Can You Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew coffee is much sweeter tasting and gentler on the stomach making it a preferred choice for many people. However, can you heat up cold brew coffee? Read on to find out.

A close up of a glass cup on a table, with Cold brew coffee
Cold brew coffee offers a milder taste, less acidic, and is much gentler on the stomach

Cold brew coffee offers a milder taste than traditional coffee, and it is also less acidic, so it is much gentler on the stomach, which makes it a favorite among many coffee drinkers.

However, though cold brew may be the perfect way to refresh yourself on hot summer days, it may not be so perfect during cold weather, which may cause you to wonder, can you heat up cold brew coffee?

As it turns out, it is possible to heat cold brew coffee, and its fairly easy to do using one of the heating methods you already use.

Hot Cold Brew Coffee vs Hot Brew Coffee

If you are a fan of the taste of cold brew coffee, then you will be happy to know that even hot cold brew coffee still retains its signature taste. In other words, it still has a smoother, sweeter taste as compared to hot brew coffee, and it is still also less acidic.

Otherwise, if you prefer the strong note and bitter tang of hot brew coffee, then even hot, cold brew coffee may still be too mild for you.

Hot cold brew coffee also contains less caffeine than hot brew coffee; however, how much less typically depends on the origin of the beans, as well as how they are roasted. But, because hot cold brew coffee is originally brewed using cold water, it will still yield coffee with a lower caffeine content than traditional hot brew coffee because brewing coffee in hot water draws more caffeine out of the beans than cold brewing.

Hot cold brew coffee also usually contains more water than coffee as compared to the traditional method of brewing coffee, which also affects the caffeine content.

If you are pressed for time in the mornings, then hot cold brew also offers a quicker more convenient choice than hot brew coffee because you simply brew up a big batch of cold brew coffee, which can then be used throughout the week to make a warm mug of hot cold brew coffee in as long as it takes to heat some water, which is quicker than making hot brewed coffee each morning, which requires a few extra steps.

Heating Cold Brew Coffee

Delicious Iced coffee
Cold brew coffee can be heated in a microwave, stovetop, and tea kettle

To begin, make a simple batch of cold-brew coffee.

To make cold brew coffee, place about a 3/4 cup of whole beans into a coffee grinder and then pulse them until they are coarsely ground. Cover the freshly ground beans with 3 cups of cold water. Allow the beans to steep in the water, at room temperature, for 12 to 24 hours.

Strain the liquid concentrate from the soaked beans, which can now be used to make hot cold brew coffee.

Heating cold brew coffee can be done using any conventional heating method that will allow you to heat water, including the microwave, the stovetop, and a tea kettle. Hot cold brew coffee can also be made using either heated water, milk, or cream for an even creamier treat.

To heat cold brew coffee, simply add your desired amount of concentrate to your mug and then top it off with heated water or milk, which heats the coffee, and then add sugar if you’d like. Or, simply top the concentrate with hot water and then add milk, cream, or flavored coffee creamer for an extra sweet and creamy treat.

You should note that, since cold brew coffee is cold, especially when using it straight from the refrigerator, the more cold brew coffee you add to your mug, the less hot water you will be able to add, which means the less hot your coffee will be.

Therefore, for a hotter cup of coffee, you will need to cold brew your coffee into a strong concentrate, which can be done by using a one to one ratio of freshly ground beans and water or milk, as well as allowing the beans to steep a full 24 hours.

This way, when it is time to mix the concentrate with hot water, you can use as much hot water as possible and still preserve the coffee taste. In other words, by making the cold brew stronger, will enable you to use a smaller amount of concentrate and more water for a tastier and hotter cup of coffee.

Fresh cold brew coffee can remain in the refrigerator for up to a week, stored in an airtight container.

