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A Complete Guide To Coffee Brewing Temperature

The journey into enjoying a cup of coffee every day usually starts with just brewing a cup and adding your preferred amount of milk, creamer and sugar. And then before you know it, you are studying how to properly grind your own beans and what is the perfect coffee brewing temperature.

Thankfully, we saw that coming and decided to do the research on the perfect coffee brewing temperature for you. So, whether you boil your water in a kettle or you use a coffee maker making the hottest coffee, you’ll find this article really helpful. Now, let’s go.

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What is the Ideal Coffee Brewing Temperature?

According to the National Coffee Association, USA (NCAUSA), the perfect coffee brewing temperature is anything from 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (90.6 to 96.1 degrees Celsius).
Water that is not as hot as 195 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t hot enough to extract the rich taste of the coffee. So, your coffee will end up tasting really bland.

On the other hand, water that is hotter than 205 degrees Fahrenheit is certainly too hot and will ‘burn’ the coffee, leading to a loss in the rich taste.

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That said, if you’ll be boiling your own water in a kettle, it might not be easy to determine whether or not your water is within the 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit sweet spot. Especially considering that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). But we’ve got you covered in the next section.

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How Can I Get This Ideal Coffee Brewing Temperature?

Pay Attention To Altitude

This might come as a shock to you, but the first step to getting the ideal coffee brewing temperature is to find out what temperature water boils where you live.

Now, we said in the previous section that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and that is absolutely correct. However, it is not correct for every place. According to the Pew Research Centre, the higher the altitude of where you live, the lower the temperature that water needs to boil.

Now, we said in the previous section that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and that is absolutely correct. However, it is not correct for every place. According to the Pew Research Centre, the higher the altitude of where you live, the lower the temperature that water needs to boil.

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So, if your altitude is close to sea level (like in Los Angeles), water will boil at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. But if your altitude is higher (like in Denver) you’ll need less temperature (In Denver, water boils at 202 degrees Fahrenheit).

Thinking about this, we can already deduce that while someone in Denver will be fine using boiling water to brew their coffee (because it is in the 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit sweet spot), it would be a bad idea for someone who lives in Los Angeles.

The 30-Second Wait

Moving on, if you live in a place where the altitude is basically sea level (like in L.A), there are a number of things you can do to get the right coffee brewing temperature.

First off, the general rule of thumb is to wait 30 seconds to one minute after your water has come to a boil before pouring it into your coffee.

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This wait time will allow your coffee cool off enough that it is in the sweet spot. If you wait longer than 1 minute your water will no longer be hot enough and if you wait shorter than 30 seconds, your water will still be too hot.

Thermometers

Alternatively, if you want to be more precise, you could get those kettles that have an inbuilt thermometer. As the water comes to a boil, you’ll be able to tell when it gets to the sweet spot.

If you do not have a kettle that has a thermometer and love your kettle too much to just change it, consider using a regular thermometer to check the temperature of the water.

30 seconds after your water has come to a boil, you could insert the thermometer into your water to check things out. Make sure that the thermometer you decide to stick into your water is strictly for that business, though.

Now, if you have a coffee maker, you probably want to know whether it can give you the perfect coffee brewing temperature or if you have to discard it. Well, don’t discard it just yet if you haven’t read the next section.

How Hot Can The Hottest Coffee Maker Go?

A good coffee maker should brew coffee within the 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit sweet spot. And even the hottest coffee maker typically does not run higher than 205 degrees. So, it is safe to say that if you choose the right coffee maker, you’ll take away a lot of the guesswork from brewing coffee, especially as it regards coffee brewing temperature.

But what exactly do you need to know in getting the right coffee maker?

One thing we’ll say here, though, is to look for what temperature the coffee maker brews in. If it brews coffee in a temperature lower than 195 degrees Fahrenheit, it might not be the coffee maker for you.

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What About Iced Coffees And Cold Brews?

While we’ve been talking about hot coffees, we certainly have not forgotten those coffees that do not seem to require hot water. So, what temperature of water do you need to make Iced coffees and Cold brews?

Iced coffees are made the same way hot coffees are made. The only difference is that iced coffees are left to cool with ice after they’ve been brewed, hence, the name ‘iced’ coffee.

So, if you’ll be making yourself a glass of iced coffee, make sure that your water is in the sweet spot temperature (195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit).

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On the other hand, cold brews do not need to be brewed in hot water. A cold brew is made by basically ‘soaking’ the coffee in water.

We say ‘soaking’ because for the rich taste of coffee to be extracted to give you the perfect cold brew, you have to allow the water-coffee mixture to sit for about 12 hours. That said, because cold coffee isn’t brewed with hot water, it has a significantly different taste from hot coffee.

Finally

The perfect coffee brewing temperature doesn’t have to be the perfect coffee drinking temperature. Of course, make sure your water is in the sweet spot to brew your coffee. But if 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit is too hot for you to drink, it is OK to allow your already brewed coffee to cool off before drinking.

With all that said, it is time to go enjoy your coffee!

Written by Pauline

I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!

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