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How Hot Is Coffee Supposed to Be?

hot brewed coffee

Coffee is a wonderful thing. It gets most of us going in the mornings and keeps us going into the afternoon and evening. Coffee is a drink that is universal and loved all over the world, but have you ever wondered how hot your coffee is actually supposed to be?

Most of us have a temperature that we prefer our coffee to be when we drink it. For most, coffee that scorches the tongue and burns going down the throat is a no-go, but few of us want lukewarm or even cold coffee anywhere near our lips.

In this blog, we’ll guide you through just how hot coffee is supposed to be, a few tips for cooling down your coffee, and another few tips on what to do when you burn your mouth drinking this fragrant brew.

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How Hot Should Coffee Be?

The National Coffee Association suggests that coffee be 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit when served to people, especially customers. This is standard practice at most places that sell coffee and for many of us at home, but it’s important to note that there’s more to it than that.

The temperature at which coffee scorches your tongue—a feeling you’ll never forget—can vary from one person to the next. Coffee temperatures between 160 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit have the ability to scald and cause severe burns, even if your tongue is the only thing to sip the coffee.

a hot cup of coffee
Image Credit: René Porter, Unsplash

What’s the Perfect Temperature for Coffee?

Figuring out the perfect temperature for coffee is a little more complex than you might think. First, the temperature at which you brew the coffee might not be the same temperature the coffee is when it’s served. Coffee should be brewed between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit because any hotter can burn the grounds and make the coffee taste burnt as well.

To taste coffee notes best, this should be served at around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Some say that anything above 150 degrees Fahrenheit contains too much heat to actually taste the flavors. However, this is admittedly subjective.

a woman holding a hot cup of coffee
Image Credit: Sincerely Media, Unsplash

Ways to Cool Down Coffee

Have you ever burnt your tongue on coffee because you’re in too much of a hurry for that first life-saving sip to wait for it to cool? We all have, but you don’t have to. So instead, look at the ways below to cool down your coffee, besides just adding milk.

  • Blow on it
  • Add milk
  • Stir it
  • Pour between cups

If these ways of cooling down your coffee just don’t work for you, then you’ll just have to wait until it cools naturally, and no coffee lover is able to do that. Of course, you can always take the chance and take a sip of that coffee, but you’ll probably regret it. If you just can’t help yourself, though, read on below for a few remedies for mouth burns.

hand of a woman stirring coffee
Image Credit: John Diez, Pexels

Remedy for a Burnt Tongue

Luckily, burns on your tongue don’t take long to heal because the tongue has an abundance of blood flowing through it. You do want to stay away from hot foods and drinks until it has time to heal, though, for the best results. Until then, there are a couple of simple tricks to help you deal with the pain until the tongue has time to heal.

Avoid Hot Food & Beverages

This might seem like a no-brainer, but avoiding hot foods is one of the best ways for your tongue not to hurt and to avoid further damage. This doesn’t just mean hot drinks. However, it means spicy and acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus, as they will aggravate your tongue even more. You need to avoid alcohol and tobacco as well, as these can damage the tender tissue.

Try a Saltwater Rinse

Take a cup of water, add a teaspoon of salt, and swish it around in your mouth, then hold it for a few seconds before spitting it out. This will stop bacteria and infection from settling in and causing you a whole other host of problems you don’t want to deal with.

Those are a few methods to try to help you deal with a mouth burn until it heals; there are a few more out there, so pick the one that works best for you.

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Coffee Temperature

Drinking a cup of coffee in the mornings, afternoons, or even after dinner is something we all enjoy. However, if that coffee is too hot, it could hurt you; if it’s too cool, you won’t enjoy it as much, if at all. So instead, take your time, get the temperature to your specifications, and then sit on your front porch, sip your coffee, and enjoy the evening ahead.

Have you ever burned your tongue with a piping hot cup of coffee? Tell us your experience and how you soothed your burns below.


Featured Image Credit: Burst, Pexel

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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