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Is It OK to Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee? All You Need to Know

Every coffee lover finds it hard to survive without a morning cup of Joe. But the amount of caffeine in our drinks matters a lot, and if you need a less acidic drink, it’s best to try cold brew coffee.

But, if you don’t like drinking cold coffee, you may be wondering – can you heat up cold brew coffee? And if you can, what is the right way to warm the cold brew without affecting its quality. This is something worth discussing, so let’s get right to it.

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

cold brew coffee in the glass and bottle container

In case you don’t know, “cold brew” refers to a beverage that has been prepared using cold water. Cold brewing includes an exceptional steeping process that can take between 12 and 24 hours. Compared to coffee brewed using heat, cold brew coffee has low acidity levels and is much smoother.

This method of brewing coffee has been around for years, but its popularity has grown at a fast rate in the last decade. Cold-brew has become a popular beverage in most coffee stores. Currently, most coffee lovers can differentiate cold brew from iced coffee.

Can You Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee?

pouring cold brew coffee into glass with ice

Many people claim that cold brew coffee should always be taken cold. The same people also say that adding ice to your drink can ruin its exceptional stout characteristic. In a way, it’s true that adding ice can affect the quality of your beverage. But when it comes to warming a drink, they are partly wrong—these coffee lovers are very wrong. Anyone can warm their beverage and enjoy it hot.

But how you heat it up matters a lot. For example, you can’t simply boil it in your electric kettle. When done correctly, the heating process will have little to no effect on your cold brew beverage quality.

Some people believe that the process of brewing this beverage makes it hard to heat it. On the other hand, some believe that heating it can ruin its quality. But this is not correct

Cold-brew is prepared from concentrate, so heating it up won’t affect its quality. Remember, you cannot heat up iced coffee the same way you would cold brew. After all, heating up ice coffee is the same as boiling regular coffee.

Will Heating Cold Brew Increase Its Acidity Level?

woman not feeling well with cup of coffee on the table

Lots of coffee lovers prefer cold brew coffee it is less acidic. This characteristic is the outcome of the unique process of brewing this beverage. This is the main reason why it’s loved by those affected by acid reflux.

So, if cold brew has low acidity, thanks to how it’s brewed, will warming it up increase its acidity? The answer is no; warming up your drink won’t make it acidic. You’re not adding more coffee grounds when you heat the cold brew, so there wouldn’t be a change in the acidity.

The amount of coffee you use when preparing it affects the caffeine and acidity levels more than heat. Therefore, even though heating it feels like cheating; you shouldn’t worry about increasing acidity.

How Can I Heat Cold Brew Coffee?

Since we have already busted a number of myths that are associated with heating your cold brew coffee, we now understand it’s possible. So, is there a right way to warm up a cold brew beverage without affecting its quality? Yes, there are a few distinctive ways that you can use to heat up a cold brew, but the condition of the cold brew matters a lot.

Are you heating a cold brew that has been mixed or from the concentrated form? The stage of the beverage matters, so here are some of the best methods for heating up cold brew coffee:

Heat Cold Brew Coffee on Your Stove

heating cold brew coffee using stove

The best way to heat cold brew concentrate or cold brew mix is by using a stove. Measure the concentrate and then add it to your kettle. If you are working with a cold brew mix, you don’t have to add more water.

When working with a concentrate, you should mix equal portions of water and cold brew concentrate in a kettle. Then, warm the solution using medium heat. After it starts to steam, you can let it simmer for a few minutes and remove it from the stove.

Pour your beverage in your favorite cup and let it cool for a few minutes before drinking it. If you plan to adjust the cold brew to your liking, then you can add sugar and cream before drinking it.

Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee Using Hot Water

add hot water to cold brew coffee

A considerable percentage of the cold brew beverage sold in stores or online is concentrated cold brew. Therefore, you’ll have to add some water before drinking it. The best solution for heating this kind of cold brew is adding hot water. Adding hot water won’t leave your coffee with an unpleasant taste.

Heat the water using any method, but make sure it does not reach its boiling point. Remember, it doesn’t have to start boiling, but it needs to be hot enough to warm your cold brew. Next, heat your mug in warm water to help the concentrate warm evenly.

Finally, you can pour some cold brew into your mug and mix it with the hot water. You can fill less than three-quarters a mug with cold brew and then top it up with hot water. If you don’t like strong coffee, you can put less cold brew concentrate and more water in your mug. If you love a sweetened beverage, you can leave some room for the sugar or cream in your mug of coffee.

Heat Up Premixed Cold Brew

Heating up a premixed cold brew is another simple but effective method for warming your beverage. All you have to do is pour some cold brew into a saucepan and place it on the stove. Heat the beverage for about two minutes using medium-low heat. You can also heat it to your desired temperature and then pour it into a mug and drink it.

But if these techniques seem complicated and you want to put the mug of cold brew in a microwave, don’t! There are those who have tried cutting corners in the heating process only to get very disappointing results. It would be best if you tried heating your cold brew using the above methods for better results. You can keep your coffee warm with a mug warmer. Check out our list of the best coffee mug warmers.

FAQs

Can I warm cold brew coffee using my electric kettle?

Generally, electric kettles can warm your mug of cold brew. Unfortunately, it can leave you with a gunky mess on the electric kettle’s coils when boiling. This will make it hard for you to clean. Plus, the residual coffee concentrate can affect the taste of the water or beverage. The best solution is to heat the water using the kettle and then add it to the cold brew concentrate.

Can I heat up the cold brew coffee in my microwave?

The microwave is designed to heat up most food and beverages, but it’s not best for cold brew coffee. This may seem like the faster way to heat up your drink, but it is not the best solution. For a hot-cold brew, you need to understand that coffee and water must mix in a certain way. Therefore, you can’t trust the microwave to mix the ingredients correctly. Plus, the smell of the food previously warmed using the microwave can affect the flavor of your beverage.

Can I heat up a store-purchased cold brew coffee?

Yes, but you have to confirm if it’s cold brew concentrate or a pre-mixed cold brew. You can pour the store-purchased beverage into the saucepan and heat it for about two minutes. But if it is cold brew concentrate, you can mix it with some hot water or on a stove. But make sure you mix it with some water, and don’t let it boil if you don’t want the taste to change.

Takeaway

Cold brew coffee is a great drink that not only tastes good but also offers a less acidic option to coffee lovers. But what if you don’t like your coffee cold? Can you heat up cold brew coffee instead? With the methods outlined above, I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy cold-brewed coffee as a warm drink. Just don’t make the mistake of using the microwave to warm it up.

Avatar for Krista Haws

Known among her friends as 'the caffeine fiend', Krista loves all things coffee. From an extremely short, strong espresso to a 3 day cold brew, Krista loves them all.

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