One of the worst things that can happen to you in the morning is to sit down for breakfast and take a sip of your coffee, only to burn your tongue. If you’re a diehard lover of morning coffee or tea, you’ve probably experienced this at some point in your life.
Of course, you always have the option to make cold brewed coffee, but that takes 12 hours to prepare and really, who has time for that? You can also use a food thermometer to measure your coffee’s temperature, but that can be a real pain to use at ungodly hours in the morning.
So, what then is the ideal temperature for a perfect cup of coffee?
Believe it or not, there’s a science to it. In this guide, we go over a few dos and don’ts when preparing coffee in the comfort of your own home.
Never Boil Your Coffee
When most people make their coffee, they usually put water in a kettle, add their coffee grounds, and wait for the water to boil.
However, boiling your coffee grounds actually ruins its flavor. Heating your coffee at temperatures over 205°F not only burns the grounds it also gives the coffee a burnt aftertaste.
When it comes right down to it, your drip-brewed coffee is best enjoyed when it’s still fresh. According to the National Coffee Association, 195°F to 205°F is the ideal temperature for optimal flavor extraction. This means that you should only add the grounds to the water when it hits these temperatures, wait for a few minutes, and kill the heat right away.
Ideal Temperature for French Press Coffee
Many coffee lovers use a French Press to make their coffee. With this method, you will want to heat your water to about 195°F before adding your coffee grounds. It can be challenging to figure out the temperature of your water this way, so use a digital thermometer to ensure accuracy.
Of course, you can always just take your water kettle off the stove and let it sit to cool down for a minute or two before you pour the water into the French press. It may not be very accurate, but it's better than placing water that's too hot for your press.
Another option is to get an electric French Press, which not only monitors your water's coffee temperature but also keeps it warm.
Is Reheating Coffee Safe?
At some point, you’ve probably wondered if it’s a good idea to reheat a cup of coffee that’s gone cold.
Technically, there's nothing wrong with reheating your coffee in the microwave or stove. However, if you're picky about how your coffee tastes, you should know that reheating it also removes whatever flavor was left in the coffee. Similar to boiling your grounds, reheating your coffee also gives it a burnt aftertaste. For the best possible flavor, just prepare a new cup using a single serve coffeemaker.
Temperature for Drinking
Now comes the most important part. How warm should my coffee be when I drink it? According to a study published by the Journal for the International Society for Burn Injuries, the safest drinking temperature for coffee is about 140+/-15°F.
You should aim for temperatures between 125°F and 155°F for coffee that’s still hot, but not scalding hot. This temperature range is perfect if you start your brew at 195°F to 205°F and allow your coffee to sit for a few minutes to cool down.
Follow these tips and tricks, and your daily cup of coffee should turn out just perfect each time you make it.