What is the correct water temperature for brewing coffee?

by Alex Paken
(Warren, RI )


QUESTION:


When I make coffee with my drip brewer, it heats up the water and, I guess, it's at the right temperature when it brews the coffee. But what about when I use my French press? Someone told me I should never pour boiling water on coffee. Is that true?

ANSWER:

The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is 200 Degrees Fahrenheit. That said, don't get overly concerned about hitting the exact right temperature.

Drip brewers have their own thermostats, and some even offer you a choice of more than one brewing temperature. Why they do that is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps they are trying to appeal to people who don't want their coffee too hot.

If you are boiling water for use in a French press, bring the water to a boil and then leave it to rest for a couple of minutes before pouring in onto the coffee grinds. Again, whether you wait for two minutes or you get impatient and pour the water after thirty seconds, don't worry about it. A few degrees difference won't spoil your coffee.

Comments for What is the correct water temperature for brewing coffee?

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Sep 09, 2014
Letters Clipped Off
by: Anonymous

Why are the last few letters of text clipped off in the comments section here? ...very annoying !

Editor's Note: I'll look into it. Thanks for the heads-up.

May 16, 2013
173F will get you none of the nuances
by: vv50

http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/homeroast/521985#521985

Jan 13, 2013
173 degree - perfect
by: Flathead

Almost all coffee is brewed with the water tmperature way too hot - at the 200 degree myth! This brings out way too much bitterness and destroys the taste of most coffee. For pour over the perfect temperature is between 170-180 (max!). For smooth, rich tasting cup of pour over, try it. You'll love it Pre-heat your cup as noted by others below.

Nov 24, 2011
200 dgrees F but like has been said,
by: Coffee Geek

There is a lot more than just the water temperature.

We own a variety of coffee makers and here are the family favorites in order:

Bunn Omatic brewer. We bought a used Bunn over 10 years ago on Ebay. With some new electronics and cleaning, it makes consistently great coffee. Hooked to the house water with an inline filter it makes 12 cups in under 4 minutes. Grind, place in filter and flip the switch. It's the best flavor and easiest to use.

Hario Sihpon - We love this but it does take a lot of effort compared to every other method. for flavor it gets the number two slot. We use this with other couples over for dinner, it is great theatre and equally great coffee.

French Press - Simplicity is number three compared to the Bunn and the Krupps and for flavor it also holds the number three spot.

Pour over drip coffee maker. Not as good as the others but makes ok coffee in 12 cup lots at the table.

Krupps automatic drip coffee maker. It looks like this is terrible being last but it's not that bad. It's the second easiest to use and makes ok coffee, like all drip coffee makers, it does an ok job of making coffee and is the second easiest next to the Bunn. These also take a lot longer to make a pot of java and the "sneak a cup" features should not be used as they take away from the early part of the pot and these coffee makers are best when the whole pot is made to combine first before serving.

Other things, we roast our own beans and use a mill grinder at home and each method requires something different from the roast and the grinder but it is fun to find those sweet spots.

Nov 08, 2011
Maybe a little cooler
by: GDLI44

I've been experimenting with water temps for a few months. I've been using a #6 or a #2 Melitta filter and a pretty generous amt of coffee.
I'm finding that pouring my brewing water into the cone at 180 degrees results in a very smooth coffee. I have to preheat my coffee mug to keep the coffee hot enough. No problem as the taste is worth it.

I wonder if anyone else can comment on their experience? The usual coffee water temp advice is 200 degrees or so, but I think that may be questioned.

Mar 02, 2011
In search of hot coffee
by: Frustrated in Colorado

Since we moved to Colorado from Cape Cod (from sea level to high altitude) my drip coffee maker doesn't get the water hot enough, only to about 160-165 F. At first I thought the coffee maker was broken, and started using my French press that I keep as a back up. However, that is not my favorite method to make coffee, as I find it a bit oily. Today I bought another drip coffee maker, only to find the water still did not get above 160. Then it dawned on me that water boils at a lower temperature at high altitude and perhaps this is the problem with the coffee makers. I don't enjoy luke-warm coffee. I am considering boiling the water first and then running it through the coffee maker, but don't know if this will damage it. Any suggestions?

Jan 27, 2011
Water Temp makes a difference
by: Cindy

We had been using a Bunn Pro drip coffee maker to make the water hot for our French Press (it was $80 on eBay versus $200 for the under the sink item, about ten years ago) and it finally fell apart this week.

Same beans, grind, etc...water temperature makes a *huge* difference. I never knew...have to let it boil and cool down for more than five minutes or take off burner as it starts to 'rumble' and wait to cool down at least four minutes.

I never considered water temperature for a decade...

Dec 20, 2010
$20 coffee maker temperature
by: Anonymous

For a coffee maker to cause the water to rise and pour over the coffee, the water must boil. Since water boils at the same temperature at same altitude...

Therefore nearly all coffee makers actually heat the water to same temperature. If it doesnt boil, it wont go up in the pipes!

