Sunday, March 12, 2006


A cautionary tale

Maybe it's the acidity, but coffee has this amazing resistance to growing mold. What other beverage can be left at room temperature for three days without any fuzzy blobs growing in it? But I can tell you that leftover coffee in the coffee pot is quite potable after that time.

And how about those coffee grounds left in the coffee maker? The problem here is that nobody wants to handle a piping hot coffee filter when the need to do so -- right after the coffee is made -- is still fresh in your mind. And if you don't use the coffee maker every day, it can take a day or two or three to remember to get rid of the old grounds.

Fortunately, no problem! Mold doesn't seem to form on coffee grounds either in those time frames.

Well, sadly, I'm now able to tell you that there's an outer limit. This morning, I started to make some hot coffee and discovered old coffee grounds from the last time had never been removed. And there was a sizeable colony of mold growing in it.

I'd like to be able to tell you exactly how long the "mold free window" is, but I can't. That would require a recollection of when I actually last made that pot of coffee. It's somewhere more than two weeks but less than ten.

P.S. Why do I feel like Moral Turpitude is the only reader who will understand me?

I can't answer your P.S. question, Oscar, but I did want to use this opportunity to thank you for not posting a picture of mold on a lovely Sunday morning.
first your messy room. then your socks. now your mold. a little more than we needed to know about you, oscar?


izzac - croation spelling of the biblical name spelled in english as isaac.
You haven't made coffee in over two weeks?? I fear that your iced coffee addiction may be controlling your life. If you live somewhere that is warm all year, how can you appreciate the Spring? If you drink iced coffee through the Winter...

I hope someone stages an intervention.
The window is between two weeks and three. We made a pot of coffee before evacuating for Katrina and didn't come back until three weeks later, and there was mold.
What if you put milk in your coffee? Wouldn't mold (or something) grow then? Or is the coffee strong enough to overpower that, too? I am truly ignorant here--I put no dairy (or fake dairy) in my coffee.
Several of the geeks I used to work with when I was designing computers would leave their coffee mugs around the office with coffee in them. Many of them turned into science experiments. And not all the colonies floating on the surface were mold, either.

I think it depends on the spore level in your area (the Mississippi delta area has a high mold spore count compared to more northern latitudes), and the amount of sugar (both refined and lactose) present in the coffee.

The only thing I remember about grounds is that it's really good for the compost pile.


becruj (be-kruge): the application of makeup on the face, especially rouge, to the degree that it starts to cake and flake.
This post reminds me of me. I'm afraid of the day the fiance comes home and finds the mess I've created...
I must add to this information that tea, alas, does not appear to have the same moldicidal properties as coffee. The dregs of tea left at the bottom of the teapot grow mold in an alarmingly short time -- two to three days.

Thus I've been drinking more coffee lately.
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