7 Simple Ways to Keep Coffee Hot for Hours
The joy that comes with a steaming cup of coffee is hard to describe, and it is one of those things that define the day for many coffee drinkers.
And while many coffee lovers have perfected the art of brewing the perfect cup every time, a huge chunk of these coffee aficionados still do not know the best ways to keep coffee hot until they are ready to drink it.
But, keeping coffee hot should not take a lot of effort as it is also quite simple. Better yet, there are countless methods that you can use and many of them will not require you to buy any special appliance.
Below we look at some of the best ways to keep coffee warm but first let us dispense with some common and misleading myths about keeping coffee hot.
Common Myths about Keeping Coffee Hot
Before getting to how to keep coffee hot, it is important to first debunk some myths which can be very misleading.
#1. Glass Carafes Keep Coffee Hot
It is normal to brew your coffee into a carafe but leaving your coffee in the glass carafe is not a good way of keeping it hot. First, the glass carafes do not have any thermal insulation which means the coffee will still lose heat. Secondly, some sit on a hot plate on the coffee maker which might keep your coffee hot but the coffee also becomes bitter and not enjoyable.
#2. Hot Plates are great for Keeping Coffee Hot
Hot plates are effective in keeping your coffee hot since they are hot. But every coffee lover should know that using them to keep coffee hot is a bad idea as it will continue brewing the coffee which makes it bitter and over-extracted.
#3. You Should Reheat Coffee in the Microwave
The microwave always seems like the perfect appliance to turn to when we need to reheat something. And so it is very tempting to throw your coffee into the microwave to reheat it, but this is not a good idea because while it might heat the coffee, the heating mechanism will leave you with unevenly heated and burnt coffee.
#4. Candle Warmer Does the Trick
Because a candle warmer can heat candles, it is easy to assume that it can also keep your coffee and other beverages hot. However, this is just a myth, in reality, it will end up overheating your coffee and burning it just like a hot plate.
Best Ways to Keep Coffee Hot
There are countless ways of keeping coffee hot, and so it is all up to your preferences and what works best for you. But, some of the best ways to keep coffee hot for hours include the following 7.
#1. Preheat Your Cup
As a coffee drinker, you should develop a habit of always preheating your cup before brewing coffee into it. The fact that many coffee makers will come with a cup warmer should be an indication of the importance of preheating coffee mugs and cups.
By preheating your cup before you can pour in the coffee will raise its temperature and prepare it to maintain the coffee temperature longer. With a cold cup, your coffee will lose some of the heat to the cup, and this means that your beverage will get cold relatively faster.
And you do not need to have a coffee maker with a cup warmer to preheat your coffee mugs. You can also use boiling water for this, and all you will need to do is fill up the cup with the boiling water and leave it there for about a minute for the temperature to spread throughout the cup. And when it is time to serve the coffee you can simply discard the hot water.
#2. Cup Sleeve
Cup sleeves are widely available and they will offer an inexpensive but highly effective way of keeping your coffee and other beverages hot. The main purpose of the cup sleeves is to prevent hand burns by the hot coffee but in the process, they still do an amazing job keeping your coffee warm for long.
These sleeves work as an insulator that keeps the heat from the coffee away from your hands which means it will be retained in the cup for the beverage to stay hot longer.
A cup sleeve can be made of various materials which include neoprene, paper or knitted wool. Because they are highly affordable, you should have several in your car to ensure you will always have a way of keeping your coffee warm. And besides buying them, they are also easy to make and you can make a custom DIY one.
#3. Coffee Cup/Mug with a Lid
Most of the heat from your coffee will escape from the top surface of the coffee as it is more exposed to the external environment. And so adding a lid to your coffee mug or cup can make a huge difference by significantly increasing the amount of time your coffee remains hot.
Coffee mugs and cups meant for carrying coffee on the go will come with a lid, but the home mugs will typically not have lids. But, the good news is that most lids for travel mugs can fit standard size home coffee mugs and cups. Hence if you have a travel mug, you should try using its lid on your favorite mug to keep your coffee hot.
But, as you use a lid to keep your coffee hot, it is important to make sure that it fits your mug well to prevent accidental spills that can lead to burns.
#4. Thermal Mug
As the name suggests, thermal mugs are insulated coffee mugs built to keep the coffee hot and will typically also include a lid. And while they are meant for traveling, you can still use them to keep your coffee hot at home.
Thermal mugs might be one of the best ways to keep coffee hot for hours, but you need to be very careful with your selection because not all will work as advertised. The overly cheap ones are often poor quality knockoffs that will hardly keep your coffee hot for even a few minutes.
A good thermal mug can be quite pricey, but besides keeping your coffee hot, it will also be very helpful in preventing spills and leaks when taking your coffee on the go.
You can still keep your coffee hot without necessarily having to buy anything because some things that you already have around like a scarf can also be effective.
It is common to see people wrap their coffee mug with a scarf which besides preventing hand scalding, it is quite an effective method of keeping the beverage hot for long.
A scarf wrapped around a coffee cup or mug provides insulation that prevents the heat from escaping. And even if you do not have a scarf with you, something like a jacket, sock or any thick piece of fabric can also provide good insulation.
#6. Car Cup Warmer
If you are looking for an effective solution for keeping your coffee hot when in the car, a car cup warmer will be a good buy. And besides warming your coffee, it will also act as a portable cup holder that helps keep your coffee firmly in place when driving.
Cup warmers will plug into your car's outlet and will make use of heating coils the same way electric kettles work. But the main problem with car cup warmers is that they will require your vehicle to be turned on to work, and so every time you stop your car, the coffee will start to cool down.
#7. Thermal Carafe
For those that brew large quantities of coffee at a go, things like thermal mugs, car cup warmer or cup sleeves will not be very useful in keeping the coffee hot. What you need is a thermal carafe as it has been built to keep large volumes of coffee hot.
A thermal carafe differs from the regular glass carafe in that instead of glass it is built with double-walled stainless steel with a vacuum space between the walls to minimize the transfer of heat transfer. And thermal carafes will also include a tightly fitting lid to further enhance the insulation properties.
The only shortcoming with this method of keeping coffee hot is that the thermal carafes, tend to be quite expensive and are also relatively harder to clean.
Unless you want to enjoy the nice flavors of iced coffee or the richness of cold brew coffee, a good cup of coffee should always be steaming hot. While getting your coffee to these temperatures is easy, keeping it there takes more effort.
However, there are countless methods of maintaining coffee temperature. And some of the best ways to keep coffee hot include preheating your cup, using a thermal mug, sleeve cup, car cup warmer and a thermal carafe for large coffee volumes.
Lastly, it is important to avoid methods like hot plate and microwave as they will affect the quality of your brew and will leave you with bitter-tasting coffee.