Hot-Hot Coffee

Top Brew is the podcast that I host with Eric Rauch. We discuss coffee topics, and occasionally interview guests that are coffee enthusiasts or professionally involved with coffee.

And we have a blog at Top Brew. Once a week, we post a coffee brewing tip. If you want to improve your home coffee brew, or even the setup you have at the office, there be tricks here you’ll benefit from. Today’s (an excerpt):

For most average cups of coffee (though not all), no matter the coffee-maker, the ideal temperature is between 195º – 205º Fahrenheit (91º – 97º Celsius). This is hot enough to force the delicious flavors out of the ground beans without scorching them and ruining the flavors.

Think about your toast. Do you like it golden-brown and crispy? 200º water is the coffee brew equivalent. On the other hand, over-toasting your bread results in charring, which changes almost everything about the flavor and consistency of the slice. The same is true of your over-cooked coffee grounds at boiling point (212º Fahrenheit or 100º Celsius). Imagine how much worse it gets with every degree as the water goes above boiling point!

Today’s tip concerns water temperature in your coffee brew. I have heard many arguments for and against brewing the coffee at boiling point. To me, using a coffee-maker that makes it "just so" at 210º – 212º Fahrenheit is just lazy and old-fashioned. We made coffee that way in the past because the tools we used were not innovating over time. It became the default. Boiling point was assumed to be good for coffee for the masses. It was not updated as coffee culture grew up.

Check out today’s quick tip, and see if you agree about the water temperature. I know not all of you will, but I would love to know what it is about hot-hot coffee you prefer.


Joe Darnell

Joe is a UI and graphic designer with prior experience as the creative director for three media-based businesses. Joe’s passionate about web design and graphic design with about 15 years of experience in the media industry. Additionally, Joe is the host of the Top Brew and Techtonic podasts, both featured on iTunes.