Can You Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee (Yes, Here’s How)


Can you heat up cold brew coffee? The quick answer is yes, and we’ll show you how. We’ve included the simplest way to enjoy delicious coffee, including a cup of cold brewed coffee that’s warm.

pouring cold brew
pouring cold brew

A lot of people enjoy different types of coffee, but making cold brew produces a smooth concentrated flavor that’s like no other.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brewed coffee is made with cold water and regular coffee. It is generally served as cold coffee and is an especially great way to enjoy a refreshing drink during the summer months.

Depending on the cold brewing method used, coffee grounds are traditionally left to steep overnight to maximize coffee extraction and for the best results.

Because of the cold brewing process, the caffeine content tends to be more concentrated. On the other hand, one of the benefits is it has lower acidity and a cold brew taste.

How’s Cold Brew Coffee Made?

The best way to make cold-brewed coffee for coffee lovers is to use a glass jar with a lid or airtight container that can be placed in the refrigerator. You might also choose to use one of those cold brew coffee makers as an alternate solution.

cold brew coffee
cold brew coffee

Combine the ground coffee beans with the cool water, then let it steep for about 12 hours, or overnight.

During this time, the coffee will begin to infuse the water and will result in a strong, concentrated coffee.

After the coffee has finished steeping, you’ll want to strain the grounds from the mixture. This is where the French press comes in handy because it has a built-in strainer.

Once it’s strained, serve and enjoy.

How To Drink Cold Brew

Iced cold brew coffee on a warm summer’s day is quite refreshing. Cold brew coffee has a taste that’s less bitter and smoother than hot brewed coffee.

It’s thought to be more concentrated and higher in caffeine.  

making coffee with plunger
making coffee with plunger

Can You Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee?

Yes, you can potentially enjoy hot cold brew coffee and drink it as warm coffee or hot coffee, but you’ll want to be aware of the potential change in flavor in this type of coffee due to chemical reactions that take place when it’s heated.

How to Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee

Below are instructions for different heat methods and heat sources that can be used to heat up your cold brew.

Dilute With Hot Water

We recommend using this method as the best method as far as flavor is concerned.

To do this, fill your coffee cup halfway with cold brew concentrate, then fill the rest of the way with boiling hot water. Or you can use hot milk or hot creamer for a creamier result too.

This will make a cup of coffee that’s hot enough to warm you up, but not hot enough to burn you.

Microwave Oven

Using a microwave is one of the fastest ways to heat your cold brew.

The simplest way is to transfer the coffee to a microwave safe mug.

Then place it in the microwave for 45 seconds at a low temperature.

Remove the coffee from the microwave. If it hasn’t reached the desired temperature, place it back in the microwave for another 30 seconds until the desired temperature is achieved.

pouring cold coffee
pouring cold coffee


Though there are many different ways you can use a heat source to heat your cold brew, using the stovetop.

Simply place the brew in a saucepan over medium heat and allow it to warm to your preferred temperature or until it reaches the boiling point.  Then enjoy delicious coffee.

Electric Kettle

An electric kettle also works as a great heating method and is an easiest way to use a heat source.

Add the desired amount of brew to the kettle and heat it over a low temperature. Then serve and enjoy.

Coffee Machine Hot Plate

The heating process can also take place using a coffee machine hot plate.

Add the brew to your coffee pot and place it on the hot plate it heat it over low heat.

Serve the coffee when it reaches the desired temperature.

How to heat cold brew coffee
How to heat cold brew coffee

What’s the Best Way to Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee?

Do you know that you can make or buy cold brew coffee concentrate? We recommend using this as the best way to make cold brew coffee that will be heated.

To do this, you’ll want to use the concentrate and dilute it with hot water, rather than using cold water.

cold brew coffee with cream
cold brew coffee with cream

The good news is that using this process will not only save you waiting a long time while you wait for the cold-brew coffee steep, but it will also allow you to bypass the potential change in flavor that occurs when heating a cup of cold brew.

Here’s What Happens If You Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee

When you heat up cold brewed coffee, chemical reactions take place. Naturally the chlorogenic acid and quinic acid are altered with heat, which can result in a bitter and acidic flavor.

This can potentially take away your smooth flavor.

It’s also possible that you’ll lose the concentrated flavor and caffeine that’s achieved from cold brewing, depending on the heat source that’s used and whether low heat is used to heat up your cold brew.

Cold Brew Varieties

You can use any coffee grounds or coffee beans for cold brewed coffee. It’s an easy way to make coffee if you like a bold flavor and have a fair amount of lead time for preparing the coffee.

cold brew coffee with cream
cold brew coffee with cream

Unlike hot brewed coffee that can use room temperature water, for cold brew, you’ll want to use cold water or cool water and allow the grounds to have time to steep overnight.

Cold Brew Coffee vs Hot Brew Coffee

When comparing hot-brewed coffee and cold brew there are differences and one main similarity. The thing they have in common is that both methods use regular coffee.

The main differences include the water temperature factor for the brew temperature. And they are as their name suggests. Hot brew coffees use hot water, while cold brew uses cold water.

Another difference is the brew time which effects extraction. They have different tastes and subtle flavors.

The hot brew process completes in a matter of minutes and doesn’t require an extended period of time, while cold brew creates a bolder, smoother outcome that’s completed over several hours.

Cold Brew Coffee vs Iced Coffee

What are the similarities and differences between cold brew and iced coffee. The main thing they have in common is that both are served cold.

But the difference is cold brew coffee is made over a length of time. It is generally brewed in the refrigerator overnight.

making coffee with plunger
making coffee with plunger

It uses steeped grounds in cold water or room temperature water.

On the other hand, regular iced coffee is made using regular hot brewed coffee with milk, a sugar syrup and ice cubes often added.

Iced coffee tends to be more acidic in its flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to can you heat up cold brew coffee.

If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.

Can you turn cold brew into hot coffee?

Yes, you can turn cold brew coffee into hot coffee. Simply use one of our recommended methods above.

coffee brewing
coffee brewing

What is the best way to heat up cold brew?

The best way to make your cold brew hot is to use cold brew concentrate and mix it with hot water, making your cold brew hot.

Does heating up cold brew coffee make it acidic?

No, heating up cold brew coffee is one of the brewing methods that doesn’t add to its level of acidity. And it has somewhat low acidity.

However, the process does run the risk of further breaking down the coffee and making it more bitter in flavor.

Other Ideas:

Why Does My Coffee Taste Watery?
Caramel Iced Coffee
Caramel Syrup for Coffee
Copycat Chick-fil-A Vanilla Iced Coffee Recipe
How to Make Iced Coffee Fast

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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