After coffee is brewed, how long does the caffeine stay, and how long is it good for?

by Corrine


I want to know how long caffeine stays in the coffee once it is brewed. I was told it last only 20min. after it is brewed. Also there was a discuss should or should it not be thrown out after the day it's made. Some say they keep it for a couple of days to avoid waste. Can you please enlighten us.

Thank you for your time.


To answer your first question, caffeine does not evaporate or otherwise disappear after brewing. There will be as much caffeine in your coffee after five hours as there is after five seconds. Arguably, there will be more caffeine, because some of the water will evaporate, increasing the concentration of caffeine in what’s left over.

As for throwing your coffee away at the end of the day, there are two ways to look at this. If it’s the taste that is important to you, then definitely you should throw it away – and after a couple of hours, not at the end of the day.

If you are anxious to save as much money as possible, you can put your leftover coffee in a sealed container, store it in the fridge, and heat it up again the next day. But don’t expect your coffee to taste as good when it is reheated.

Comments for After coffee is brewed, how long does the caffeine stay, and how long is it good for?

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by: Anonymous

II learned in the army that you don't drink coffee for flavor, you drink it for effect.

Frozen coffee
by: Anonymous

I have been brewing hot coffee and placing in the fridge at night. Then in the morning I add just a hint of white chocolate creamer and a bunch of ice, blend until its a like a milkshake consistency. Absolutely perfect! Better and a lot less expensive than Starbucks Frozen Frappuccino.

Pre-ground grocery-store coffee in a PLASTIC container?
by: MomAwesome

If that's what you're drinking you may as well put all the grounds on the garden without bothering to brew them. Okay, I know I'm a coffee snob, but, seriously, buy a good quality whole bean coffee, store the beans in a cool, dark place, and grind small one-pot portions in your own grinder right before you intend to brew it. If you start out with crappy coffee, it doesn't matter how long it does or doesn't sit out, it's always crappy. Good quality beans make a nice, smooth brew that can be reheated fairly successfully as long as you don't leave it on the heat for too long in the beginning.

Another Coffee Lover
by: Ana

It has been very interesting reading these comments from all of my fellow coffee lovers. I was delighted to discover I wasn't the only one that drinks left over coffee. I do agree that it doesn't taste as good after it sits awhile but I drink it anyway because I don't want to waste it. I try to make one or two cups at a time but they never come out right. Either too weak or too strong, the full pot always taste perfect. I agree with those that said the best way to make coffee last a little longer is to remove it from the heat immediately after brewing. Coffee burns and taste bitter when it's left sitting on the burner. I immediately put all I'm not going to drink right away in a container and refrigerate it after brewing. I don't really drink coffee for the caffeine, although that is a bonus on those days I'm struggling to wake up. Coffee for me is more about the experience. The smell of freshly brewed coffee just reels you in like a fish caught on a hook. The warmth of the coffee is such a warm cozy feeling,especially on cold winter mornings. When you take that first sip and feel the warmth flowing through your body, there's just nothing like it! And of course drinking it out of my favorite coffee mug just takes the experience to another level(if I drink it out of another cup or mug it won't taste the same, I know you can relate). And finally, walking around the house feeling the warmth of the cup in my hands and then out onto the patio to take in the fresh morning air. Awwwwwww, there's nothing like it. Kudos to all coffee lovers, I love you guys (I say that with a little tear in my eye).

old coffee
by: Anonymous

How long does leftover coffee keep it’s caffeine? It’s a natural pesticide and doesn’t hurt plants. The bugs couldn’t care less about the taste. Does it have to be refrigerated ?
I want to spray my yard and garden vegetables with it.

