The Ideal Coffee Temperature (Under Debate)

Ideal Coffee Temperature

There are some very important factors that many of us think about when it comes to brewing coffee.

Aspects like the ground to water ratio, the brewing method and the type of roast you use, can all factor into the final cup.

However, one thing many may not consider as often is the coffee temperature.

For many, as long as the coffee is hot, it’s acceptable.

That said, if you really think about it you may be able to remember times when the coffee you were drinking was just the perfect temperature.

Some may wonder, what is the perfect temperature and how do I achieve it?

Well we’re going to look into that here!

Continue on, and enjoy!

Think About The Perfect Cup Of Coffee

Think back to a time when you were drinking the perfect cup of coffee.

It had the ideal ratio of flavor to strength, and maybe it was just cool enough to not burn your mouth.

That said, it was likely still hot enough to give you that warm feeling that so many crave in the morning.

Where did you get that coffee? Was it made at home or bought from a coffee shop?

If you had to guess, what temperature would you say that was?

There are many things to consider when it comes to brewing a cup that is just right.

Factors To Consider

How Quickly Do You Drink?

Some may choose to sip their coffee slowly in the morning while others prefer to get it down quickly so they can start enjoying the effects sooner.

While you may not think about this aspect as much, it does factor into how hot your coffee should be.

If your coffee hasn’t been warmed up enough, then it runs the risk of getting cold before a sipper finishes the cup.

On the other hand, it can be difficult to drink your coffee more quickly if it’s likely to burn your mouth.

Because of this, you may want to consider raising or lowering the temperature of your coffee depending on how quickly you plan on drinking it.

However, make sure that you’re still brewing the grounds at the right temperature for ideal results!

What Temperature Can The Coffee Handle?

Pour over
It’s important to consider the correct brewing temperature.

If you brew your coffee at too high of a temperature, with water that is too hot, you run the risk of burning the grounds.

This can result in a burnt-tasting, unpleasant cup of coffee.

However, if you brew it at too low of a temperature then it’s going to take a lot longer to withdraw the benefits and flavor from the grounds.

Brewing at a cooler temperature can work well for cold brew type coffees, but you have to spend the time getting the right results.

Otherwise, you’ll want the temperature for hot coffee to be just right for the perfect balance of heat and effectiveness.

Time Spent Brewing

Some brewing methods will take a longer amount of time than others, and this is important to pay attention to.

While some may think that faster is better, it can take a little time for the water to really extract the benefits of the coffee.

Depending on the method you’re using, the brewing time can range anywhere from about 20 seconds to overnight if you’re making a cold brew.

Generally speaking, the water and grounds should be combined for about 5 minutes for the optimal level of extraction to occur.

However, not everyone has time to wait for that to happen, which is why many of us seek out machines that will brew coffee more quickly.

Depending on the time spent on your method, you may need a slightly higher or lower water temperature to aid in that extraction.

The Brewing Vs Serving Temperatures

For those who want the perfect cup of coffee, there are two important temperatures to pay attention to.

The brewing temperature is what allows the water to draw out the flavor, caffeine and other benefits from the grounds without burning them.

This isn’t going to be the temperature you’re likely to want to drink the coffee at!

In most cases, you’ll want it to cool a little to fit the ideal serving temperature.

That is the temperature at which the coffee is ready to drink.

However, what are these ideal temperatures?

Making The Perfect Cup

What Brewing Temperature Is Ideal?

hario buono variable temp
The Hario V60 Buono Temperature Controlled Pourover Gooseneck Coffee Kettle can help you reach the perfect temperature.

Generally speaking, coffee can be brewed at just about any temperature.

The specifics lie within the kind of results you’re looking for as well as the brewing method you’re using.

For example, assuming you want a hot brew then you’ll want to shoot for a temperature between 170 and 205 degrees.

This can vary depending on your method, so make sure to use the ideal temperature range for your specific coffee machine or method.

Cold brew tends to be much easier, because it can be cooled more after the brewing process.

For that method, anything from cold to lukewarm will work just fine.

It’s also important not to select a temperature that is too hot, because it can result in a cup that doesn’t offer a pleasant taste.

Luckily, while the brewing temperature can be more specific, the serving temperature is much more based on your personal tastes.

What About The Serving Temperature?

There can be a pretty large range when it comes to the ideal serving temperature of coffee.

This is largely because everyone has different tastes. Some coffee lovers prefer heat that nearly scalds them while others like something a little less intense.

Because of that, the serving range can be anywhere from 140 degrees to 175 degrees for coffee that is meant to be on the hotter side.

The temperature that is ideal for you is a highly personalized choice.

It’s also going to change how long you may need to wait before drinking coffee that has just been brewed.

So while you’re brewing your coffee, it’s a good idea to keep your preferred drinking temperature in mind!

What About The Brewing Temperature For Different Methods?

It’s a good idea to remember that different brewing methods can require slightly different temperatures to get the ideal results.

For those of us who use a standard drip-style coffee maker for the majority of our brewing, the temperature is typically handled for you.

However, if you’re curious to know what it should be brewing at, the answer lies between 195 and 205 degrees.

This is going to be true for many other methods, such as pour over coffee, and even French press.

Some others may vary slightly, such as Aeropress, which can brew as low as 170 degrees,

Espresso can also handle a slightly lower temperature at 190 degrees.

From percolators to Chemex and more, there are so many options with different ideal temperatures.

Overall, you can find the specifics for your particular brewing method online quite easily.

Using that knowledge, you’ll be able to make the perfect cup every time.

What To Keep In Mind

There are so many different ways to brew coffee, and each method is a little bit different.

Because of that, you largely can’t expect for the same exact temperature to result in a perfect cup for every type of brewing.

It’s important to know the ins and outs of your method, so that you can brew and serve the coffee at the ideal temperature.

In addition, it can also be a good idea to play around with the temperature ranges a bit to find the perfect one.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to find the methods that create the perfect cup of coffee, according to your tastes.

Once you have the formula down, you’ll surely be able to achieve perfect coffee every time you brew it.

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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