Best Way to Reheat Coffee Properly: Easy Guide


Best Way to Reheat Coffee 

There is nothing like a delicious cup of coffee to start off your day. However, when you take a taste of the coffee, and it’s no longer hot coffee when it’s supposed to be, but instead cold coffee, determining the best way to reheat coffee can be tricky. 

pouring steaming hot coffee

We are going to explore several different options to reheat your coffee to the right temperature, as well as the reheating method that we believe is the best way. It can be difficult to determine the best way to reheat coffee so that the coffee tastes delicious still, and you can regain that perfect temperature.  

There are many different ways you can go about reheating a cup of coffee, including microwaving it, using a drip coffee maker, reheating it on the stovetop, or even on a hot plate.  

We are going to show you all the different options, as well as explain what our favorite option is along with step-by-step instructions on how to reheat coffee with the best method. 

If you’re a coffee lover, you know that using a reheating process for your morning cup of Joe can be difficult to achieve your desired temperature, and still maintain the delicious flavor. Some reheating methods will change the flavor and make it taste gross.  

Let’s first look at different reasons why the taste of leftover coffee may change after it has been reheated. 

Chemical Composition of Coffee 

How coffee beans are roasted actually determines the flavor outcome of coffee. Now I am not a scientist, so without getting into all the technical parts of why reheated coffee can often taste bitter, let’s just say that it’s due to chemical reactions that take place when coffee is first brewed, and then chemical changes that happen when coffee is reheated. 

Essentially, green coffee contains acids that are broken down during the roasting process. Freshly brewed coffee has a flavor of sweetness, and acidity that balances out the natural bitter flavor of coffee, resulting in a complex, yet delicious flavor.  

When you reheat coffee, it increases the quinic and caffeic acid that the coffee contains, which gives it that additional bitter flavor. (Source)

Basically, a fresh hot cup of coffee is going to taste better than lukewarm coffee that has been introduced again to a heat source and reheated. This will boil down to your personal taste preferences, and how the coffee is reheated and what it will taste like. 

The Best Types of Coffee to Reheat 

Before reheating coffee, it’s important to determine what type of coffee you have. Coffee with cream and sugar in it is not necessarily good to reheat, as the milk in the coffee will likely curdle, and end up being gross.  

If you’re going to reheat coffee, the best type of coffee to reheat is black coffee. Although it may still end up increasing the bitter flavor of the coffee, it doesn’t contain creamer that will curdle. 

cup of coffee with coffee beans

Is it safe to reheat day-old coffee? 

Before reheating day-old coffee, you may want to stop and look at the coffee. If it has cream or other ingredients added to it, it’s probably not a good idea to reheat the coffee especially if it has been sitting at room temperature.  

Instead, day-old coffee should probably be thrown away. 

Now, let’s turn our attention to different methods that could be used to make and reheat coffee.  

Different Methods to Reheat Coffee 

Drip Coffee Maker 

The most common method used to make a fresh cup of coffee is by using a coffee machine, or drip coffee maker.  

The machine runs hot water through the coffee grounds to brew the coffee. You can use a drip coffee maker to reheat coffee if it is still black.  

To do this, you don’t need to use a filter, or additional coffee grounds, you simply run your black coffee through the coffee maker to reheat it.  

French Press 

A French press is used to brew a full-bodied cup of coffee. This is a great way to get delicious flavor from your coffee grounds.  

However, since a French press is not typically hooked up to a heat source, this is not a good way to reheat leftover coffee. 

Microwave Coffee 

Another way to make coffee is to make microwaved coffee. This is usually done using a coffee bag containing coffee grounds or by using instant coffee. You can also use a microwave oven to reheat a cup of black coffee.  

To do this you will need a microwave-safe mug, then microwave the leftover coffee for 30-second intervals until the coffee is reheated to your desired temperature. 

steaming cup of coffee


Another way to reheat coffee is on the stovetop of your convection oven. You can use the burner and a pan to reheat any leftover coffee until it is warmed to your desired temperature. 