Other Ways To Enjoy Hot Cold Brew Coffee

Hot cold brew coffee doesn’t simply have to be enjoyed on its own; it can also be enjoyed as a cozy cocktail. In fact, adding alcoholic spirits to your hot cold brew coffee can be a great way to warm up at the end of the evening or on a cold, winter’s day when the weather has you feeling blah.

For great-tasting hot cold brew coffee cocktails, always start with quality coffee. In fact, unlike making your typical hot cold brew coffee in the morning, great coffee in your cocktails can make all the difference between a pleasurable drink and a mediocre one.

In fact, even adding alcohol to coffee won’t make up for a bad flavor, as neither will anything else you add to your coffee. In some cases, it can even accentuate the awful taste.

Therefore, when making hot cold brew coffee cocktails, begin with quality beans, which can be purchased from a specialty coffee store or perhaps even a local coffee shop, and always buy the beans whole, which makes a more flavorful coffee.

Irish Coffee

Once you have followed the hot cold brew coffee recipe, using quality beans, simply finish the coffee with a bit of Irish whiskey, brown sugar, and a layer of whipped cream for a traditional Irish coffee.

French Connection

For a French Connection, also called a Cafe Amore, simply add equal parts of amaretto and cognac to your hot cold brew coffee for a sweet and tasty treat. For an even sweeter cocktail, add more amaretto. You can also top the cocktail with whipped cream if you’d like.

Hot White Russian

A Hot White Russian is also a popular hot coffee cocktail. To make it, simply mix warm heavy cream, a coffee-flavored liqueur, and vodka to taste, and then top it with whipped cream if you’d like.

Cafe Brasileiro

If the idea of ice cream and hot coffee together makes you smile, then you might want to try making your own Cafe Brasileiro for a satisfying treat. To do so, simply add a chocolate-flavored liqueur, and cachaca, which is a sugarcane-based distilled liquor, to your hot cold brew coffee and then top it with a bit of vanilla ice cream.

Caramel Latte

can you heat up cold brew coffee - caramel latte
Caramel latte is a much love hot coffee drink that does not contain spirits

This much-loved hot coffee drink does not contain spirits; however, it does contain caramel, which is also sure to lift your spirits. You will also be using your favorite hot cold brew coffee in the place of espresso, which is also sure to add to the fun.

To make this hot coffee drink, simply steam a bit of milk and caramel syrup together and then pour it into your preferred mug or glass. Add the hot cold brew coffee and then, using a spoon, finish it with a layer of frothed milk.

These are just a few hot coffee cocktail ideas using hot cold brew coffee; however, feel free to mix and match your preferred spirits and flavored liqueurs to come up with your own signature hot coffee cocktail.


Can You Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee: Related Questions

Is There a Difference Between Cold Brew Coffee and Iced Coffee?

Yes. Though both types of coffee are served cold, they differ in how they are brewed. In fact, iced coffee is simply hot brew coffee that is served over ice or after it has been refrigerated for a few hours.

On the other hand, cold brew coffee is made by soaking ground coffee beans in cold water for up to 24 hours, resulting in a concentrated coffee extract, which is then mixed with water and then served cold.

What is the Difference Between Cold Brew Coffee and Nitro Coffee?

Nitro coffee is made using cold brew coffee. During the process, the cold brew coffee is first infused with nitrogen gas, and then it is placed in a beer keg where it is served on tap, which produces a smoother and sweeter flavor.

It also creates a rich foamy top similar to Guinness beer, so if you prefer your coffee black, frothy, and ice-cold, then you might want to give nitro coffee a try.

Does Cold Brew Coffee Also Make Good Iced Coffee Cocktails?

Cold brew coffee offers lots of flexibility when it comes to making various coffee drinks using it, hot or cold. In fact, since it is concentrated, the coffee taste can still be appreciated even when it is combined with other drinks.

Therefore, it can be mixed with a variety of other ingredients to make mocktails and cocktails, and it can also be added to soda for a refreshing pick-me-up drink.


See Also: Cold Brew Vs. Hot Brew: What Tastes Best?


  • 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.