Is unrefrigerated brewed coffee bad for your health?
I worry my mother is making herself sick by drinking 1-4 day-old brewed coffee she does not refrigerate. Sometimes she lets the coffee sit on the counter for hours or forgets to refrigerate it for 10 hours at a time. What effect can this have on her health? Does brewed coffee grow bacteria, for example?
Thanks, Karen H.ANSWER:
I wouldn't worry about it. This seems to be a generation thing.
Right now, with Starbucks and hundreds of other coffee shop franchises selling $5 cups of coffee, we tend to get a little fussy with our coffee. Everything has to be just right.
But if you go back one generation, the culture of coffee drinking was very different. It was just a cup of Joe. People liked the taste and really appreciated the caffeine.
Among older coffee drinkers it is not uncommon for people to brew a pot of coffee and then drink it bit by bit over the following few days.
I'm not a doctor, and I don't know how long it takes before bacterial growth starts on coffee, but from what I have read and heard, this isn't something you have to be too concerned about.
Of course, you could always tell your mother that her coffee would taste a whole lot better if she made a fresh pot each day!