What Is The Best Temperature To Brew Coffee?

Creating the perfect cup of java starts with understanding the best temperature to brew coffee and how hot to get the water.

Best temperature to brew coffee
The most important element in brewing a good cup of coffee is the temperature.

There are two types of people who enjoy coffee: those who don’t care as long as it is caffeinated and those who savor the flavor like a fine wine. Personally, I find myself somewhere in the middle. I can tell a bad cup when I taste it, but I don’t spend the extra time in the morning making sure every element of my machine is calibrated accordingly.

According to experts, one of the most important elements in brewing a good cup of coffee is the temperature. But what is the magic number, and why does it matter? According to the National Coffee Association, that temp is somewhere between 195- to 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why Water Temperature Matters When Making Brewed Coffee

The reason why water temperature matters when making coffee has to do with the extraction of oils in the beans during the brewing process. If your water is too hot, you’ll lose some of the flavors in the ground beans. Likewise, water that is too cold won’t be enough to pull the oils from the grounds and give you a tasty cup.

Within that 200-degree range mentioned above, your finished cup of brewed coffee should end up robust and flavorful but not too strong. If possible, make sure the brew time is somewhere between two to four minutes for the best taste.

Some coffee makers allow you to adjust time and temperature while others do not, making it important to know what you’re able to do with yours. What if your coffee doesn’t reach this temperature while you’re brewing it?

While it isn’t optimal, it just means that you’ll sacrifice a bit of flavor or that your drink might end up slightly bitter. If you’re adding cream or other flavors to your beverage, there’s a good chance you won’t notice.

Best temperature to brew coffee
The ideal temperature to drink your coffee is right around 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Hot Should Your Coffee Be When You Drink It?

Once you know the right temperature to brew coffee, you’ll want to pay attention to when you can drink it. For most people, a fresh cup takes a few minutes to cool down before it is safe. But don’t wait too long for that first sip, or you might miss out on that rich flavor!

Rumor has it amongst coffee aficionados that the ideal temperature to drink your coffee without burning yourself is right around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember, adding a cold dairy product like milk or cream will quickly bring your freshly brewed temp down.

So, you might not have to wait as long if you’re adding these things to your mug. And if you totally forgot about your cup? Well, try to drink it within the first four hours. After that, the flavor breaks down, and the cold coffee isn’t nearly as enjoyable.

How To Safely Brew Coffee At The Right Temperature

Of course, it should be noted that you need to use proper safety precautions when brewing coffee to the right temperature. If you’re doing a pour-over with boiling water from a kettle or saucepan, make sure to use a large enough container to reduce the risk of burns. Use slow movements to keep from spilling or sloshing the liquid over the side of the mug.

If you’re using a traditional coffee maker or single-serve brewer, make sure you’re careful when grabbing that mug for the first time. Burns from coffee is a serious thing, especially when you’ve dialed in brewing at the right water temperature. After all, nobody wants pain while they’re trying to enjoy their beverage.

What Temperature Should You Brew Cold Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is a bit different from hot coffee. During the process, you never want to expose the grounds to heat. Thus, you should use cold water and leave the mixture to steep for twelve hours or place it in the refrigerator during that time.

Those using the refrigerator method should realize that it takes longer, but the flavor is much better. Allow the grounds to steep in the cold water for somewhere around eighteen to twenty hours before straining. This will give you maximum flavor and make your iced coffee beverages some of the best you’ve ever had.

The Final Word On What is the Best Temperature to Brew Coffee?

Whether you’re making a single cup of hot coffee or cold brew in your refrigerator, there is an ideal water temperature to use. This allows the oils in the grounds to come out at the right time, which improves the overall flavor of your cup.

By knowing this, you can not only make the best coffee you’ve ever had in your life, but you can also impress friends and family members.

FAQs on What Is The Best Temperature To Brew Coffee?

Is Boiling Water Too Hot for Coffee?

In most cases, boiling water is too hot for coffee. If you go above the ideal range for water temperature, the beans will release flavor too early in the process. This leads to a more bitter flavor, which most people don’t enjoy.

How Important is Water Temperature When Brewing Coffee?

Water temperature is one of the three key elements to brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Quality of beans, time spent steeping, and water temperature greatly determine whether your finished product is just okay or some of the best you’ve ever had.

What Happens When You Brew Coffee at Lower Temperatures?

In short, when you brew coffee at a temperature that is less than ideal, the flavor of your beverage declines. The taste won’t be as robust or really meet the full capacity of what is possible. That’s why it is important to always use water between 195- to 205-degrees Fahrenheit.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.