The Best Ways To Reheat Coffee (Helpful Tips)

Last Updated on February 4, 2022 by John Moretti

Drinking hot coffee in the early cold morning is probably the best thing in the world. Ask any coffee enthusiast, and you will know! 

Unless you have a high level of heat tolerance, it is impossible to gulp a hot cup of coffee at once. As you leave it out longer, it ends up getting cold, which is not good unless you ordered an iced coffee. So what do you do? Simply reheat it!

The ideal way to enjoy coffee is to have it freshly brewed. But if you want to save your morning cup for later, you can always reheat it while still retaining its original flavor, and the best way to reheat coffee is to do it old-style on a stovetop. 

If done the right way, you don’t have to ever worry about your coffee staying out longer. Microwave reheating is quick and easy, but coffee needs to be reheated slow and with even distribution of heat. Using a stovetop is recommended for reheating coffee.

How To Reheat Coffee?

Bring your morning cup of Joe back to life by reheating it! Although it may not taste like a freshly brewed one, some coffee drinkers actually seem to prefer reheated coffee, and there are two ways of doing it:

1. How to Reheat Coffee Using Stovetop

Heating coffee

The benefit of using a stovetop to reheat coffee is that you can control the temperature to retain its flavor. The key is to use slow and steady heat so that you do not risk burning it up. This slows down the chemical reaction process responsible for the loss of aroma.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Pour the cooled-down coffee into a small heating pot or saucepan.
  2. Put it on low to medium heat to maintain a moderate temperature.
  3. Keep the heat on for about 5 to 7 minutes until you see the steam.
  4. Voilà! Your reheated coffee is as good as a freshly brewed one!

Please keep in mind that the idea of heating is just to let it steam and not boil it. There’s a difference.

2. How to Reheat Coffee Using Microwave

Coffee in Microwave

If you want a quick fix for your cold coffee, you can always use a microwave to reheat it. But you might have to compromise with how it will taste after being reheated since it rapidly breaks down the aroma.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Pour the cold coffee into a microwaveable container (mug).
  2. Use a medium heat setting to warm the coffee for about a minute. Avoid using high power.
  3. If it is not hot enough, reheat for another 30 seconds at a time until it’s according to your preference.

Please note that a coffee maker and convection oven are not recommended for reheating the coffee.

Science Behind Reheating: Ideal Temperature

Black Coffee

Aroma is critical to maintaining the original flavor of the coffee. You can taste a good coffee just by its smell even before taking a sip on it. 

Reheating unleashes a chemical reaction in the coffee that leads to a breakdown of aroma, killing its original strong flavor, thus making the coffee taste harsh and stale. No wonder reheated coffee never tastes like a freshly brewed cup. Besides, it also depends on the type and quality of coffee beans and the brewing process as well.

The temperature of coffee also determines how it tastes. It should be hot enough to activate the flavor, but overheating makes the coffee bitter. If it is too cold for longer, the oils in it go bad, and you will not be able to experience the full-body flavor of the coffee.

Ideally, the coffee is served between 180-185 °F. The rule of thumb is to let it cool for a while, down to 150 °F, unless you want to burn your lips. 

If you are making one at home, it is recommended that you wait for at least 10 minutes before using it to make a coffee.

Does Coffee Taste Bad After Reheating?

Tasting Coffee

Of course, your coffee will not taste as good as the freshly brewed cup. But that does not mean that your coffee will taste bad after reheating. 

Provided that you are not a coffee connoisseur, reheated coffee won’t be an issue for your sense of smell and taste. In fact, some people think that it tastes better.

It all depends on the personal preference of the coffee drinkers. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients, heating methods, and time to see how it turns out. Once you find the right taste, stick to that process and master the art of reheating coffee.

Don’t worry about your coffee tasting bad if you have followed any one of the methods discussed earlier. Just make sure that you do not burn the coffee that makes it unpleasantly bitter.

How Does Reheating Affect Black Coffee?

Black Coffee Mug

Black coffee can withstand the reheating process better than other coffee with additional ingredients like cream, sugar, or milk. 

The additional ingredients in coffee accelerate the process of bacteria formation, thus making it go bad within a few hours of cooling down. You will often end up with scalds and curdles when reheating, even if you have left your milk coffee unrefrigerated for just a couple of hours. Take our word for it and throw it away.

To avoid this disaster, prepare your coffee without any additional ingredients so that you can add them later after reheating without ruining the drink.

Alternatives to Reheating Coffee

Ice In Coffee

Instead of taking the risk of running your cold coffee by reheating inappropriately, you can add some ice and enjoy the iced coffee that’s perfect for hot days. 

Experiment with flavors by adding sweeteners or cream according to your preference.

But if hot and warm coffee is your lifeline, try investing in a thermal mug or an insulated cup to maintain the temperature of your drink throughout the day. Here’s a simple trick – rinse the container with hot water before pouring your coffee. This will keep the liquid inside warm for longer wherever you go.

Final Verdict

Black Coffee

Coffee is all about its flavor and aroma. No doubt, freshly brewed coffee is the best, but it will eventually cool down. You have to reheat the coffee to make it come back to life. Reheating is simple, but you might ruin the drink during the process if you are not careful enough.

Using microwave and stovetop are the two safest and best ways to reheat your coffee. Although microwave reheating is quick and convenient, you have more control over the temperature when using a stovetop.

Remember to keep the temperature low to evenly distribute the heat to prevent the drink from boiling. Heat the coffee just enough to get the steam rising. Don’t give in to the temptation to speed up the heating by increasing the temperature. 

Patience is the key when you are using a stovetop to reheat coffee. You will feel good about yourself when you have a warm cup of coffee with original flavor ready at the end. It’s worth the time and effort.

However, reheating may not always be the right choice if the drink has stayed out unrefrigerated for more than four hours. The coffee oils will go bad. There will be a growth of bacteria in the drink, making it more acidic. Reheating bad coffee will make it worse. 

Just throw it out and make a fresh cup of coffee by yourself at home or take a quick trip to your local coffee shop!