Ideal Coffee Brewing Temperature: Advice from Professionals

Last updated: Jul 27, 2020

Coffee is a staple of a large number of people’s morning routine, with many not being able to function after one or two cups of joe. Whether you like iced coffee or a hot cup, the temperature that the coffee is brewed impacts its flavor. The optimal brewing temperature is going to depend on the types of beans or coffee being used. Many homebrewers will go through a trial and error process until they finally have attained the goal of their perfect cup of coffee.

A great-tasting cup of coffee can allow you to start your day off in a positive manner. Below is everything you need to know about coffee brewing temperature.

Why is coffee brewing temperature important?

Ideal Coffee Brewing Temperature: Advice from Professionals

Coffee brewing temperature is important due to the fact that it impacts the taste directly. The following are ways that it can impact your morning or afternoon cup of coffee:

  • Overboiling the water will lead to far too much extraction leading to a bitter cup of coffee that is commonly unpleasant to the drinker.
  • Using water that isn’t hot enough in regular brewed coffee can lead to a weak cup of coffee. For those that want a strong flavor, you need to make sure that your water is at the right temperature.
  • Cold brews differ with temperature, but both methods will not utilize hot water, hence the name cold brew coffee. Patience is important as this can take up to half of a day, so allowing the coffee to sit overnight for morning consumption can be best.

Coffee drinks that need special brewing temperature

Coffee differs depending on the end result that you want, as overheating can lead to a burnt taste. Even the stronger espresso is best brewed at 189 to 205 degrees. The big difference is the beans that are used with some coffee drinks simply being water added to the jolt of caffeine espresso provides.

Cold brew coffee is going to be different as well as it can be brewed at room temperature or in a traditional refrigerator. You should always opt for stronger coffee beans if you plan on pouring the coffee over ice, which is a very popular method of consumption. Try out different types of coffee to see what the perfect brewing temperature is for you!

How to get the right temperature when brewing coffee (tools you might need)

Brewing your own coffee can allow you to make the perfect cup for your tastes as a Keurig might produce a cup of coffee that is far too weak in flavor. You are going to need different tools which can differ depending on the type of coffee that you prefer. Below are a few tools a homebrewer can utilize to make coffee daily:

  • Temperature control kettles allow you to keep your water temperature between 195- and 205-degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Buying a thermometer that is reliable can also be of huge assistance. This will also come in handy when cooking, so make sure you find a quality thermometer.
  • If using a French Press, it is important to factor in the fact that the water will slowly cool down over the course of the brewing process.

What happens if the temperature is too high or too low?

Ideal Coffee Brewing Temperature: Advice from Professionals

Water temperature is going to play a huge role in the taste of the cup of coffee that you brew. Below are the results of using water that is too hot:

  • Too hot of water can lead to the coffee beans having too much extracted from them.
  • The result will be a bitter taste, which is true with nearly all types of coffee beans or even a burnt taste, which is rarely pleasant.
  • A great tip is to bring your brewing water up to a boil then use it rather than to let it sit and boil.

Water that is too cold will result in the following issues:

  • The brewing process will slow immensely and can impact the flavor in negative ways.
  • The flavor you associate with coffee will be lacking and will lack that pop that many cups have.
  • Sour tasting coffee is often one of the sure signs your water temperature was too low.

What about cold coffee drinks and cold brew?

Cold brew coffee really packs a punch in terms of strength of taste as well as caffeine levels. You have the option of two different ways to achieve optimal temperature for brewing cold coffee. You can allow the coffee to be steep somewhere safe in the home at room temperature. A refrigerator is another option. The details of both methods are listed below:

  • You can use either cold water or water that is at a regular temperature.
  • Colder water will take longer to extract the coffee, which ranges from 14 to 20 hours.
  • Room temperature water on account of being warmer can take around 10 hours.
  • Room temperature is recommended if you want a stronger tasting coffee.
  • Colder water will not taste as strong but will highlight the different flavors of the coffee.


The main difference is a slightly strong taste with warmer water and that colder water takes longer in the steeping process.

Which coffee temperature is perfect for drinking?

The perfect temperature for drinking coffee does depend on personal preference to a point. There are people that like cold cups of black coffee while others prefer their coffee to be scolding hot. For most coffee drinkers, they prefer their coffee between 120 degrees and 140 degrees. Coffee at this range is going to be easy to drink while bringing out all of the flavors that the coffee has to offer.

One hundred fifty degrees is going to be the approximate temperature for those people that want to slowly sip a very hot cup of joe. Anything above 150 degrees can result in burning the tongue and mouth. This differs depending on the person as mouth sensitivities differ.

Conclusion

Ideal Coffee Brewing Temperature: Advice from Professionals

The best method to make coffee depends on preference as some prefer cold brew, while others simply want a handful of ice in their coffee cup. The temperature that coffee is brewed at is not as flexible as drinking temperature. The optimal coffee brewing temperature will depend on the type of coffee, and it is very important not to extract too much from the coffee leading to a bitter, unpleasant taste. Take your time to try all methods to see if you have been missing out on a type of coffee or brewing process that makes the perfect cup of coffee for your tastes!

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