You pick up your morning cup of coffee and go about your morning routine for a few minutes. You take your first sip of the day, and to your horror – the damn thing’s gone cold! I’m pretty sure this is not how you want to start your day.
If only you knew how to keep coffee hot properly.....
Let’s take a look at if we can, in fact, keep our coffee hotter for longer, without running the risk of it tasting like shit, shall we? But first – we’ve got some myths to bust about keeping yo coffee warm…
4 Common Myths About Keeping Your Coffee Hot
It’s so easy to swerve towards the quick fixes in life, but when it comes to this issue - one word of advice: don’t!
MYTH: You can use a hot plate
REALITY: Hot plates are great for heating shit up, but absolutely not for your coffee.
They use direct heat, so it will produce high temperature’s that can take your coffee from dreadfully cold to scalding hot. Why is this a problem? It will over-extract your coffee and make it taste bitter.
MYTH: A candle warmer will do the trick
REALITY: Candle warmers are designed to warm up scented candles (who would have thought?) and you just might find that its plate is the right size for your cup. Don’t get your hopes
MYTH: The Microwave, just reheat your coffee in the microwave!
REALITY: The microwave is convenient, sure - just get your cup in, push a few buttons, and whaddaya know, your coffee’s hot again! There’s more to it, however.
You see, microwaves use radiation, so your coffee’s temperature can end up uneven. You may get a heated-up brew that’s steamy on top, and still just as cold everywhere else. To top it off, microwaved coffee also leaves a burnt-coffee aftertaste. Nexxxt.
MYTH: Keeping it in the carafe will keep it hot
REALITY: Now your French press carafe may have all the right elements for coffee brewing, but keeping it there so it stays hot is also a misconception.
It can actually give you an over-extracted cuppa that leaves a drying effect on your mouth, minus all those rich coffee flavors - not really how you want your French press brew to turn out.
How to Keep Coffee Hot (the right way)
Now that we’ve cleared that up, it’s time to learn about how to keep your coffee hot, without actually turning it into a bittery, sad mess.
#1 - Wrap it up with a scarf (or any thick piece of fabric)
Keeping your coffee hot when you’re on the move is the biggest challenge – you don’t always travel with a heat source.
Good news though - if you have a scarf, a jacket, or any kind of thick fabric, simply layer it around your cup to give it a bit more insulation. If you’re camping you should have something handy, but you should also check out or tips on making awesome camp coffee right here.
It won’t offer long-lasting heat, but it should provide your cup of coffee a way to keep warm enough to be a pleasant drink for at least an hour more. Just enough to keep you sane ‘til you get a chance to grab to a fresh hot brew.
#2 - Use a Cup Sleeve.
Cup sleeves are an inexpensive and handy way of keeping your coffee warmer for longer.
While it’s most obvious purpose is to help make sure that your hand does not get scalded, it actually warms your cup in the process. The sleeve acts as an insulator, keeping the heat in your cup, and away from your skin.
You can get all thrifty and save those sleeves that you get from your favorite coffee shop, or you can check out the cool sleeves for sale on Amazon. There are paper options, knitted sleeves, neoprene sleeves, and some that can even be customized.
Keep a bunch of them in your car and in your bag, and you and your brew are always good to go.
#3 - Choose a Cup or Mug with a Lid.
Since you’re an avid coffee drinker, its safe to assume you have a favorite mug, right? If you do, I hope its something that comes with a reusable lid.
Either way - simply put a lid on it – find one that fits, or pick up something that comes with one. This simple solution not only keeps the heat in, but also the aroma and flavors of your brew.
#4 - Preheat Your Cup
Coffee brewing fanatics know the value of preheating a carafe to make sure that the temperature stays at 195 to 205 degrees, to effectively bring out the flavors of the coffee beans.
Those who let their coffee go cold would also be glad to know that preheating the cup or mug preps it to maintain the ideal temperature of the brew for a longer time.
To do this for your mug, simply fill it with boiling water. Let the hot water sit for about a minute and let the temperature spread throughout the cup, when the liquid cools down, you can throw it away (don’t waste it – put it back in the kettle for next time)
The best thing about this little hack - it doesn’t affect the taste of your brew at all.
#5 - Invest in a Thermal Mug (One that Actually Works)
One of the most obvious ways to keep your coffee hot is to put it in a thermal mug or tumbler straight after brewing.
Some coffee machines (like these ones) actually brew straight into a thermal carafe for you.
These gadgets are especially designed with insulating materials such as stainless steel, plastic, and silicone, that can keep your coffee hot and steamy for up to six hours.
They work best for travel since they’re almost unbreakable and light enough to carry around anywhere. The most dependable ones can get a little pricey ($20 or more), but they also guarantee to keep your brew warm to the
#6 - Get a Cup Warmer for your Car.
What’s worse than sitting in traffic? Sitting in traffic with a cold, bitter coffee!
The solution is simple: get one of those electronic cup warmers that you can plug into your car. Most will comfortably accommodate the size of your tumbler or the standard takeout cup.
#7 - Use Metal Coffee Beans.
No, its not a magic trick - these metal beans are called Coffee Joulies. You immerse in your coffee and they are designed to absorb the heat, get your java to the perfect drinking temperature, and keep it at that level for longer.
Worried about accidentally swallowing them? Don’t be - they’re the size of soup spoons. To make them extra effective, and if you have the time, preheat them and they’ll keep your coffee hotter, for longer.
While you can always just opt for a cold brew coffee (read more about cold brew here) – nothing beats a steaming hot coffee on a freezing cold day.
Keep your hot brew within the ideal drinking temperature of 150 to180 degrees by trying out any of the ways above, and save yourself from the ‘nightmare’ of drinking lukewarm, bitter-tasting coffee.
Now that you know how to keep your coffee hot, you’ll never have to drink cooling, bitter coffee again. Maybe you’ve got some secret coffee warming hacks of your own? Leave a comment below and let the Home Grounds team know!