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Coffee Temperature: A Rundown

Dave Carter

September 14, 2020

When you want to learn how to brew coffee, whether in the form of a fresh pot or cup, ensuring it is delicious and vibrant is all about balancing the different variables. One of the important factors to consider is coffee temperature. It's one of the least recognized yet one of the easiest to control and set. You never need to worry about it again.

Understanding how water temperature can affect your cup of coffee can accomplish several things for you. It lets you avoid ruining your morning cup's flavors and provides you with the knowledge that you need to use water at the right temperatures for the best brews.

Here's a guide about the ideal water temperature for coffee and how it affects your morning cup.

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The Ideal Coffee Temperature​

Like with people choosing between Cuisinart coffee maker or Keurig espresso and coffee machine, learning how to french press coffee and choosing different brews of coffee over the other, most have go-to temperatures for their drinks.

Different coffee drinkers have varying tastes and preferences. However, before you drink coffee at your preferred temperatures, you first need to understand coffee's ideal temperature.

The brewing of coffee Between 195°F and 205°F​

While you can indulge in coffee at varying temperatures, the range for brewing it is minimal. Brewing coffee grounds should be at room temperature, and the water should be strictly maintained between 195°F to 205°F. When the temperature of the brewed coffee exceeds 205°F, it can cause over-extraction and burn the grounds, creating a burnt taste. Meanwhile, if the water reaches below 195°F, the brew will become under-extracted, giving you a sour cup.

Besides the ideal water temperature for coffee, here's a brief look at the various temperatures that people tend to enjoy their coffee with, and why they may prefer those specific heat profiles.

Enjoy 'Piping Hot' Brews Between 150°F and 180°F​

Many individuals tend to ask their caffeinated drinks to be 'extra hot' at coffeehouses. The extra hot water temperature can range from 150°F to over 180°F. There are several reasons why many people love indulging in extra hot coffee. For instance, if you're running late for work and are grabbing a hot cup of coffee to go, you might still want it to be hot once you arrive at the office. Or if you're going to enjoy a piping hot cup to start your day right.

When you drink coffee between the range of 150°F and 180°F or higher, it can be difficult to taste the brewed coffee itself because the scalding heat overpowers the natural flavors of the brew. Some individuals enjoy the sensation of how hot coffee warms them up, but our taste buds can't identify the delicious taste of our favorite brewed coffee at these heat profiles.

Drink Between 120°F and 140°F to Indulge in the Flavors​

If you're after the delicious flavors of coffee, it's best to brew them between 120°F and 140°F because coffee notes shine between these temperatures. The subtle flavors noted by your favorite roaster will come out within this range, providing you with a delightful cup to start your day.

You can use a thermometer to see if your cup of coffee is within this range. However, you can quickly tell if your brews are within this range because you'll be able to taste the flavors that emerge out at this heat.

Enjoy the Sweetness and Acidity By Drinking Coffee Below 120°F​

This range is where the famous cold brew comes into place. At the same time, many people reheat coffee that falls below the 120°F mark. It's not advisable because it can completely change the profile of the coffee. Instead, when your coffee reaches this temperature range, indulge in a cold cup of coffee. These lower temperatures provide you with enhanced sweetness and acidity.

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What is the average temp of coffee​

The average serving and brewing temperatures of coffee are drastically different, so before serving your guests with homemade brews, make sure you know their ideal temperature. Hot beverages such as coffee have an average drinking temperature between 160 degrees Fahrenheit and 185 degrees Fahrenheit. It serves as a perfect balance between flavor and heat, giving individuals the much-needed boost for mornings.

Meanwhile, the standard brewing temperature for coffees is between 195 degrees Fahrenheit and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Mind to remember the difference between drinking and brewing temperatures to save yourself from scalding.

What is the boiling point of coffee​

The ideal extraction for coffee is between 195°F to 205°F. But if you're looking for a way to get your water to the perfect temperature consistently to not exceed past the boiling point of coffee, you need to know the elevation where you live. That's because the higher your location is, the lower the temperature you need to use for water to reach its boiling point.

If you live in an area where boiling starts between 198°F and 205°F, you're lucky because you can use water right off boiling every time since it boils within the ideal range of temperature for coffee. However, if you live at sea level, you'll need to let your water cool for a couple of minutes after it boils before drinking it.

Meanwhile, if you live at very high elevations (over 5,000 feet) where boiling occurs lower than 198°F, you're at risk of under-extracting your coffee. It's important to adjust your brewing style to brew the best cup you can. You can try preheating your brewing vessel to reduce heat loss when you pour your water to your grounds or increase extraction time by grinding your coffee beans slightly finer.

The need for the perfect temperature for coffee​

Besides choosing from the top 5 coffee makers to add to your coffee-making arsenal at home, you need to ensure you follow the correct temperature for your coffee to ensure you get the best brews, which is in 195°F and 205°F. When you go over 205°F, it can cause over-extraction and provide you with burnt or ash-like brews. At the same time, going under 195°F promotes under extraction and gives you sour or acidic drinks.

Keeping your caffeinated drinks between the ideal temperatures give you a perfect balance of heat and flavor, giving you some of the richest and energizing coffees at home.

What is the ideal temperature for coffee?​

Although the ideal extraction temperature for this popular caffeinated drink ranges between 195°F and 205°F, the right serving temperature will depend on each drinker's unique flavor preferences. However, according to research, the best heat profile that offers the best balance between flavor and burns safety is approximately 136°F.

But ultimately, it will still depend on the drinker's taste. It's best to stick with individuals who prefer a perfectly balanced brew of sweet and bitter notes within the 155°F and 175°F range. However, if you like brighter, sharper, and a more acidic cup, aim for the 120°F and 140°F range. Finally, if you want the warming sensation that coffee provides rather than the flavor, stick within the scope of 150°F to 185°F.

Perfect coffee temp for espresso​

The perfect temperature will depend on how the coffee is brewed; that's why the best coffee beans and other coffee bean varieties have different heat profiles. With espresso beans, after decades of trial and error, espresso beans are at its prime when brewed at a temperature range of 185°F to 203°F. And to achieve the perfect espresso shot, it's best to extract the beverage within 30 seconds.

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Can hot coffee raise your temperature?​

Yes, that's because the hot beverage is hotter than our body temperature. When you drink your favorite coffees, especially extra hot variations, you are typically adding more heat to your body. It increases your core body temperature, making you sweat at an increased rate. And as the drink evaporates, the sweat can cool you down effectively.

To achieve the art of brewing, besides learning how coffee is brewed, you need to understand the importance of coffee temperature. Practice maintaining the ideal temperature, and make adjustments along the way to create your favorite brews at home with ease.


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