Our team of coffee snobs and baristas researched these topics and here’s what we came up with:
You can leave your espresso shot in the fridge for 10-12 hours. We recommend using this espresso to prepare cold beverages. Espresso isn’t the drink you should leave for long either in a fridge or even in the cup. As its name implies, espresso is ideal to drink immediately and fast.
Some baristas create espresso in bulk to serve their daily demand and keep it in the fridge. But, they use this espresso only for milk-based or iced coffee drinks. Coffee is a drink to enjoy when it’s fresh. Professionals know this and they don’t serve refrigerated coffee. Keep reading this post since we reveal some secrets about espresso.
Table of Contents
- What is True Espresso
- What Happens to Espresso After It’s Extracted?
- How Refrigerated Espresso Tastes?
- Storage of Espresso Ground Coffee
- The Bottom Line
- What to Do Next
What Is True Espresso
Espresso is a specialized kind of coffee. To brew espresso you’ll need fine ground coffee. This coffee must be medium or dark roasted coffee beans.
To prepare a true espresso you need an espresso machine. These machines use steam or a pump for pressure. There are some alternative methods of espresso brewing like Mokka pot and Aeropress. Yet, the coffee output hasn’t the same quality and flavor.
To prepare a true espresso you need to know the variables. The Italian Institute of Espresso has defined these variables as below:
Pressurized water with fine grounds results in a concentrated coffee drink. A shot of espresso contains more caffeine per ounce compared to regular coffee. Yet, it has less caffeine per serving since it’s a short-volume drink.
True espresso is a thicker and strong drink that has three layers. The darkest part that looks like regular coffee, is the heart. The lighter part is the body and on top, there should be the crema. Espresso cream is 10-15% of the total drink and after a few minutes, it goes away.
Bubbles of carbon dioxide mix with fat, sugar, and oil to produce this thick crema. You need to use fresh grounds of coffee and filtered water to achieve crema. Crafting true espresso is an art that doesn’t tolerate imperfections in ingredients. 
What Happens to Espresso After It’s Extracted?
Italians drink espresso right after it’s pulled and they drink it fast. The aroma and flavor change even after a minute. So, there’s no doubt that espresso is a beverage that it’s best to drink right after extraction.
Professionals know this so they brew and serve espresso. Some baristas could store espresso in the fridge for a couple of hours. They do this to meet the daily demand stream but for milk-based or cold coffee drinks.
After a few moments from extraction, the three layers of espresso blend together. The crema and body are gone and you see only a black coffee liquid that looks more like regular coffee.
Oxidation is another thing that spoils espresso as it sits. The components of the beverage will release chlorogenic acid when mixed with oxygen. The result is bitter and off-tasting. Lipids and oils that give the rich body and aftertaste of espresso, oxidize.
Now it’s clear why we don’t’ suggest storing espresso in the fridge and reheating it. But, if you plan to use it for an espresso martini or a nice latte, or even an iced beverage, then feel free to do it. But, don’t put it in the fridge and forget it. You need to consume it within 8-10 hours after storing it. 
How Refrigerated Espresso Tastes?
True espresso starts with a good blend of coffee beans. Then you need a proper grinder, a good espresso coffee machine, and some skills. The aroma and flavor of the drink will pay you off.
You should include it on your list if you haven’t tried a real espresso. The taste is vivid, bittersweet, and robust and the aroma surrounds you. This is the taste experience of freshly brewed espresso.
Refrigerated leftover espresso doesn’t have this taste profile. It will come bitter, acidic, and unpleasant to your palate. Also, it won’t have a vivid aftertaste and it will leave a lingering taste for a long time.
That’s not the case if you blend coffee with milk, water, ice, some syrup, or honey. Sweeter beverages tend to dissolve the bitterness of refrigerated coffee.
Whether you use a fresh shot or a cold one, you won’t realize any difference if you use it as a base for a cold coffee drink.
Bitterness will go away by adding milk to your leftover coffee. Honey or sugar will counter it even more. Adding ice or cold water will enhance the flavor profile, and you won’t realize any difference. 
Storage of Espresso Ground Coffee
You can definitely store ground coffee in the fridge, but there’s a catch. You should always keep your coffee in an airtight container. Otherwise, it may absorb odors from other foods and/or become stale. This is all the more reason to buy just enough ground coffee for a week or two at a time.
Roasted coffee beans will stay fresher in the fridge than ground coffee. Because they are less exposed to oxygen than ground beans. Beans don’t have as much surface area exposed. Whole beans are also less susceptible to taking on any flavors from foods stored around them.
Airtight container works better than a coffee bag
The best way to store your coffee is in an airtight container. Coffee bags are bad for the environment and don’t keep coffee fresh for a long time. Airtight containers keep out moisture, light, and air. Keep these elements away from coffee to protect it from going stale faster. It will also keep odors from absorbing into the beans or grounds.
Get yourself a glass jar with a lid that closes tightly and store it in a cabinet. So it stays away from sunlight and moisture. It’s also important to store them away from foods with strong odors like onions, garlic, and spices. These can soak in and alter the taste of the coffee. If you’d prefer not to use glass jars, you can use metal tins instead. Just make sure they have tight-sealing lids on them!
Don’t use plastic storage containers for storing your espresso grounds. These may have some sort of odorant built into their construction process. Even instant coffee is secured in a metallic container.
Coffee can soak up the smells in your refrigerator
One thing to keep in mind: coffee has a high absorption rate. So if you are storing it near something with a strong odor, like onions or garlic, the coffee will absorb that smell. 
The Bottom Line
A fresh espresso shot is made of fine roasted Arabica coffee beans and water. According to experts, you should drink it within 5 minutes from the moment of its extraction.
You can store your leftover espresso in the fridge for 10-12 hours before it begins to get bad. The quality of espresso will get worse once you store it for a longer time. Whisk your refrigerated espresso with rich, cream and ice to make a delightful iced drink.
Sitting espresso at room temperature will taste burnt after a while. If you brew an espresso drink it fast to enjoy the best flavors and aroma. Espresso temperatures are included to the essentials for a true espresso.
What to Do Next
Now you know how long an espresso lasts in the fridge. It’s time for you to pull your own cup of coffee.
Searching for good ground coffee beans or any kind of espresso gear? Feel free to read our buyers’ guides and reviews.