Does Coffee Go Bad When It's Sitting Out? Turns Out, No


Have you ever looked at your sad half-drunk cup of coffee and wondered what you were doing with your life instead of drinking it, and also whether it was safe to finish it even though you’d gone to the coffee shop at 8 am? While the answer to the first question is up to you, the answer to the second is much easier: drinking your coffee on a delay turns out to be very safe.

This news comes to the world courtesy of BuzzFeed, where an intrepid reporter dared to ask a question many of us cast aside as we chug our congealed venti latte at the end of the workday. But the news is surprisingly pleasant. While your coffee might not taste as good later in the day—according to the report, coffee begins going bad about 30 minutes after it’s made—an exhaustive search of Google reveals that it probably won’t kill you. Or even make you sick.

Those who take their coffee black will be the least affected, but those who drink theirs with cream should be a little careful. According to BuzzFeed, milk shouldn’t be kept at room temperature for more than two hours, so if you’re planning to finish your coffee after lunch you should stow it safely in the refrigerator with your name on it and probably a couple of globs of spit inside, just for your own satisfaction, in case someone steals it.

If you do decide to finish your latte right before hitting the elevator to get out of the office, BuzzFeed suggests you microwave it to kill some (not all, unfortunately) the bacteria. It still probably won’t taste great, but you should still be fine. If the coffee’s black, it’s very unlikely that bacteria will grow in it unless it’s got “something living in it, like flowers.” (?) But if your coffee’s sprouting any manner of flora, you’re probably doing something wrong anyway.

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Image via Shutterstock

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