On a busy morning, it’s easy to forget about the piping hot drink you made for yourself. Heck, even on a low-key morning or sleepy weekend afternoon, you might brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee or tea, only to find it an hour later, cold, sad and tasting pretty awful. This phenomenon is so ubiquitous that it’s inspired plenty of online humor — and it’s if an internet joke that you’re the butt of, read on.
While you could throw your cup of joe in the microwave or heat it up over the stove, Emily Rosenberg, director of education and training operations at Stumptown Coffee, says reheating brewed coffee stimulates the production of different acids, making your drink have a “even more bitter, astringent, gnarly flavor,” she previously explained to HuffPost.
So what’s the best way to ensure your coffee or tea doesn’t get too cold before you get to drink it? Short of setting a phone timer for yourself to remind yourself to drink it, it’s better protect and maintain its original heat, instead of letting it get cold and then trying to reheat it.
To help you keep your morning beverage toasty and to save you from becoming a meme (or tweet) of someone who forgot they made some coffee/tea, here are eights tips on keeping your hot drinks hot for as long as possible.
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Grab a gooseneck electric kettle to pre-heat everything, make a quick cup and keep water hot for an hour
It's helpful to preheat your mug or cup as well as whatever you're making coffee with, whether it's a pour-over carafe or the glass pot with your Mr. Coffee. After the water boils, pour some in the cup or container, swish it around to heat the vessel, then dump it out.
You could use any sort of kettle to heat water, but something with a gooseneck, like this Cosori electric kettle, will give you extra control in pouring and has pre-set temperatures for different drinks. This quick-heating kettle can boil water in as soon as one minute, so it's also perfect for making a quick single cup on the go, and after it boils it will hold the temperature and keep the water hot for up to an hour Promising review:
"Love how quickly it heats up the water. The feature to keep the water hot for up to an hour is very useful." — Salad Lover
Use your Stanley 16-ounce travel mug even when you aren't traveling
If you're working from home or are chasing after little ones in the morning, you may grab you favorite ceramic mug instead of your travel thermos. However, an insulated travel cup will retain heat for longer. This 16-ounce travel mug from Stanley comes in 14 colors, keeps drinks hot for up to 9 hours, is leakproof and dishwasher safe. Promising review:
"When I was a little kid, I remember watching my grandpa get up before the sun, pour his coffee in his Stanley travel mug, pack it away in his [Stanley] lunchbox, and head off to work. He had that mug for decades and never replaced it because he didn't need to. So naturally, when I went to buy a travel mug of my own, I bought a Stanley. I chose this sleeker, more modern design with the trigger. I've had mine for about 5 years now and I have no complaints. The best mug you'll ever buy. I work in an office and so am not as hard on my mug as my grandpa was on his, but over the years my mug has been through some scrapes. It's been dropped countless times and still hasn't broken... This mug keeps my cold brew nice and cold and my hot beverages HOT. Not lukewarm, hot. Anyway, fantastic mug. Everyone should buy, or 10." — Timothy
Upgrade to a coffee maker that brews into a stainless thermal carafe
According to Rosenberg, “any kind of brewer or carafe that applies heat to the coffee to keep it warm (rather than just insulating it to maintain temperature) will bring out that bitter, metallic flavor.” This is especially true if you're not going to drink the entire pot right away, and the coffee stays on the heated pad for longer.
To keep the heat and flavor of your fresh pot, you may want to upgrade to a coffee maker that brews coffee into an insulated carafe, like this Moccamaster KBT automatic brewer that keeps 40 ounces of coffee hot for up to an hour.
Or pour your brewed coffee into a insulated carafe
Or, if you're set with the coffee maker you have, you may want to invest in an insulated carafe to keep your brewed coffee hot for up to 12 hours after you make it. This carafe holds up to two liters of coffee and comes in silver and black. Promising review
: "I love to drink coffee throughout the day — and this carafe works well by keeping my freshly brewed pot of coffee warm and fresh for many hours during the day so that I can grab a fresh cup or just top one off whenever desired." — K. Lansbury
Use a single-serve pour-over coffee maker to make one cup at a time
Another way to keep your coffee hot? Brew one quick cup at a time, instead of trying to keep a whole pot warm. This single-serve pour-over top makes up to 12 ounces of coffee directly in your favorite mug. Simply put your ground beans in the top and pour hot water over. It's made from a thermoplastic resin that's dishwasher-safe and won't break if you drop it and comes with a lid to trap in heat over your mug. Promising review:
"Where do I begin extolling your virtues? First, plastic. No fears of my clumsiness destroying our relationship. Second, the lid. You keep my coffee hot! Third, so easy to wash - no ears nor gears nor tiny ridges for gunk to build behind. Fourth, the measuring lines. I know, I have to remember my purple cup is smaller than my tan one, but that's my problem, not yours. You give me guidelines, I just need to follow them. Fifth, the filters. OK, they can be a bit pricey, unless I shop around, but you save me so much hassle and make such a good cuppa, you're worth it. Oh and your large opening makes it easy to dump freshly ground grounds in the filter, even when my eyes are barely open. Yah, I'm in love you, java pal. Totally smitten." — SuzBee
Swap to instant coffee packets to make a quick cup
Or, to make a super-quick cup when you're in the mood for something hot, you'll love these instant coffee sticks created by influencer and coffee lover Emma Chamberlain.
Pour them into hot water and have a creamy cup of medium roast wherever you are.Promising review: "
To me this classifies as a medium/dark roast coffee. Smooth flavor and dissolves very nicely in hot water. Tastes great. I added a small amount of sugar and milk to round it out. Comes in small 4" paper packets. Very easy to to take to work and store at home.
Easy to tear open and use." — SadRobot
Treat yourself to an electric smart mug you can control with your phone
Keep your drink hot and even check its temperature with the Ember app with this "smart mug." Called a "game changer" by many reviewers,
you can control the temperature with your phone and ensure that you have a piping hot cup of coffee or tea regardless of how long you spent chasing kids, pets or the bus after brewing that morning.Promising review:
“Keeps my coffee warm or hot to my temp setting for 60-90 minutes while I move around the house in the morning. Great gift for people who have busy mornings and don’t have time to get thru a cup within a couple minutes or for those that are slow sippers.” — Anthony Purviance
Or an electric mug warmer with a four-hour auto-run cycle
While the coffee purists may not go for a bottom-heating electric appliance, this handy desktop mug warmer will be the perfect addition for folks who just want a cup of hot joe. It has three temperatures and an automatic shut-off to keep your drink hot and your stress level low.Promising review:
“So far so good! I use with ceramic mugs and it it keeps my coffee warm for as long as needed. With 4 kids at home and busy mornings this is a huge plus. Would totally buy again.” — Busymomof4