Hot Plates 

Using a hot plate to keep your coffee warm, or even sometimes reheating the coffee is another option. This works well if you are using a regular mug and don’t drink the coffee fast. 

Each of these methods, with the exception of the French press, can be used to reheat leftover black coffee. Some of them may result in more volatile compounds of coffee, making a more bitter taste, or giving the leftover coffee a burnt coffee flavor.  

Personal experience has proven this to be true, especially of reheating leftover coffee in the microwave. Perhaps it’s because the heat warms the leftover black coffee so fast, but it often increases the bitter flavor much more than other methods. 

So, what will give you the best results when reheating leftover coffee? The best method for you may depend upon your specific situation and the amount of time you have, as well as what kitchen equipment you have access to. 

What is the Most Effective Way to Reheat Coffee? 

Our preferred method is to reheat black coffee on the stovetop. This has proven to be the most effective way to reheat leftover coffee and can be done by increasing the temperature slowly so that it does not burn and has a minimal bitter flavor. 

How to Reheat Coffee on the Stovetop 

To reheat leftover coffee on the stovetop, start by placing a saucepan over low heat. Add the black coffee into the pan over a low temperature, then gradually increase it to medium heat, and if needed a high temperature.  

Ideally, you would want to stick with medium heat so that you end up with the least bitter flavor possible.  

Warm the coffee over medium heat until it is warmed to your desired temperature. Once it is warmed, remove it from the burner, and pour it into your serving glass.  

Finally, add your desired cream and sugar, serve, and enjoy! 

coffee with cream and foam

How to Store Coffee 

Tips to Keep Coffee Warm. There are a few different ways you can store your coffee so that it stays warm for a longer amount of time.  

The best way to keep a fresh cup of coffee warm, is to enjoy your coffee in an insulated cup, or a thermal mug. That way when it is kept at room temperature, the coffee will stay hot for several hours at a time. This will majorly decrease your need to reheat a cup of coffee. 

Refrigerator Storage. If you have leftover coffee and wish to store it for later, the coffee should be transferred to an airtight container, then placed into the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days. 

Other Ways to Use Cold Coffee 

If you are trying to avoid the bitter taste of reheated coffee altogether, there are a few great ways that you can use for your leftover cold coffee.  

Iced Coffee. What are the best ways to use cold coffee? One of the most popular is to make it into an iced coffee.  

To do this all you have to do is add the cold coffee to a glass of ice with milk, and your desired flavoring, to make delicious, iced coffee. This is a great use for your leftover coffee so you don’t even have to worry about reheating it. 

Using your cold coffee to make iced coffee is an especially great option if your coffee has cream and sugar in it.  

Usually, your cup of hot coffee that contains cream and sugar, does not reheat well, and will likely curdle instead of reheating properly. Using this type of coffee to make iced coffee is a good use, especially if the coffee has not sat at room temperature for an extended amount of time.  

If you don’t drink the coffee and want to save it for later, make sure to stick it in the fridge so that it keeps for later. 

Cold Brew Coffee. You can also place your leftover black coffee into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. This makes a great substitute for cold brew coffee, and it’s all chilled and ready to go whenever you want it.  

Using leftover coffee in place of cold brew coffee is another great way to not have to worry about reheating coffee at all. 

pouring cream into hot coffee

Reheated Coffee 

There are several different ways you can reheat coffee. The problem with a cold cup of coffee is that often reheating that coffee may cause it to have an enhanced bitter flavor, or taste slightly burnt.  

The best way to reheat leftover coffee is on the stovetop, over medium heat until it is warmed. However, if you want to skip reheating it all together, you can easily make your leftover coffee into a delicious, iced coffee.  

We hope that this has been of help to you, and now you know how to go about reheating your leftover cup of coffee. 

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Faith is the resident baking expert of this sister duo, and first started baking at age ten when she learned to make chocolate chip cookies on her own. From there she went on to have her own night of the week to make dinner for the whole family. She is excited to share amazing recipes and a love of food, and help you become kitchen smart!

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