As a rule of thumb, coffee will ALWAYS taste better when freshly brewed.
Everyone knows that generally, stale coffee should be thrown away and a new cup made.
The reason is that there is a significant taste change after a couple of hours. However, I know there might be desperate situations you have to heat up that stale/cold cup of java.
So for those of you who are need that java fix and are in a precarious position, I present the how to go about Reheating Coffee (cue epic music)!
Can You Reheat Coffee & Should You Be Doing This?
There are so many reasons and myths floating around as to why you should never reheat coffee. There are some that say it is bad for your health, some saying it will
The simple reason why you shouldn’t be reheating coffee is that it just tastes disgusting. There are some people who will disagree, so I’ll just use 3 examples below to drive home my point.
Reheating Changes the Chemical Makeup
Todd Carmichael, CEO and co-founder of La Colombe, gave a detailed answer as to why you should never reheat coffee.
“Coffee is a one-time use kind of deal. You make it, you drink it and if it gets cold, you make some more. Reheating reorganizes the chemical makeup of the coffee and totally ruins the flavor profile. Some things just don’t work to reheat, and coffee is one of them. It’s always best just to brew a fresh cup.
“In dire straits, if you’re absolutely out of coffee and staring at a cold pot from that morning . . . still don’t reheat it. Drink it over ice. Trust me, it’ll be better,” Carmichael says.
It’s Just Bad
Asher Mantel answered on Quora, explaining why reheated coffee is a no go.
“You don’t reheat coffee because it’s bad for your health. You don’t reheat coffee because it is bad for the coffee and your taste-buds. Reheated coffee tends to be much more bitter and acidic. Same for coffee that sits on a burner for long periods of time. Coffee is best when it is fresh, keeping it on a hot plate for more than 20–30 minutes almost guarantees a bad experience.”
It Goes Through Chemical Changes
Anomander on Reddit stated that.
“Coffee does degrade at two key points you want to be aware of – oxidization and temperature.
So brewed coffee starts oxidizing and is generally fine for rather a while, but in time those sharps and astringents will come to be pretty noticable. And once brewed coffee drops below 74c, the degradation of acids accelerates substantially, as chlorogenic acid (responsible for brights, sharps, and citrus-ish) decays into quinic (sharp, bitter) and caffeic (bitter, bitter, astringent) acids.
Both oxidation and CGA breakdown are one-way reactions, and the brew doesn’t repair itself by being reheated. It would be related to “little more bitter” very directly, but again, no health consequences beyond basic food safety.”
Related: How to Reheat Latte
As stated above, coffee really shouldn’t be reheated, but if you do plan on doing so and not bothered by the change of taste, you can use either the microwave or the stove top to get the brew warmed up.
Best Way to Reheat Coffee: A Step-by-Step Guide
Microwave: Quickest Method
The microwave is the quickest option available for reheating coffee. You can be done in just a couple of seconds and it will be steaming hot (can’t guarantee the taste)
- Place the coffee in a microwave safe mug or container
- Place the cup of stale beverage in the microwave and nuke it for about 30 seconds.
- Once heated up to your liking, take out and hopefully….enjoy.
Please note: You are going to end up with a nice steaming cup; however I can guarantee that will not taste great, possibly ok, or so-so or possibly it will taste bitter or like toxic waste. L
Related: How to Reheat Hot Chocolate
Stovetop: Another Method
- Get a pot and pour the stale coffee in there.
- Turn on the stovetop and heat up the coffee in the pot.
- Once you feel it is heated enough, pour back into your cup and enjoy!
Wrapping it up
Once again, If you really enjoy a nice cup of joe, then the best option is really just making a fresh batch. Reheating will really do no justice and if you take this piece of advice for me, then your taste buds will thank you tremendously for it.