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Microwaving Your Coffee?

microwaved coffee

Microwaving coffee may be a necessity, but you should be aware of the consequences of doing so.

As more and more of us have been getting used to working from home, we've developed some new habits. This new environment has lead to an increase in coffee consumption, which has also affected my wife. The increase in caffeine intake became such a problem, she started mixing in a little bit of decaf to calm down her nerves.

Another habit of hers is to microwave the coffee back to a desirable temperature.

Now let me preface by saying that I'm not a fan of telling people how to drink coffee. My philosophy is that I roast the beans and provide you with knowledge. If you want to add milk, sugar, or honey then that's up to you, as long as you enjoy it. No judgment here.

Microwaving Coffee Science

That being said, there's a little bit of science that might explain why microwaved coffee is frequently frowned upon. Coffee contains over a thousand odor compounds, which are responsible for the amazing smell of freshly brewed coffee. These aromas deteriorate over time, even if you don't microwave it. But, the microwave ends up accelerating the process. So you'll lose MORE of that delicious smell if you microwave.

Microwaving coffee also makes the coffee more acidic and bitter. If you drink a dark roast, you may not notice this as much, but a lighter roasted coffee will end up tasting more tangy, with a bitter finish.

Another option is to take your lukewarm coffee and pour it over some ice for a delicious iced coffee. Add a small touch of honey or vanilla and it'll totally change the taste to something new and fun.

So as we all start getting comfortable with our new daily routines, microwaving coffee may be exactly what you need to keep your day going. Just keep in mind that it may change the taste a tad bit.

Hope you are safe and sound, and please feel free to reach out with any coffee questions.

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Alexis Stevens

- February 01, 2022

I’ve had a bunch of chemistry, and I can verify that the info above true and that it matters, taste-wise. If I have no choice, I nuke at a very low power and a minimum amount of time. But here’s the thing:

I almost NEVER have to nuke my poor, defenseless coffee. (After all, it cannot get up and run away…). I mean “as close to never as you can get without actually being never.” Here’s why: I use a small cup heater that maintains a constant, low temp. I drink 20-oz. coffees of Bella Finca which is a dark roast (gluttony, I know, but it’s only this..), and I find that the cup heater does a fairly good job – until I get to the last few ounces. Then I have to drink a little faster so that a skin doesn’t form because I use half & half and sugar, and so that it doesn’t begin to taste icky and all the volatiles spoil and acids concentrate. I find this works well, although I am always looking out for a better quality cup-warmer. Any ideas out there?

Lucy Will

- February 01, 2022

Great information!! I really enjoyed this. I am a coffee lover but I didn’t know these amazing benefits of drinking coffee. So thank you for sharing this one. keep sharing more.

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