Unlike other coffee types, lattes contain double-steamed milk and foam shots. Since milk invites bacterial activity, the tendency of a latte to last in a fridge often needs to be clarified. Here is a quick answer to your query: how long can a latte last in the fridge?
Like any other dairy-based beverage, a latte can remain safe to drink in the refrigerator for approximately 2 to 3 days. However, consuming it within the first 24 hours is recommended for the best flavor and quality.
After this time, the taste may degrade as the coffee becomes stale and the milk components separate. Always store your latte in a clean, sealed container and keep it chilled to extend lifespan.
You have found your ultimate guide if you also wonder how long lattes last in the fridge. Continue reading to explore how long you can keep a latte in a refrigerator and how storing it for this long affects its taste.
How Long Do Lattes Last in the Fridge?
A latte is one of the fanciest types of coffee that is extremely popular worldwide. They are known for their refreshing and sweet taste. Compared to others, lattes come in both cold and hot variations, which is another reason why it is so famous.
Though latte is just another kind of coffee, it differs greatly from espressos and Americanos. This difference is because the milk was added to a 2:1 ratio to the espresso shot. Thus, considering its proportions, many people are confused about whether lattes can be stored in the fridge for multiple days.
The good news is that lattes are storable. However, their storage tendency is less than black coffee, espresso, or drips. If you leave it over the counter, you will find its flavor degraded even after a few hours.
However, securing it properly and keeping it in a fridge can undoubtedly last for a few days. On average, a latte should only be stored in the refrigerator for 48 hours. After that, the beverage becomes unconsumable as bacterial activity takes over the milk.
Thus, if you have a latte stored in the fridge for longer than 48 hours, it is better to get rid of it. The bacterial activity might not be too visible. But once you consume it, you will find it sour and spoiled, which may upset your health, leading to nausea and diarrhea.
Why Can Lattes Not Last as Long as Espresso and Americano?
Espresso drips and Americanos can easily be stored in a refrigerator for up to a few days. Yet you cannot do the same with a latte. But why does this happen? After all, latte is just another type of coffee.
To understand why lattes cannot be stored for multiple days, it is vital to learn about their ingredients. Lattes are made in a 1:2:1 ratio of an espresso shot, steamed milk, and a top layer of milk foam. The milk in the latte is responsible for the decline in the beverage’s storage period.
Baristas never add milk to the freshly prepared espresso shot. Instead, they prepare the espresso beforehand, chill it, and then add steamed milk later. They do so to avoid the milk being exposed to a higher temperature.
Milk invites bacterial activity when exposed to a temperature higher than a room. Thus, to ensure the freshness of the beverage, cafes prepare espresso shots beforehand and add milk right before serving it.
From this, it can be concluded that the milk in the iced latte is responsible for the decline in its storage tendency. Therefore, espressos, Americanos, and drips, which do not contain milk, last longer than lattes and frappuccinos, which have milk in heavier proportions.
How Do You Make a Latte Last Longer in a Refrigerator?
Lattes are prone to bacterial activity. Thus, storing them also requires substantial preventive measures. Here are some tips that can help you increase the lifespan of a latte in a fridge.
1. Use Fresh Milk
Milk goes bad after a few days, one of the fundamental reasons lattes do not last as long as an espresso or an Americano.
Therefore, to make your latte last for at least two days, use fresh milk with a lifespan of at least three to four days. Using milk near the expiration date will further decrease the longevity of the latte, and it might become spoiled in a day.
2. Replace the Dairy with Non-Dairy Milk
Non-dairy milk invites less bacterial activity than dairy options like cow and goat milk. If you want your latte to last longer in a fridge, one of the best tactics is to replace the dairy with non-dairy alternatives like cashew, almond, soy, or oat milk.
3. Add Creamer Later On
Some people like their lattes with creamers, usually made with dairy products. But if you want your latte to last for a relatively more extended period, the best thing is to skip the creamer.
With time, not only does the creamer lose its foam-like consistency, but it also spoils within a day or two. Thus, put creamer later on when you want to drink it.
4. Store it Properly
Your latte won’t even last a day if you don’t secure it properly. I advise transferring it to a proper container, sealing it properly, and storing it in the refrigerator. Never leave your latte on the kitchen counter for over an hour or two. Instead, place it immediately in a fridge as soon as you decide to store it for a day or two.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Can I drink a two-day-old latte?
When milk gets involved, the tendency of a latte to last in a refrigerator decreases. Lattes, left out on the counter, should not be consumed after a few hours. However, if you secure it appropriately and take proper precautions, a latte remains consumable for a day or two.
Can lattes expire?
Like everything, lattes also have a particular shelf life after which they expire. Lattes expire quicker than espressos and Americanos because they contain milk prone to bacterial activity.
Lattes are a delicious and popular coffee choice. However, due to their dairy content, they have a more limited lifespan in the fridge than their black coffee or espresso counterparts.
While a latte can be safely stored in the refrigerator for approximately 2 to 3 days, it’s best consumed within the first 24 hours for optimal flavor and quality. After this period, the taste may deteriorate as the milk components separate and the coffee becomes stale.
To extend a latte’s lifespan, store it in a clean, sealed container and keep it chilled. Remember to discard any latte stored in the fridge for longer than 48 hours to avoid potential health risks.