
You can store your espresso in the freezer for at least a couple of months, as long as it doesn’t have any added milk or sweeteners. You will likely notice a change in the texture over time, though. It may not taste the way you like it.
Does old espresso have less caffeine?
Nope. It may not taste great, but espresso that’s past its prime still has the same amount of caffeine as it did on day 1. The taste will fade, but the caffeine will not.
How long will brewed espresso stay in the fridge before it tastes bad?
If you’ve stored your milk-free espresso in an airtight container in the refrigerator, you can expect it to taste good for about another ten hours. Every hour after that, it will taste a little less like the espresso you love.
Any milk or sweeteners you’ve added will decrease the amount of time the drink will taste good after being refrigerated.
When the espresso has been brewed, it begins the oxidation process, which simply means it’s in contact with air. You can slow this with an airtight container, but the life of the drink is already reduced.
Also, as espresso cools in the fridge, the flavor begins to change. Tannin within the coffee will activate a bitter taste that will eventually overpower the espresso altogether.
It’s best not to wait longer than about ten hours if you want to have a good espresso experience.