Permit us to mention a critical point. Cold brew coffee is not the same thing as the regular coffee poured over ice. Making a cold brew is much more different from the way a regular coffee is made. It is made by slowly steeping ground coffee beans in water for about a day; then there is a straining process afterward. The result of this process is a powerful coffee concentrate with an incredible flavor and a mildly bitter taste. Cold brewing is an excellent way of extracting the flavor for coffee beans in the most immersive way possible, and the result is an impressively smooth cup of more concentrated coffee. In other words, while the taste might be a bit milder (compared to regular coffee), it has more caffeine content. When running numbers, we found out a typical cup of cold brew coffee has up to 100-200 mg of caffeine. Well, how well you like the sound of this will depend on how much you value caffeine. In any case, if you are the type who is really sensitive to caffeine, you can still make a cold water brew with decaf caffeine, which really does come out well flavor-wise too. Sometimes, you may need to dilute it with water, cream or a milk alternative.
Well, the cold coffee brew has really become a popular trend in recent times that it is only natural that several questions begin to trail its process. One of such issues is long the cold coffee brew good for. In other words, what is the shelf life of a cold brew coffee? We are going to address this in the remaining part of this article.
A Cold Coffee Brew is Good for how Long?
This question becomes really relevant when it is realized that there is a good chance that you will make a cold coffee in a large pot and it is likely to have some leftover beverage stored for some other time. The good news is that the home-made cold brew coffee lasts much longer than the hot brewed coffee. Typically, we will not advise that you drink a hot brewed coffee after some hours had passed on it as it will never taste as good as when it was freshly brewed. Besides, there is a good chance that the additives such as milk or cream added would cause trouble. But in the case of a cold brew, you can still expect to find up to 2 weeks of life expectation on it. Thus, even though the best flavor on the coffee is much noticeable within the first week of the coffee, there is not much prejudicing you from enjoying your batch of cold brewed coffee in the week after it was first brewed.
Keep in mind though, that if you add additives such as cream, sugar or milk before keeping it in the refrigerator, it is a no-brainer that you should expect a much shorter shelf life on the coffee. This is as a result of the chemical components of these additives which will typically not last beyond some certain period. Hence, we will go ahead and say that diluted cold coffee brew, just the hot coffee brew, will only be good for about a day or two (at most) before the whole components begin to fall apart and the liquid begins to spoil.
This brings us to an obvious conclusion. If you intend to enjoy your large batch of coffee for an extended period of time, then, you should absolutely not add anything to it before you cache it in the refrigerator. This way, you can still expect to have up to 2 weeks of life expectancy on it.
How about a commercial Brew?
It is not out of place to consider how long a commercial brewed cold coffee is good, and how long to extend its lifespan. As we mentioned earlier, the average home-brewed concentrate lasts only about 2 weeks since it is not made in a clean environment (so to speak). In other words, there is a good chance that your home set doesn’t have the standard sterilization required in a commercial, thus making your brew more susceptible to bacteria.
In the case of large commercial brews, to achieve a shelf life will require more production work. Heat pasteurization or the high-pressure pasteurization will have to adequately considered because both kinds of pasteurization may affect the flavor of the coffee. Though it may increase the manufacturing over-head, it will extend the shelf life of the product.
With the utilization of refrigerated kegs, most manufacturers of cold brew coffees can achieve a shelf life of up to 6 weeks on their cold coffee brews. To make this possible, many of the cold brew vendors are doing away with additives such as cream and milk, and preservatives to ensure a fresh, energetic and delicious cold brew. This way, they can be able to pitch the cold brew as a healthier and considerable option over the other types of coffee beverages.
To end this article, we will go ahead and inform you that you can shop for delicious and long lasting coffee in both plastic and glass at many online stores. This will allow you to manufacture larger batches of cold brew coffee for commercial sales – if you are into that kind of thing.