So yes, $20 coffee maker will also use the proper temperature, but the maker perhaps did not go ahead and get a certification for it etc. (perhaps to keep selling price down so we can benefit, compared to other company which tries to sell more and more expensive using the claim of certification)

Dec 01, 2010
siphon temp
by: mediaglyhic

i have been exprimenting with my yama stove top siphon.

The ideal temp profile seems to be, 197F when i put in the coffee. The temperature rises onces the coffee is in the top vessel, so i wait till i know that 197 is the stable temp, (its not on a rising trajectory).

As soon as i put in the coffee, i turn the stove down lower, but not to the lowest. (am using a gas stove).

2minutes 30 seconds later i take the coffee off the stove top to let it cool )the temp has risen to 203 degrees F)

15-30 seconds later the coffee starts to drip and has completely dripped by 1.5 minutes.

This protocol is optimized for light-medium roast yirgacheffe and panama esmeralda.

Nov 27, 2010
Melita Cone #2 Filter
by: Anonymous

Cone on cup with paper filter, 1/4 cup fine ground coffee, hot water dispenser at sink 190 deg. cover coffee, wait 2 min. cover again until cup is full. Black only.

Preheat cup helps.

Nov 27, 2010
Experiment!
by: Pigsty Pete

I've used a range of methods to produce a cup of coffee. They include stove-top percolator, electric-automatic drip filter machine, cafetiere or french press, and others. I have also used a Groundhog filter/filter basket directly in a glass jug and poured water through it.

Some of the things that affect the coffee are:
- the beans (the roast, the origin, the blend, the brand.....)
- the grind of the beans (rough, fine, whatever)
- the amount of coffee used per unit (a unit for me is usually 16 ounces or so)
- the temperature of the water
- for french press, the length of time the brew is left before decanting
- for drip coffee makers, the time that the coffee spends in the pot, being kept warm, before you pour it to drink.

You'll find many different permutations being recommended, because we each have different needs and taste.

So don't get tied into a ritual of leaving 150mg of coffee in 96 degree Celsius Evian water for 3.65 minutes before drinking 8.75 fluid ounces of the stuff topped off with 3 fluid ounces of goat milk, no sweetener.

Experiment with different things. Experience the range of tastes.

And don't shun instant coffee, when you need a quick fix, unless you choose to not.

Don't let anybody tell you the best way to make your coffee.

Except me. Mwahahaaaaaaa!

Nov 19, 2010
Everybody's right, everybody's wrong.
by: ¡Café Olé!

1) Variations in coffee estate.

2) Variations in roast.

3) Age of beans.

4) Most importantly, personal preference.

I'm a coffee snob, but I doubt I like my coffee the same as many other coffee snobs. I am a "supertaster", which is pretty much a bad thing. Bitter things make me cringe. If I need sugar or cream (or sugar AND cream) I won't be having a second cup.

Since about 25% of the population are supertasters, 25% ARE "non-tasters" and 50% are "normal" tasters, you're not going to find a lot of agreement on something with such a complex taste as coffee.

I think french press tastes atrocious. I used to think it was an affected frou-frou device for the ostentatious. (although I have one in my cabinet, along with a vacuum brewer). However as I got older I understood it was just a method for people to try and achieve the perfect cup, so go for it.

My coffee has to go through a paper filter because it removes the the oils that other coffee drinkers covet but ruins a cup for me. (the coffee oils also raise your cholesterol quicker and higher than any other known substance.)

I use a single cup ceramic coffee filter holder, filtered water and I rinse the filter paper before use to remove flavors (load the filter in the holder and pour boiling water through it into the sink.)

I use about a tablespoon and a half of fresh ground (instead of the "standard" two) and every time I use a new roast or estate I have to play with the temperature of my water, often as low as 180°F, to find what I consider pleasing.

YOUR perfect cup of coffee is worth searching for too, so play with the temperature!

Nov 19, 2010
Getting the Perfect Temperature
by: Cody

I used my trusty cooking thermometer to test how fast the temperature falls after boiling a pot of water. I used a stainless steel 2-quart pot for the test. First, very interesting that the water will start to boil around 205 degrees. Letting it get to a full boil after another 30 seconds or so brings it to 210-212 degrees, depending on your barometric pressure of your local weather. Mine is typically 210 degrees and I live in Fairfax, VA. However, once removing from the burner, the temperature falls quickly. After only 20 seconds, it was down to 207 degrees, and 30 seconds for 204 degrees. Waiting two minutes reduces the temperature to 180 degrees. So, from my experiment, 30 seconds is about perfect and 2 minutes it too long. Note that I removed the pot from the burner....if you leave the pot on the burner and just turn off the heat, the water temperature would fall more slowly. I didn't test that scenario.

