Making Your Coffee The Night Before? Here Are a Few Things to Consider

If you have a hectic morning schedule or prefer taking your coffee ice-cold, then you might be pondering on making your coffee the night before. But can you do this? More specifically, does coffee ever turn stale, lose it’s flavor and caffeine overnight? Does it just taste gross the next day?

Can You Make Your Coffee The Night Before? 

The simple answer is yes, but there is a catch. The issue with coffee that has sat overnight is that it is not as tasty or fresh as many would like unless, of course, you keep it in the refrigerator and in an airtight container. 

It also boils down to what you need the beverage for. If you often have a busy schedule in the morning and like your daily dose of hot coffee, then preparing it the night before will not make the cut. The only exception is if you have a perfectly airtight container or a travel thermos or mug. We shall dive deeper into this point later in the article. 

However, if you like your dose of caffeine ice-cold, you will not be able to achieve that without coffee that’s already cold. Fortunately, there are several alternatives. 

What is Coffee Bloom? – Does it Affect Taste and Aroma?

Brewed Coffee Gets Stale, That’s Why Proper Storage is Essential

So, you need fresh, hot coffee in that early morning, but your schedule barely allows it. Preparing it and storing it overnight sounds like a good solution, but there are several issues with this strategy. 

Coffee stays fresh for only a few years after brewing, and its quality tends to dimish in a rapid manner. As it cools down, the aroma will also go away, leaving you with a coffee brew that has a vague, stale taste. As a coffee enthusiast, you certainly won’t love it. 

On the contrary, caffeine won’t evaporate and will stay in the drink forever. So, if you only take coffee for the caffeine, then it really does not matter whether you brew it in the morning or the night before. The caffeine content will stay the same regardless of the preparation method or time. 

The main issue with making coffee and storing it is that its aroma goes away, but not in just any manner. The exposure to air is what makes it lose the fresh and tasty kick, and this is where proper storage comes into the picture. 

If you have a particularly airtight thermos or mug where you can store your beverage right after brewing, then you are good to go. If not, then this one will come in handy.  It not only preserves the aroma and taste of your coffee, but it keeps it hot for hours, allowing you to enjoy your drink in the morning as if you just prepared it. However, you should be mindful. Even if the container keeps the drink warm, it will still turn cold if you let it sit for more than 12 hours. 

This is a method that works pretty well, regardless of the type of coffee you brew, from espresso, filter, and mocha, to French press and Turkish style. Keep in mind that if you want your beverage as fresh as possible, you should get whole coffee beans and grind them just before you prepare the drink.?

Brewing with already ground coffee beans will only dampen the taste, even if the bag they were stored in was airtight. 

Set up The Coffee Machine The Night Before

You must be wondering, can I set up the coffee machine the night before? Most definitely. However, you should ensure that the coffee grounds or beans aren’t exposed to much air overnight. This will help ensure your coffee is as fresh as possible when you prepare it. 

This is a tried and tested method and works perfectly fine. Making a cup of coffee in the morning doesn’t take much time or effort, but there are days where you have a lot to do and every second counts. Also, if you’re going to implement this method, don’t have your expectations too high as the coffee won’t really match freshly brewed one. 

Regardless of the type of coffee machine you own, be it Moka pot, filter or espresso, you can fill it with coffee the night before. Just ensure that the grounds/beans are not exposed to air overnight. 

Add as much water as you would like and ensure it’s warm. Cool water usually reduces the quality of the brew. If your device has a timer, then set it to the hours you need your cup of coffee. If it doesn’t, no need to fret as you can wait for the brew as you prepare breakfast. 

If Your Prefer Iced Coffee, It Should be Brewed and Chilled

So, what if you want your drink for the caffeine and taste, but prefer it ice cold? Well, in that case, you have two options. No matter the option you go with, keep in mind that water from the ice cubes will water down the brew. As such, you’ll want to use frozen coffee ice cubes, or make a double-strong coffee. 

Bear in mind that you are preparing black coffee in this case, and so, you’ll want to avoid cream and sugar until when adding final touches. For better results, you should go for liquid sweetener instead.

The first method is to hot brew your coffee several hours before serving, and this can be the night before. However, if you intend to serve it later in the afternoon, then brewing and storing it overnight won’t make the cut as too much time will pass, and we all know what will happen. 

Here’s an alternative

Brew the coffee in the morning after taking breakfast, or brew it cold. We will delve into that in a moment. If you brew the drink hot and want it for iced coffee, put the entire brew in a clean glass container and place a lid on it. The more airtight it is, the better. The lid will protect the drink from absorbing other smells and tastes of other foods in the refrigerator and ideally keep water content constant. Expect it to be a bit stale, but it won’t be as much as if you had let it sit for long without a lid. 

Cold Brewing

This is a technique that simply involves adding coffee grounds to cold water in a glass container and letting it sit for about 12 hours. You might think that the drink will turn stale, but this is only the case for hot brewed coffee. In fact, cold brewing brings out the coffee flavors in a different manner, such that they don’t evaporate easily and aren’t as sensitive to temperature. 

However, if you heat the cold brew, you will lose a lot of the aroma. The change in temperature (resulting in evaporation) is what ruins the beverage. 

So, if you want a nice cup of iced coffee, consider cold brewing. Yes, you will need to strain it or put a filter on the container, but the results will be far much better than hot brewed and then cooled coffee. 

At this stage, you must be asking, why not add a bunch of ice cubes to hot coffee. Nobody is stopping you, but the results won’t be anywhere near good. The coffee has to be thoroughly chilled before you add the ice. 

Final Thoughts

No matter how you want to have your cup of coffee, remember that it loses flavor and taste when it sits for long, and you might end up taking a  stale beverage if you prepare it the night before. If you want to take your daily dose of caffeine in the morning and do not have the time to prepare it, consider taking a closer look at your schedule. Do you really lack an extra 5 minutes to brew your coffee? Nothing beats preparing a fresh cup of coffee in the morning. Regardless, you can use the tips discussed in this comprehensive post and end up with an almost similar experience even if you brew it the night before. 

We also hope that the tips on iced coffee preparation and storage will come in handy when you need them. Everyone appreciates an ice-cold cup of coffee during the scorching heat of summer.

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