There’s few things better than sitting down to a mug filled with freshly brewed coffee in the morning. But, if you’re anything like me you sit down to drink your fresh cup of coffee, get distracted, and realize it has already completely cooled off. If that sounds like you, then keep reading because we’re talking all about how to reheat coffee (both with and without a microwave).
As someone who is constantly reheating my coffee, I’ve found the best ways to reheat it as well as the best ways to prevent it from cooling off in the first place! Trust me, you won’t have to settle for lukewarm coffee ever again.
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BUT FIRST, CAN YOU REHEAT COFFEE?
Yes! You can absolutely reheat coffee, whether it’s instant, from a coffee maker, or from your local coffee shop. With that being said, coffee is best enjoyed fresh.
Because coffee naturally has volatile compounds, when you reheat it you release more of those compounds, changing the chemical composition of coffee. Plus, as coffee cools its acidity increases. This can then lead to a slightly bitter flavor.
However, even though it may have a more bitter taste, it’s perfectly fine to consume and, most importantly, does not impact the caffeine content! While some people think coffee tastes super bitter after reheating, others won’t be able to tell a difference – so whether or not to reheat is largely based on personal preference.
BEST WAY TO REHEAT COFFEE (STOVE METHOD)
Without a doubt the best method to reheat coffee is on the stove. Why? Because heating coffee on the stove allows you to slowly heat up your coffee at a low temperature without burning off the flavor. This way you’re able to still retain (most) of the aroma.
For best results follow the below directions when reheating coffee on the stove top:
- Add cold coffee to a small pot/pan on the stove.
- Turn the stove on to low heat / medium heat (don’t turn it to a high temperature or it can create a bitter aftertaste).
- Let the coffee warm up to your ideal temperature and then remove from heat.
- Pour into a mug and enjoy!
While heating your coffee up on the stove can sound time consuming, in reality it just takes about 5 minutes and a pot.
Whenever I have coffee to reheat, this is my go to method. It’s quick, simple, and still tasty. Plus, the best part is you can remove it as soon as you have the perfect temperature.
Most people like to enjoy their coffee around 140-150F, where it’s pleasantly hot and not burning your mouth. Reheating on the stovetop gives you complete control over your desired temperature, so simply remove it when ready.
HOW TO REHEAT COFFEE IN THE MICROWAVE
In a pinch, you can also reheat coffee in the microwave. When you microwave coffee, the heating process happens extremely quickly. This can cause additional chemical reactions, leading to a bitter aftertaste.
If you do choose to reheat coffee in the microwave, make sure to heat it in 20 to 30-second intervals to avoid overheating it. And, of course, make sure you are using a microwave-safe cup or microwave-safe mug. If you have a beverage setting on your microwave oven you can also use that.
OTHER WAYS TO REHEAT COFFEE
Beyond the stove top and microwave, there’s a few other ways to reheat coffee as well. If you have an espresso machine, you can reheat coffee with the steam wand. To do this, place your coffee in the container that goes with your steamer and place the steam wand in the coffee. Turn on the steam wand and let it heat your coffee.
You can also always add a splash of hot water or hot milk to your coffee. While this will help room temperature coffee, if your coffee is cold you may need to add a significant amount.
CAN YOU REHEAT DAY-OLD COFFEE?
You can reheat day old coffee if you have kept it in the fridge. However, if it has been sitting out for over 4 hours, then you’re better off making a new cup. If you do want to store leftover coffee in the fridge make sure to store it with a lid on or in an airtight container. Then, follow the above directions on how to reheat the coffee.
Additionally, if the coffee has milk and/or creamer in it, you don’t want it sitting out for over 2 hours. So, if it’s been out longer, ditch the coffee and make a new cup!
HOW CAN YOU MAKE REHEATED COFFEE TASTE BETTER?
As I mentioned previously, reheating coffee can make it taste bitter. You can offset the bitterness of the coffee flavor by adding a bit of sweetness or creamer.
By adding a splash of liquid sweetener, such as agave or maple syrup, or by adding granulated sugar you can improve the flavor. I also have a blog post that talks all about how to sweeten cold brew coffee, and you can use the majority of the methods to sweeten hot coffee as well. So, if you’re looking to improve the taste after reheating, make sure to read that post!
WAYS TO PREVENT COFFEE FROM GETTING COLD
If you’re reading this article, chances are you have a cold cup of coffee in front of you. Soooo, while your coffee is heating up you can keep reading to learn how to avoid this situation in the future! There’s various different ways you can prevent your coffee from cooling off.
Mug warmers are small heat plates that your mug sits on. It’s a great way to keep your coffee consistently hot over the course of a few hours. On most mug warmers you can even control the temperature! You can keep it plugged in for awhile as well, so no need to worry about it slowly cooling off. I have a mug warmer and can confirm it works incredibly well! If you are looking for a way to avoid cold coffee, this is probably my best recommendation.
Insulated Thermos / Insulated Mug
While most individuals use a thermos when they’re out and about, there’s no reason not to use one at home. If you know you take awhile to drink your coffee, simply keep it in a thermos (or insulated mug) while you start your day. If you don’t like drinking from a thermos you can look into getting an insulated mug. If you’re the type of person to still have a half-full coffee mug hours later, using an insulated thermos or mug is a great way to keep your coffee nice and hot.
If you like to order hot drinks, chances are you’ve gotten cup sleeves at coffee shops before. But, did you know you can also purchase cup sleeves or even DIY them?! Cup sleeves are made to wrap around your cup/mug to help your coffee retain its heat. But, instead of a cardboard one, look into getting a thicker one, or even knitting one yourself.
Did you know they make mugs with lids? I think these are genius! While you’re working or going about your morning routine, you can place a lid on your mug whenever you step away from it. This help prevents the steam from escaping and keeps your coffee nice and hot.
HOW TO TURN HOT COFFEE INTO ICED COFFEE
And, when all else fails you can always turn your hot cup of coffee into an iced coffee! Iced coffee is just hot coffee poured over ice, so the next time your coffee starts to cool off and you don’t feel like reheating it, grab a big glass of ice and pour the coffee over.
DELICIOUS COFFEE RECIPES TO ENJOY
And there you have it, those are the various ways you can reheat your morning cup of joe. Have any other ideas? Make sure to leave a comment below and let me know!