It takes me several hours to finish 16 ounces of coffee. So, I used to pre-heat my double insulated Thermos mug with boiling water. Sure it was still hot 4 hours later, but that first hour, the coffee was so hot, that I couldn’t taste the coffee. Which got me to thinking what is the best coffee temperature?
Coffee Taste Testing Lesson
Each year, Alisha and I taste test about 20 different coffee beans from the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. Why this region? (Read: The Smoothest Coffee Beans In The World Are Back).
The best way to taste test coffee is to minimize any variables. So, we make sure that we:
- Grind the beans identically
- Brew each batch identically
- Keep the coffee temperature identical
- Lastly, do side-by-side taste testing
After 6 years of taste testing piping hot coffee, this year Alisha finally said, “I can’t taste the coffee when you make it this hot”. So, this year, I played with the coffee drinking temperature that would produce the best “taste”. You might like it a little hotter or a little less. The point is to experiment. Without experimenting with your coffee, you’re just shooting in the dark and hoping for the best.
Best Temperature For Coffee
I must admit, that making coffee as hot as I have been making it, was wrong, dead wrong. I’m now focusing on brewing processes that will result in drinking temperatures at about 140 degrees.
Below, I will tell you exactly how to brew and drink the best temperature for coffee.
Best Water Brewing Temperature
The Rule-of-Thumb is to heat your water to 200 degrees. Any time someone says “Rule-of-Thumb, or “Common Sense”, that should be a red-flag and thus suspect immediately. Whenever everyone thinks the same way, then it’s time to re-examine your pre-conceived notions. As Mark Twain once said, “It ain’t what I don’t know that gets me into trouble, it’s what I know, that ain’t so”.
After multiple experimentations, I’m finding that using boiling water (212 degrees) to brew coffee, generally results in drinking coffee at about the optimal 140 degrees. But that depends on how you brew your coffee. I prefer brewing methods that allow the grounds to soak in the water (steep) for a minute or two; e.g., the AeroPress or French Press. You will have to experiment with your own brewing methods to figure out the best water temperature to result in the best coffee drinking temperature.
Best Water Heating Devices
I’ve found that the best water brewing device is the Goose Neck Kettle; either stove top or electric. What I like about Goose Neck Kettles is that they’re fast as a blow torch, easy to pour exactly where you want it poured, and it doesn’t dribble.
The Goose Neck Kettle comes in two basic styles, cheap and expensive. The cheap one goes on your stove top or is electric and it stops when it’s boiling like hell, i.e. damn hot ($40ish). The expensive style has enough buttons and lights to reach orbit. BUT the good part about these expensive kettles is that you can set the temperature, which I think is a very good feature. Prices expensive Goose Neck Kettle run about $100+.
Best Coffee Pots
One of the worst things you can do to keep your coffee hot is to use a warming tray or sitting on a warm stove. Most drip machines constantly heat the coffee pot. This will make your coffee bitter in quick order.
Instead of having an outside source of heat to constantly keep the coffee warm, you’re much better off with an insulated pot.
You will find that most coffee pots are typically double walled and vacuum insulated. These insulated pots should keep your coffee hot for an hour or more
Cheap Coffee Mugs
If you drink your coffee quickly, i.e. in less than 15 minutes, then a nice, cool looking ceramic mug will work just fine. I found that ceramic mugs, for sale online, are often Made In USA. Nearly every other kind of coffee mugs found in America are Made In China.
If you drink your coffee slowly, then you’re going to want an insulated mug, preferably a double walled, vacuum insulated, mug. Up until recently, my all time favorite mug was the Thermos Travel Mug. When I learned it was Made In China, I said, “Screw this!” and went searching for a vacuum insulated mug Made In USA.
Sadly, after about 30 hours of searching the internet, I couldn’t find a single double walled vacuum sealed mug Made In USA. Nearly all coffee brewing equipment are made by slaves in China. Let’s just remember that we’re in a “Cold-War” with China and we shouldn’t be financing their war effort. Does the word “treason” come to mind?
Best Coffee Mug
What if there was a coffee mug that would keep your coffee at the optimal temperature of 140 degrees for many hours AND it was Made In USA? That’d be cool right?
Most all vacuum-sealed mugs are double walled. This is to create space for the vacuum, i.e. a vacuum doesn’t transmit heat well. That’s good. The problem with a simple vacuum-sealed mug is that the coffee starts out too hot to drink for an hour or more. It then cools down over time and eventually becomes cool enough to drink. You would be hard pressed to find a vacuum insulated mug that is made in the USA. Thermos, Stanley, Yeti, etc. are all made in China.
After several full days of looking online, I finally found an awesome mug Made IN USA. The Burnout Coffee Mug is triple walled stainless steel. The first chamber is vacuum insulated. The mugs’ second chamber is filled with HeatZorb; a USDA certified bio-based substance that quickly absorbs excessive heat from the coffee and then slowly releases that heat back into the coffee, thus keeping your coffee at a constant 140+ degrees for many hours.
Lastly, this is the only coffee mug that you’re ever going to find that has a serial number, because this mug has a lifetime warrantee. At $69-$79, this mug is worth every penny. Think of a German tank; this is how the mug is built; Im definitely sold.
Lake City Coffee
Not only do we source the smoothest Costa Rican beans in the world, but we also roast those beans to perfection and then ship them to you the same day.
Alisha and I are dedicated to helping you brew a cup of coffee that is second to none. Go visit our FAQ page and you’ll find what you likely need to know. If not, then go to our “Contact Us” page and I’ll give you a call or email ASAP.
Russell & Alisha Volz