Can You Microwave Cold Brew Coffee?

You can heat cold brew, but can you microwave cold brew coffee? We’ll guide you through how to microwave this drink and explain why people would want to.

Can you microwave cold brew coffee?
You can microwave cold-brew coffee

We’ve already discussed how to make cold brew coffee, and as the name suggests, it is brewed and (usually) served cold. You might be wondering if it can be enjoyed hot.

While some coffee connoisseurs might look down on you, you can microwave cold brew. Cold brew isn’t the same as an Americano or black coffee, so heating it in the microwave actually does make sense.

If you want the same flavor and high caffeine kick on a cold day without the same bitterness of hot-brewed coffee, microwaved cold brew is a simple solution.

Can You Microwave Cold Brew Coffee?

If you have a cold brew concentrate, you’ll need to water it down first. Then put it in the microwave for around one minute.

Taste it after the time is up. If it’s not hot enough, put it back in increments of 30 seconds until it’s hot enough.

If your cold brew has already been diluted, then it can go straight into the microwave. 

You might also be interested in our why can’t you microwave Starbucks cups?

Will Microwaving Cold Brew Change Anything?

Ice coffee in a tall glass and coffee beans - how to grind coffee beans for cold brewing
Microwaving cold brew does not alter its taste

A microwaved cold brew will taste the same, except hotter.

There will also be the same amount of caffeine. All microwaving does is make your cold brew warm.

Don’t expect your microwaved cold brew to taste the same as an Americano or regular black coffee. Cold brew is less bitter and lighter tasting than Americano or black coffee.

Why Would You Microwave Cold Brew?

You might be wondering why someone would microwave cold brew when they could just make some hot coffee?

One of the reasons could be to get an extra hit of caffeine without adding more espresso. Cold-brew contains more caffeine than a regular cup of coffee. We’ve talked about grinding beans for cold brew before.

Adding more espresso to hot coffee alters the flavor. Not everyone is a fan of a super-strong tasting cup of coffee which is why microwaving cold brew might seem like a good idea.

It should go without saying, but make sure you’re using a microwave-safe container (and definitely not the plastic cup your drink would have come in at a cafe). Keep in mind that some containers can alter the taste of your coffee.

For microwaving cold brew, it’s best to use a ceramic glass – without any metallic coating – or a microwave-safe glass container. Not all glass can be heated, so double-check before putting it in the microwave!

Is It Better To Heat Up Cold Brew On A Stove?

close view of a moka pot on a gas stove with blue fire
You can use the stove to control the heat

It’s easier to control how you heat something on the stove. In the microwave, you’re putting it in a few seconds at a time and hoping your drink doesn’t boil over. If you have the time, heating your cold brew on the stove might be a more sensible option as you have better control.

You Can Heat Milk On The Stove Instead Of Water.

You can heat milk on the stove instead of water. This works best with a water-based cold brew concentrate. It might taste a bit funny if you’re adding milk to a cold brew drink already diluted with water.

Can You Heat Cold-Brew With Water From The Kettle?

Another way to heat cold brew is to dilute it with hot water. This is better suited to concentrated cold brew. Cold brew that has already been diluted will end up tasting too watery.

Boil the water in the kettle and pour the water into your cold brew. Pour in the same amount you usually would when diluting cold brew concentrate.


  • 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.