I know, I know.
Sometimes we just want a batch of iced coffee and put it in the refrigerator, so we can drink whenever we want without the brewing process the next few days. As a barista, what I can say is that is not a really good idea.
So can you put a hot cup of hot coffee in the fridge? Yes but no. Of course, you are allowed to put the coffee you want in the fridge. Inevitably, the coffee will end up stale, bitter, sour, and lacking flavor, except you seal it properly.
Let me explain.
Why does cold hot coffee and coffee in the fridge tastes so bad?
As we all agree, if the refrigerator you mentioned is not a commercial freezer, the fridge just cannot cool things soon enough. So putting your coffee in the fridge is almost the same as letting the coffee sit out on the desk, get cold, and calling that cold coffee. It just tastes awful.
It is all because of the oxidation process. Oxidizing creates a bitter flavor and darker color in the coffee. Coffee goes bitter when it gets old. This is exactly the reason why store-bought iced coffee tends to so much sugar and milk: to mask the bitter astringency.
If you can switch from a cup to an airtight container like a mason jar, things might be getting better. As long as you left your coffee in the open air, the process will go extra fast, and even worse, your coffee also picks up other smells from the fridge. Remember, the less air contact in your container, the less oxidation is going to go.
I recommend either switching to cold brew because it keeps longer or trying fresh brews.
How can you make iced coffee at home instead?
In my coffee shop, the way we prepare iced coffee is to make a really big batch of extremely concentrated hot coffee, and we pour this directly over ice in order to dilute and cool down the coffee, then we put it in the fridge immediately. Whenever a customer orders ice coffee, we pour this over and serve with extra ice cubes. It actually tastes pretty good.
If you want to make iced coffee at home, you’re basically splitting the water you’re using to make pour-over coffee into 2 parts. 60% hot water is used to brew the coffee over 40% ice.
I did a pour-over (about 22g of coffee for 5oz ice and 5oz hot water) and, frankly, it blows even the pure cold brew out of the water.
The ice will instantly chill down the hot brewed coffee concentrate. In the end, you add more ice to chill it further, like a cocktail.
In my experience, the iced coffee won’t be as strong or concentrated because it’s pretty diluted. I think it’s meant to be refreshing and easy to drink. It’s very tasty and perfect on hot summer days though.
Can you put hot coffee in the fridge? Yes, you can, but you have to use an airtight container like a mason jar to prevent oxidation. But making your fresh brew iced coffee is the only way to enjoy the fullest of your coffee.
I think that is it, see you next time.
- Why Does Coffee Get Stale: https://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/08/05/why-does-coffee-get-stale/
- Reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/Coffee/comments/e8zonn/when_i_make_fresh_iced_coffee_it_tastes_great/