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What's the best way to reheat coffee?

Is there one?

Of course coffee is best enjoyed freshly brewed, but what do you do (if anything) to freshen up a cup of coffee if it's been left to sit around a bit too long?


Double boiler?

Something else?

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  1. I find that I can rehabilitate a ceramic mug o' joe with a couple of minutes in the nucleator, being careful to avoid bringing to a boil. Since I take my coffee black, no sugar (as the good Lord clearly intended) no worries about long-chain milk proteins turning to muck.

    1. I nuke cold coffee on high for 1 minute per cupful.

      I usually pour the just brewed coffee into a insulated carafe that I can pour from all day at the perfect temperature.

      1. I use left over for iced coffee, can't stand re-heating.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cstr

          Ditto, or carefully on the stove. I have no idea why, especially since I don't have an especially sensitive palate, but nuked coffee (black, even) has always tasted funny to me. Gently re-heated on the stove, it just tastes re-heated, not "messed up."

        2. AACKKK! There is NO good way to reheat coffee. Reheated coffee is nasty and best dumped down the drain. Sorry for the tantrum, but I can't stand cold or reheated coffee.

          1. Since I still make mine in a Chemex pot, I adhere to the process I was taught shortly after we invented fire: put the pot into a pan it'll fit easily, then fill the pan with water just to the coffee level. Put this on the stove and bring just to a gentle boil. The coffee will not taste perfectly fresh, but will have less of an off-taste than you get from any other method. Microwaving is next-best.

            1. If you refrigerate it, covered with a plastic wrap seal, while it is still hot, you can nuke it for 1-2 minutes and probably find it okay to drink for many hours.

              If it has been sitting on the counter cooling for more than 15-30 minutes, it will be hopeless. The better/more complex the quality of the original coffee, the shorter the window. If you often find yourself in this situation, pour it immediately into a warm thermos to hold it.

              You can't revive coffee that has already died.

              1. The only way to (possibly) revive coffee that's been sitting around, is if it has been off the burner while sitting around, and has been sitting in a sealed, or semi-sealed carafe. In that case, you just nuke for 30-50 sec and you should be good to go.

                If it has been left warming on the hot-tray, it has already overcooked and/or evaporated to the gross-out point. Alternatively, if has been left to simply cool in a cup, it's likely just evaporated too much.

                Of course, the best thing to do is make another cup or small pot. Coffee is one of the least-expensive (per cup) indulgences out there, and worth doing right.

                3 Replies
                1. re: yaddayadda

                  I make it into iced coffee too. Throw a bit of Chambord in there and you won't even know how bad it is.

                  1. re: Whosyerkitty

                    Is there anything liquor can't make any better?

                2. I think any reheated coffee loses a lot. A thermos can keep it good for a longer time. Better in a thermos than in the pot on the burner. I do like to refrigerate leftover coffee though.

                  Heat and time are the enemies of coffee.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: scuzzo

                    A minute 30 seconds, nuked, for a cup of day old coffee. With toast made the night before. I have no time or patience to wait for fresh coffee or the toaster. Why 'haven't' they speeded up the toaster, by the way?

                  2. I've used the microwave for the past 35 years. About a minute on high. Not as good as fresh out of the pot, but better (and easier) than anything else. If it was first brewed in a percolator......hard to tell the difference.