Bird house from container?
by: Anonymous

I'm not sure who had posted it, but using the horrid plastic containers that common java is sold in these days...brilliant! Is there any particular way of doing this? I'm really not creative but I'm a huge nature loving, earth nurturing Pagan & I do all I can to try & help my planet.
Does anyone else use the grounds for their gardens? I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing. I just know that I'd much rather help out.
That & I agree with the science of 'coffee caffeine has to amplify after liquid has evaporated', even slightly. Yes, we should all be a bit conservative with most things in these times. Coffee growing takes a toll. Look it up & see. Arbor Day Society is even producing coffee that's not as rough as traditional means. Fascinating! Enjoy All & be safe!

Longer better tasting coffee in your pot
by: Anonymous

My grandma used to drink coffee from her pot she brewed in the morning throughout the day. She had a trick to making it taste good all day......she would remove the filter and spent coffee as soon as it was done brewing. By doing so it would keep the coffee from going funky. It works!

Coffee Heated Overnight??
by: Mo

I know this is probably gross, but I found a pot in the kitchen that was heated overnight. I don’t want to waste it but if there’s enough caffeine in it I’ll just drink it! Taste it doesn’t really matter to me at this point. I would rather save the money and just have a cup of warm coffee as soon as I wake up! Ha ha. I can’t really tell if there’s a difference in the caffeine because it doesn’t really do anything to me either way. I just love the action of coffee drinking! Also holding my coffee cup in the morning!

Cold Brewed is not bitter, period
by: CaffeinePowered

The Splendid Table has a famous cold brewed coffee lesson that makes a concentrated brew that you dilute with hot or cold water as you wish. It is smooth, even with less than stellar coffee and the caffeine has the same kick for at least a week.

by: Derek

I agree with Patz! It’s the heat that makes coffee bitter after a short time. I always brew a whole pot, and drink it within 2-3 days. As soon as it’s done brewing, get it off the heat and let it cool. It’s never bitter. Thank you Patz tor your comments. I’ve been searching for someone else to say this, since everyone else keeps it hot and wonders why it goes bitter so fast! It’s not as scientific as everyone wants to make it out to be.

I agree
by: Bill

I will agree with the author. My coffee maker suggest that coffee is good(meaning it tastes good) for up to 40 minutes after brewed. Afterwards it just starts to lose its taste and becomes bitter. In other words, what you created in the morning won't taste as good at the afternoon and you should definitely throw at the end of the day. If you are about to drink more at the afternoon/evening then I would suggest to brew a fresh one.

Degradation of Caffeine After Brewing
by: Pamela

Please provide your source(s) on which you base your statement regarding degradation of caffeine, and how long it remains active. I have been searching for this information for years, and would like to read the studies. Thank you.

by: Anonymous

I’ve re-discovered that expresso coffee, if not consumed, can be kept refrigerated overnight and used the next day. Only aroma is lost, and most of the flavor remains. In the morning I boil half cup of water in the microwave and fill the other half with the leftover expresso. I have some good coffee and not wasted the nice expresso flavor. I grew up drinking coffee is South America. We called the expresso type coffee "esencia", meaning essence. It was available throughout the day or for the next day or two in the refrigerator. A day without coffee is a day without sunshine.

It's just as good!
by: Patz

I'm a single person who hates making coffee; therefore, I make a full carafe that lasts several days. Through trial and error, I have learned that heat is the enemy when I want to save a pot for the next several days. It tastes just as good whether I reheat it, drink it cold, room temp or over ice. Remove from the heat as soon as the brewing is finished!!!!

I must mention how happy I am on days when I don't have to make coffee. It's also a big plus when I want iced coffee and I don't have to brew the coffee then wait for it to come to room temp or add ice only to watch my coffee turn to light brown water.


Drinking old coffee
by: Anonymous

I was raised with fresh coffee, however I m a late riser, so thanks to u I'm going to make my own fresh coffee when I rise every day!!! Thank you 4 everything, YES

by: Anonymous

I prepared a batch on a timer for 7:30 am. I woke up around 2 am and to my horror, the coffee had already brewed. Being it was 2 am I did not feel like refrigerating it so I just turned off the burner and left it sit out. Well it's 7:30 and I just microwaved it and it tastes fine to me. I thought it would be awful but if it was served to me I doubt it would be noticed.

