Have you ever prepared the perfect cup of coffee and then had it reward you by burning your mouth so bad that everything tasted like rubber for a week? Let us remedy that situation. The first problem is what temperature water you should use to brew coffee. The general consensus is 195-205 degrees, using the higher temperatures for lighter roasts, and the lower end for darker roasts. We use water right off the boil, since we found that pouring 212 degree water into a room temperature vessel (an Aeropress this particular time) with coffee grounds in it, the temperature never exceeded 199 degrees. Next is the conundrum of the temperature at which you should consume your coffee. Surprisingly, different temperatures can highlight different flavors in coffee. A study published in 2017 found that coffee served at 87-111 degrees were associated with sour, and sweet flavors, while coffee served at 122-143 degrees exhibited stronger overall intensity, roasted, and bitter flavors (Steen, 2017). Another study found that 136-150 degrees is the temperature that most people enjoy (Ristenpart, 2022; Brown, 2008). We did some more home testing on the subject and have attached a table for how long after a brew it took certain containers to reach the 136 and 150 degree mark, which should cover the range of temperatures that are acceptable to most consumers.

Ceramic Coffee Mug (at 66 degrees)

Stainless Steel Mug (top removed)

Time to reach 150

5 minutes

8 minutes

Time to reach 136

8 minutes

15 minutes

  1. Steen, I. H., Waehrens, S. S., Petersen, M. A., Münchow, M., & Bredie, W. L. (2017). Influence of serving temperature on flavour perception and release of Bourbon Caturra coffee. Food Chemistry, 219, 61–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.09.113

  2. Ristenpart WD, Cotter AR, Guinard JX. Impact of beverage temperature on consumer preferences for black coffee. Sci Rep. 2022 Nov 30;12(1):20621. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-23904-4. PMID: 36450773; PMCID: PMC9712614.

  3. Brown F, Diller KR. Calculating the optimum temperature for serving hot beverages. Burns. 2008 Aug;34(5):648-54. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2007.09.012. Epub 2008 Jan 15. PMID: 18226454.

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