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Here's How Long Your Morning Coffee Is Actually Good For

Learn about old coffee in all its forms—this is a safe space.

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It happens every afternoon: Around 4 o'clock, I start to fade and begin considering my half-consumed coffee at my desk.

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So I turned to Google to find an (unofficial, but workable) answer to all my late-in-the-day-coffee questions.

Is the flavor of the coffee affected?

James Ransom/Food52 / Via food52.com

Just as coffee beans go rancid after about two weeks, brewed coffee can start to taste bad after about 30 minutes, or the time it takes for the coffee to cool. Then you have about a 4-hour window before the oils in the coffee start to go bad, which further alters the taste.

So, is coffee safe to drink after several hours?

James Ransom/Food52 / Via food52.com

Black coffee should be safe to drink, though it probably won't taste all that good. If it has milk in it, make a fresh pot instead—but if you're determined to still drink it (as I often am), make sure to microwave it all the way through, for an extra-classy, extra-safe 4 PM pick-me-up.

Catherine O'Donnell contributed to this post. For more, visit Food52.

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