Avoid cold coffee with one simple tip

October 16th, 2015

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Avoid cold coffee with one simple tip(2)

If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll know that there’s nothing quite as frustrating as a lukewarm cuppa. Whether you’re ordering a latte at the café, or brewing your own a home, you’ll want to get the temperature just right to really enjoy your drink.

800px-Hot_Cold_mugsource: Damianosullivan on Wikimedia Commons

To avoid the horror of a lukewarm flat white, all too many of us have ordered an “extra hot” coffee at our local café, so that by the time we’ve carried it back to our desk, it will be just the right drinking temperature.

However, the look of faint disapproval from our barista when we order an Extra Hot isn’t (just) a case of coffee snobbery – correct temperature is a really important part of making a really good coffee. Overheating coffee can give it a bitter taste, and overheating milk will also ruin its flavour.

coffee steamsource: waferboard on Flickr

But what about those of us who use our home espresso machine to make coffee in the mornings (and afternoons, and evenings)? How can we avert the spectre of less than piping hot coffee without overheating our brew to the point of ruining it?

Well, there’s quick trick to keeping your coffee at the perfect drinking temperature for longer, and it’s so simple that it’s a wonder that many of us haven’t thought of it before:

Preheat your mug

That’s it. Seriously.

Here’s why:

We drink hot drinks out of ceramic cups specifically because of their insulation – these mugs let us hold hot drinks without toasting our hands.

12ozLattesource: Coffeecupgals at Wikimedia Commons

But as soon as your hot espresso touches your cool ceramic mug, basic laws of thermodynamics apply, and the heat transfers from the hotter surface to the cooler one, bringing both surfaces closer to equilibrium.

So by warming up a mug before adding your coffee, the less heat it will absorb your drink, leaving you with a cuppa that stays just right for drinking for longer.

Delonghi Icona Coffee Machine ECO310BKDelonghi Icona Coffee Machine ECO310BK

This is why some coffee machines include a cup-warming plate, usually on top of the machine – it’s not just a cosmetic or novelty feature, and it does have a real purpose!

If your coffee maker doesn’t have a cup warmer, don’t worry – a quick and simple way to prepare your mug to receive coffee is to add some hot water first to warm it up. You don’t even need that much water – just a small splash of hot stuff should be enough to raise the temperature.

Sunbeam EM7000 Coffee MachineSunbeam EM7000 Coffee Machine

The hot water dispenser found on some espresso makers is ideal for this purpose (as well as making tea, instant noodle soup, and other non-coffee drinks), but in a pinch you can just use your sink’s hot water tap.

mug steamsource: Greenraystudio on Wikimedia Commons

Once your cup’s had a chance to warm up, just tip out the hot water and fill it up with espresso, which should now remain at an ideal drinking temperature for longer, allowing you to maximise your enjoyment of your morning pick-me-up.

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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