How To Keep Coffee Hot: Demystifying and Tips

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on April 24th, 2023

Brewing coffee is an art, and like all arts, there are many ways to do it. Some people prefer their coffee strong, while others prefer it weak. Some like it black, while others take their coffee with cream and sugar. No matter how you like your coffee, though, there is one thing that everyone can agree on: nobody likes cold coffee.


At least, not unintentionally.

How to Keep Coffee Hot

​If only you knew how to keep coffee hot the right way.

Let’s consider if we can keep our coffee warmer for longer without running the risk of drinking it like water. But first, we have some myths to crack to keep your coffee warm.

Why does my coffee not stay hot?

There are a few things that can affect how long your coffee stays hot. If you’re brew method is pour-over or French press, the coffee will generally cool faster since it’s in direct contact with air from the start.

Other factors like wind, altitude and even the type of mug you’re using can make a difference. To help your coffee stay hot longer, use a thermal mug or carafe, make sure to preheat the mug before adding coffee, and avoid drafts by keeping your coffee away from windows or doors.

How long does coffee stay hot?

Coffee is typically served hot, but how long does it stay hot? It depends on a few factors, like the type of coffee, the mug it’s in, and how it’s stored.

Brewed coffee will generally stay hot for about 20 minutes in an open cup. If you’re looking to keep your coffee hot for longer periods of time, it’s best to invest in a travel mug or an insulated carafe.

When stored in a thermos or travel mug, coffee can stay hot for several hours. The key is to make sure that the container is airtight so that the heat doesn’t escape.

If you want to reheat your coffee, the microwave is generally the quickest and most effective way to do so. Just be careful not to overheat it, as this can cause the coffee to become bitter.

Demystifying keeping your coffee hot

Quick fixes in life aren’t worth it…

Using a hot plate

You might think using hot plates can be perfect for heating your coffee, but it’s not. It uses direct heat, generating high temperatures that send the coffee from horribly cold to hot. Why is this an issue? Heating coffee on hot plates will overcook your coffee and distort the flavor, making it bitter.

Can I use a candle warmer?

Candle warmers are built to warm up scented candles (who would have thought?), and you might consider putting your coffee cups to heat them.

This follows the same principle as the hot plate; it can also take the espresso from cool to warm (probably terrible) and go down.

Just use the microwave!

The microwave is handy. Sure, jet your cup in, press a couple of buttons, and it’s warm again. But there’s more to this.

Coffee is a one-time usage kind of product… Reheating reorganizes the coffee’s chemical makeup and completely ruins the flavor profile. Unfortunately, most things won’t work to heat up, and coffee is one of them.

Microwaves use energy, so the temperature of your coffee will end up inconsistent. The top levels of your coffee might be hot and steamy, but everywhere else might be dry. Microwave coffee also leaves an aftertaste of burnt coffee.

Will the coffee stay hot if you keep it in the carafe?

Your French press carafe may have all the correct coffee brewing features, but leaving it there so it stays hot is also a mistake.

In reality, it can offer you an over-extracted cuppa that leaves your mouth with a drying effect without all those rich coffee flavors. It’s not really how you expect your French press brew to work.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, it’s time to learn how to hold your coffee hot without tasting bitter or being inconsistent.

Here are 7 ways you can keep your coffee hot the right way

1. Wrap it with a cloth, scarf or sweater around the mug

This will prevent heat loss and keep your mug of coffee hot for a longer period of time.

It will not provide long-lasting warmth, but it should provide a way to keep your cup of coffee hot enough for at least one more hour. Just enough to keep you in the best coffee mood until you have an opportunity to grab another hot brew.

2. Use an actual cup sleeve

Cup sleeves are a cost-effective and easy way to keep your coffee hot for a long time. While the most apparent purpose is to help ensure that your hand is not burning from holding your hot cup, it also warms your cup. It also becomes an insulator that holds the heat in your cup and away from the body.

There are choices for cloth, knitted sleeves, sleeves for neoprene, and some that can even be personalized on Amazon.

Put a couple of them in your car, at the house, or at the office, and you’re always ready to go with your brew.

3. One is to use a larger cup.  

The heat capacity of the coffee is what keeps it warm, so putting more coffee in the cup will keep it warmer longer.

There are several scientific theories behind this.

The cooling of the hot water in the cup involves the conduction of heat through the cup followed by convection of the hot air associated with the outside surface of the cup away from the surface of the cup.

The coffee and the mug are transferring heat to the surroundings. This transfer of heat occurs from the hot coffee and hot mug to the surrounding air. 

So theoretically, having a bigger mug, with a bigger handle, might be able to keep your coffee hotter, since you have more coffee and more time to transfer the heat of the coffee to your mug.

4. Buy a travel mug with insulation

First, coffee is a great conductor of heat. This means that it transfers heat quickly from the hot water to the cup and then to the air. The best option is to buy a travel mug that can keep the heat from transferring away from the brew to your hand.

