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What Is The Best Temperature For Coffee?

Updated on September 29, 2009

Coffee is a daily treat that you can drink every morning to help you face your work day, but it still is important to know the best way to serve it so that you are getting the optimal taste and flavor within your cup of Joe. What is the best temperature to serve your coffee at, and how does temperature affect the flavor profile of your Java?

In a simple answer, it is best to serve your coffee at 70°C to 80°C, or 155°F to 175°F. Many people will prefer it at the higher end of the temperature spectrum, which would be 175°F. However, you do have to take into consideration some of the many lawsuits that have been in affect over the years, including a customer suing McDonald's because they spilled hot coffee on themselves. That is a tragic lawsuit, especially since it is so ridiculous, but it does account for the temperature of McDonald's coffee service to be taken into question. At that time, McDonald's did serve their coffee at 195° to 205°F. That is significantly higher than the optimal coffee temperature range. McDonald's did recommend for their customers to drink their coffee at 180°F to 190°F, and the reason that they did lose the lawsuit was because their coffee was too hot and did scald their customer when she spilled it.

One of the main reasons to adhere to the appropriate temperature in your coffee drinking is because if your coffee is served at too high a temperature, then many of the essential oils found with the coffee product can evaporate. This will cause the flavor quality to be lost. The essential oils of the coffee beans are responsible for the flavor and aroma of your cup of Joe, so when they are compromised, your coffee will no longer have the deep and complex taste that it once did. It is advised to drink your coffee at 175°F to trust that it will be the best quality and flavor available to you.

When coffee is of a higher quality, it will taste much better served within this temperature range. Many people do like their coffee to be extremely hot, and they prefer the temperature range that was once used by McDonald's. Also, you do have to take into account how the coffee may cool when milk is added to it, which is why many people will preheat their cream or milk before adding it to their coffee so that it does not cool the temperature significantly. However, many people from other cultures prefer their coffee hotter than Americans do, so they feel that the American coffee temperature range is too low for their taste.

Regardless of which type of coffee that you like to enjoy, keep an eye on the temperature that you are serving your coffee at to make sure that it is neither too hot nor too cold so that the flavor and taste are not affected. Coffee that is served too hot does have the potential to lose the essential oils that give it its flavorful quality.


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