Good iced coffee
by: Jeffstyles100

In a medium size coffee pot I brew 2 and 1 half of scoops of coffee. I make about 4 pots and then I take a gallon jug and add 8 spoons of sugar per pot of coffee. I then take 16 Oz of sweet creeper and add it all together and stir it up. Leave it in the fridge over night and it's ready in the morning. I drink it for 5 to 7 days and the caffeine effect does not dissipate. You might want to make a new batch on the 8th day because it can get an off taste after that.

Upper limit
by: Anonymous

No one has a clear account of the breakdown of caffeine i n coffe after brewing. Refrigerated would last longer, but what are the breakdown rate numbers? 0% lost after 50 years? Or slowly 5-10% per week or month? The info is out there somewhere. Starbucks knows!

Coffee Oxidizes and loses appeal with air & heat
by: Bill, Coffee Master

Coffee, especially good quality ones, will oxidize from the moment air & water touches the coffee grounds. Continued air ferments and degrades the flavor compounds thereafter so if not consumed immediately, place in the smallest airtight container possible, such as a thermos.

Heat is also damaging to flavors in coffee due to sugars in the extracted grounds. Once brewed, should never be boiled, remove coffee from all heating sources and either serve or place into sealed carafe or thermos {see above}.

Columbian coffee {all I drink}, are relatively higher in sugars, lower in acids to produce the smoothest flavors with least side affects. Columbian beans therefore carry relatively higher price, its flavor & smoothness are worth every penny.

Relatively inexpensive beans from all other growing locations tend to have higher acid levels and need caffeine reconstituted at much higher levels than Columbian to replace caffeine evaporated by dark-roasting the beans sufficiently to caramelize their relatively low sugar content. This is why espresso coffees are so dark but have far less caffeine than any other roasts - caffeine lost to roasting is not reconstituted in finished beans.

Caffeine after brewing
by: Anonymous

Is there caffeine still left in the grind after brewing coffee? If you brewed the coffee again, can you get some caffeine from the second brew?

Refrigerated Coffee Is As Good...
by: Anonymous

as fresh brewed. I have experimented with this extensively. If the coffee is immediately removed from the heat and not allowed to burn, and immediately refrigerated, the result is good for days and I find no truly discernible difference between it and fresh brewed.

And if you add cream and sugar, it doesn't matter one iota.

My family loves my coffee and says I make the best they have ever had. And I find the misinformation on the internet disturbing.

One site will say to make coffee in a pot with 12 scoops of coffee, which would make sludge. Another says to use 1/2 cup, which would be a relatively weak brew. It is all to taste.

But as far as caffeine goes, you are absolutely correct. Caffeine does not dissipate despite the number of misguided souls that say it does in their blogs. Where do these people think the caffeine goes? I know, through the wormhole!!

Cold Coffe, caffeen evaporation
by: Anonymous

Dose it matter if the Coffe is refrigerated, dose the caffeen stay?

Does caffeine stay in coffee for several days?
by: Anonymous

Does anyone know how long caffeine stays in coffee (without milk)? Does it stay in coffee for several days? Sometimes I decide not to drink coffee that I have made, and I end up drinking it a lot later. I do not mind drinking it cold. I drink it to help me keep awake for an hour or so, if I feel drowsy.

best answer!!
by: Anonymous

that's completely absurd for someone to tell you that. If that was the case then how would cold coffee that has exploded in all the stores now, keep thier caffiene content after being stored for several days. So don't worry about that , you'll stay "POP LOCKIN" all day long off the same brew if you would like!!!! Really I do it everyday.

package,what to do with it when the coffee is gone
by: Anonymous

The containers are filling up my garage .Why are you not putting coffee in a air fresh bag instead of a large plastic can use all the old containers for bird houses they will last a life time.

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