How To Keep Coffee Hot: Desmystifying and Tips

How to Keep Coffee Hot

You pick up your morning coffee cup to get into your morning routine. Maybe your turned on your drip coffee maker or Keurig and you take your first sip of the day, and 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, the right way.

Let’s look into if we can actually 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.

Demystifying keeping your coffee hot

Quick fixes in life isn’t worth it…

Using a hot plate

You might think using hot plates can be perfect for your coffee to heat up, but it’s not. It uses direct heat, so it will generate high temperatures that can send the coffee from horribly cold to hot. Why is this an issue? Heating up coffee on hot plates is going to overcook your coffee and distorts 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 just consider putting your coffee cup’s to heat it up?

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

Just use the microwave!

The microwave is handy, sure, just get 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 make-up and completely ruins the flavor profile. Most things just don’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?

Oh, your French press carafe may have all the correct coffee brewing features, but it’s also a mistake to leave it there so it stays hot.

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

It is a challenge to keep your coffee hot when you’re on the run–you’re not always moving around with a heat source. Good news though – if you’ve got any heavy cloth around, just put it around your cup to keep it insulated.

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 long time. While the most apparent purpose is to help insure 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 the office, and you’re always ready to go with your brew.

3. Buy a travel mug with insulation

If you’re an enthusiastic drinker of coffee, it’s safe to assume you’ve got a favorite cup, right? If you do, I hope it’s something like one of these travel mugs that comes with a removable cover. 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.

READ Related Article:  Why Decaf Is Good or Bad for You. Is Decaf Coffee a Better Alternative?

4. 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 in order to bring out the coffee beans ‘ flavors effectively.

  • 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 it doesn’t change the brew’s flavor at all.

5. Use a thermal mug or a tumbler

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

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.

6. 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 into your vehicle. Most will comfortably fit the tumbler’s length or the regular take-out cup.

7. Buy these metal coffee beans

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

Coffee Joulies


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, coffee, as most items are food and drink, is a duped to oxidation, which ensures that it goes bad pretty fast. Yeah, you don’t want coffee that’s been 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 to cook your favorite chocolate cake or muffin recipe. Cooking is another great way to avoid chucking your cold coffee. On a hot summer day, you can also pimp up your smoothies and kicks. 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’s 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 oils, acids and other aromatic compounds of the coffee are extracted out of the coffee bean during the (extraction) process, resulting in a tasty cup of coffee. Brewing coffee at the right temperature involves dissolving these so-called coffee solubles at maximum strength and releasing them into the pour. You’re going to burn the coffee grounds if it’s too hot. Or cold can make your coffee flavorlessly.

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 that has good heat retention to hold your coffee hot for hours. The design and the material of the thermos are very 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 you’re 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.

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Self-proclaimed coffee drinker. I would, on a typical day, start my day by grinding my coffee with a manual grinder and use a French Press as a starter (2 cups), then a pour-over in the afternoon (4 cups). I had my fair share as a barista but I prefer to drink it, not serve it.