If you do, I hope it’s something like one of these travel mugs with a lid. That way, just put a lid on it, find one that matches, or pick up something with one. Not only does this simple solution keep the heat in but also the brew’s aroma and flavors.

5. Preheat your cup before

Those who let their coffee go cold will be happy to know that you can keep your coffee warmer by preheating the cup or mug to maintain the optimal brew temperature for a longer period.

Coffee brewing fanatics know the value of preheating a carafe to ensure the temperature remains at 195F to 205F to effectively bring out the coffee beans ‘ flavors.

  • Fill the cup with boiling water.
  • Let the hot water stay for about a minute and let the heat disperse throughout the cup,
  • Throw the water away when it cools down or put it back in the kettle for later use.

It’s a cool little trick and doesn’t change the brew’s flavor.

6. Use a thermal mug or a tumbler

One of the most obvious ways of keeping the coffee hot is to put it in a heated mug or tumbler right after making it. You can even use your thermal mugs or tumbler on some coffee machines.

There are several key differences between thermal mugs and insulated mugs. Thermal mugs are designed to keep liquids hot or cold for longer periods of time, while insulated mugs are primarily designed for cold beverages.

Thermal mugs also have straight sides and are shorter than tumblers, while tumblers tend to be taller with a wider opening that tapers down. Vacuum insulation in a thermos is one of the best ways to keep your coffee hot for a long time.

These thermal mugs and tumblers are specially designed with insulating materials, such as stainless steel, plastic, and silicone, and 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 are about $20 or more, but they also guarantee to keep your coffee warm to the sip.

7. Car cup warmer

What’s worse than traffic? Sitting with a cold, bitter coffee in traffic!

Get one of the digital cup heaters you can connect to your vehicle. Most will comfortably fit the tumbler’s length or the regular take-out cup.

8. Buy these metal coffee beans

No, it’s not a magic trick – these metal beans are called Coffee Joulies. You can drop these in your coffee; they are built to absorb the heat and hold the temperature for a longer period. Worried about eating them by accident? They’re big enough not to worry about it. Instead, preheat them to make them more efficient (if you have the time) to hold the coffee warmer for longer.

Coffee Joulies

9. Use double walled mug to keep hotter

The double wall reduces heat transfer by conduction and convection. A vacuum middle layer would ideally block both these processes much better than air. This “vacuum” is the best insulator because there is no air to transfer the heat into. According to a study that was conducted over six hours, a double-walled mug kept coffee hot for over an hour longer than a single-walled mug and ceramic mug.

Bodum Bistro 15 oz. Double-Walled Jumbo Mugs (2-Pack) Keep your hot beverage hot with the mugs from Bodum. They’re glass, but they’re durable—and they look great, too. The set includes two 15-ounce mugs, each made with borosilicate glass, which can withstand thermal shock. That means you can pour boiling water into them without fear of shattering.

FAQs

Can I refrigerate leftover coffee?

The leftover coffee can be refrigerated. Coffee can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week! Nonetheless, as most items are food and drink, coffee is duped to oxidation, which ensures that it goes bad pretty fast. So yeah don’t want coffee sitting out for more than 30 minutes, as it’s likely to have lost its flavor profile and freshness by that point.

Learn more about coffee and storage containers

What can you do with cold coffee?

With cold coffee, you can do a lot of cool stuff. For starters, you can use cold coffee for cooking your favorite chocolate cake or muffin recipe. Cooking is another great way to avoid chucking your cold coffee. You can also pimp your smoothies and kicks on a hot summer day. Finally, perhaps make some coffee (ice) cubes for your cold brew; that’s going to make you go in the morning.

What else can you do with leftover coffee?

Here are 7 things you can do with a leftover coffee

Looking for an amazing coffee dessert recipe?

How does water temperature affect coffee?

Water temperature impacts the taste of the coffee. The coffee’s oils, acids, and other aromatic compounds are extracted from the coffee bean during the (extraction) process, resulting in a tasty cup of coffee.

Coffee over 205 degrees Fahrenheit tends to over extract things from the grounds very easily, producing coffee that is too bitter. Go too hot and you over dissolve hese so-called coffee solubles at maximum strength and releasing them into the pour. Your brewer ought to keep up a water temperature between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for ideal extraction.

You’re going to burn the coffee grounds if it’s too hot. Or cold can make your coffee flavorless.

Read more about water and coffee

and coffee brewing temperatures

How do you keep coffee warm for hours?

You need to invest in a well-designed thermos with good heat retention to hold your coffee hot for hours. The thermos’ design and material are critical for efficient heat retention.

How do you make coffee on the go?

With travel coffee kits, you can make coffee on the go. Whether camping for the weekend, driving in your truck across the world, or cruising around the globe. Investing in a travel coffee kit is non-negotiable if you are a coffee fiend whose life depends on a decent (family) drink.

How hot should my coffee be?

The optimal drinking temperature for your coffee is 150F to 180F (4).  This article discusses the right temperature of coffee for all brewing methods.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links. Last update on 2023-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.

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Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.