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Why Reheated Coffee Tastes So Bad

Why Reheated Coffee Tastes So Bad

June 30, 2021

Coffee is usually served hot. But what happens after you brew it at home? Are you going to drink it right away and finish it? Or are you making coffee to enjoy for a longer period of time? What if (and this happens often) it cools down to a point that you’re not enjoying it anymore?

Ember has teamed up with Onyx Coffee Lab - the nation’s most awarded independent roaster journeying to source only the finest and most unique coffees in the world - and a few of their U.S. Coffee Champions to answer all your burning questions about coffee’s optimal drinking temperature and why reheated coffee tastes so bad.

Andrea Allen

Andrea Allen

Co-Founder of Onyx Coffee Lab;
2020 U.S. Barista Champion

So here’s the deal, I like to drink coffee at a specific temperature, and for me, that’s 135°F, which is pretty hot. Like this (currently holding a paper cup of coffee) is already below my ideal temperature, which sucks. Now, I just want to drink the rest of it and get a new cup.

At home, I’m never alone drinking coffee because I have my children around or my husband. All-day long, I’ll be drinking my coffee, but I won’t get to pay enough attention to it to enjoy it at the ideal temperature that I love. In the past, I have found myself drinking the rest of my coffee to get a new cup and start fresh many times throughout the day, and ultimately, drinking way more coffee than I intended. With an Ember Mug², I never have to miss the perfect moment because it’s that way all the time. I feel like I'm actually doing better in my life.

With an Ember Mug², I never have to miss the perfect moment.


Lance Hedrick

Lance Hedrick

Wholesale Director;
2020 U.S. Brewers Cup 2nd Place

I always set mine to the lowest setting which is 120°F, and I’ll drink until I get to about two ounces left, and I’ll turn it off. So the reason I do this is because I want to taste the coffee when it’s really hot right after brewing (around 140°F-145°F) then taste it again as it is gradually cooling down to 120°F, and then even cooler than that. It is a great way to taste the full spectrum of the cup. The Ember Mug² allows me to try a cup from fresh off the brew to a completely cool temp, for my natural drinking pace over time.

The Ember Mug² allows me to try a cup from fresh off the brew to a completely cool temp, for my natural drinking pace over time.


Elika Liftee

Elika Liftee

Onyx Coffee Trainer at Onyx Coffee Lab;
2020 U.S. Brewers Cup Champion

I did not think that I was in the market for an Ember Mug², because I generally make coffee in single servings and drink the cup before it gets cold. However, the Ember Mug² feels nice, and it allows me to drink my coffee even more slowly, so I can savor my small cups of coffee longer. It has a really premium build and simply feels really nice to drink out of (pointing to the tapered lip). The mug is really a surprisingly pleasant drinking experience!

The Ember Mug² feels nice, and it allows me to drink my coffee even more slowly.

Q & A with ONYX U.S. Coffee Champions


Q: Do you recommend reheating coffee?

A: No... The process of reheating coffee changes the flavor. It can change the body, and it’s just not the same after reheating. I recommend brewing the amount you plan to drink in one session instead of a big batch. - Andrea

I don’t recommend reheating coffee because you’re going to break down the flavor compounds when excessive heat is added to it. Your coffee won’t taste as vibrant and sweet; it may taste more bitter. - Elika

Q: What are your thoughts about continuously heated coffee in a standard drip coffee pot?

A: Self-heated glass coffee pots don’t have enough thought process with them. The heat plate will just continually add heat, and your coffee will eventually be burning through all the flavors and natural sugars. Whereas, if you have a thermal pot, it will keep the coffee inside at a nice hot temperature without burning it or losing flavor, but it doesn’t solve the issue of your coffee getting cold in your cup over time. - Andrea

Q: Do you recommend different drinking temperatures to enjoy the flavor notes from your different roasts? Are there recommended drink temperatures for different coffee?

A: Generally, the closer to your body temperature that you taste, the more accurately you should be able to taste. So 110°F is a good place to experience the full potential of any beverage when you are trying to pinpoint the flavor, body, and acidity. However, a lot of it is also personal preference. Just because 110°F is the place that you might experience the most potential, doesn’t mean it’s the temperature you should drink it at to enjoy your drink the most. I like to drink coffee at a specific temperature, and for me, that’s 135°F. - Andrea

I like to drink at 136°F; it’s not too hot and not too cold. - Elika

With darker roasts, I like it hotter, and with lighter roasts, I like it cooler. I find the acidity to be a lot more exemplified at a cooler temp, while with darker roasts, you get the nutty and baker’s chocolate notes at a hotter temperature. - Lance

Enjoy Onyx Coffee Lab’s first and foundational blend, Southern Weather, in your Ember Mug².






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