Sep 21, 2010
Cup of Joe
by: Anonymous

I have been roasting coffee for quite some time now and,What I have found is that what I think is a great cup of coffee is not usually the same opinion of others. It is a trial and error until you find what you like and what others might like. Fresh Beans are a must(Old beans taste old dirty musty). Filtered water(keeps deposits down to a minium in your maker)after that it is all on how you like your coffee brewed. French press is eay and excellent for a really smooth cup of Joe. Perked coffee is the strongest. Espresso (which I prefer) is still up to the individual on what you like. I have tried espresso makers from high to low end and have found that the size and amount of holes in the basket can dramatically change the way any maker produces your cup. I use a low end maker but, the holes in the basket are just in the center which produce high pressure and very good crema(you use less coffee with same results). I am amazed at how well this works on low end makers. I have a 15 bar system and a cheap 4 bar system and the 4 bar easily out performs the 15 bar hands down everytime. Try changing the basket to a different type and size and you will be surprised. Biggest Key to making coffee....Keep It Simple Enjoy

Sep 14, 2010
Perfect Coffee
by: Anonymous

I have found that the best tasting coffee is the Tanzanian Peaberry at Barnies. Always start with whole bean coffee as coffee starts to lose flavor almost imediately once its ground. In culinary school, we were taught that 205 degrees is the perfect temp for brewing coffee, as it allows the water to get all the flavor out of the bean without burning it. Never use boiling water, and never use water that has been previously boiled, as boiling releases a lot of the oxygen from the water, and it will brew a flat cup of coffee. Filtered water is best to use as it removes chlorine from the water. Always immediately pour your coffee into a preheated pump thermos. Do not allow it to sit on a heating plate and never reheat the coffee. If you must reheat, the microwave is the best method for that as long as you do not leave it in there for more than 45 seconds. And for the best flavor in your coffee, add just a pinch of salt to the coffee grounds before brewing, as the chemical action of salt brings out the flavor to its maximum. It will not taste salty. Remember, just a pinch.

Jul 19, 2010
you can start at 200 but in 3.5 minutes it
by: mediaglyphic

will cool to 185, even with a preheated french press and a tea cozy. so starting a little hotter, say 204 is probably better.


Jul 11, 2010
"a few degrees difference won't spoil your coffee"
by: Meg

Everyone who is saying that the water temperature needs to be EXACTLY 92 to 96 degrees celcius and shouting for the author to correct his statement that "a few degrees difference won't spoil your coffee," should just relax. The difference between 92 and 96 is a few degrees!

The difference between the boiling point of water (212 degrees F) and letting boiling water sit a minute or two off the heat to cool down will most likely fall into this 4 degree margin.

Just make sure your thermometer is calibrated, or you never know if the temperature you're measuring is correct or not. To calibrate a dial-display thermometer, bring a pot of water to a boil. Insert the tip of the thermometer. It should read 212 F. If it doesn't, adjust the dial until it does.

If you are brewing too hot, you risk the chance of scortching the beans (at the worst) or just evaporating a lot of coffee aroma (at the least). In the latter case, your house will smell wonderful, but your coffee will smell and taste flat.

As far as serving temperature goes, I think that coffee should be served immediately after brewing. So it should still be pretty close to the original brewing temperature. Do not hold coffee on the heat for extended periods of time. As soon as it is brewed, it starts to lose its aroma and taste. Brew in small batches if you're going to be serving throughout the morning/evening. Or maybe invest in an airpot, which will keep the coffee as hot as possible for as long as possible while preventing the evaporation of those lovely aromatic oils.

Happy cupping, everyone!

May 31, 2010
Temperature
by: Anonymous

Anyone who has camped or used a percolator will dispute this. The water needs to be boiling and should continue to boil for a little while when making coffee. Coffee made with too low a temperature is awful.

Apr 18, 2010
TJ White is right!
by: Uzi

One more comment to add to his eight:

9. Use fresh, premium coffee beans.

Mar 30, 2010
Coffee Maker
by: John

The Capresso T 455, combination grinder and drip coffee machine has been mentioned to me several times as the best choice for home use.
it features a burr grinder, supposed to be the best, it features a resevoir for your beans, so you don't have to measure the beans everytime, and it heats the water to 200F which is by most opinions the best temp to brew coffee. And it costs from $169-$200 depending on where you buy it. I'm new to drinking coffee, have been basically a tea drinker, but now coffee in the afternoon. One thing I do notice is alot of difference in tast, so far I have found that grinding your own beans makes a better cup of coffee. Now to determine the best beans, it's gonna take awhile. Of the five types I've tried, Dunkin Donuts original blend have been the smoothest so far, with an excellent aftertaste.

Nov 14, 2009
Heres the answers!
by: TJ White

1. Correct Brewing Temperature 92-96 Celcius (around 200F)

2. Correct Brewing Time (drip) 6 minutes, (press) 4 minutes

3. Drip maker that does the job: Cuisinart Thermal 12cup (if you dont need 12 cups simply measure for halfpot)

4. Use 2T ground coffee per 8oz mug or cup

5. Grind fresh beans for the freshest taste

6. Use a thermal carafe, instead of a hotplate, which burns coffee

7. The darker the bean-less caffeine; lighter beans-more caffeine

8. Gevalia coffee is CRAP.

Oct 06, 2009
burnt tasting coffee?
by: Anonymous

I have just purchased a drip brewing coffee machine,this machine keeps on producing coffee that tastes burnt.Can anybody help me as to why?

Jun 30, 2009
Drip Coffee Makers
by: Sandra

I replaced a Mr Coffee auto drip coffee maker with a new one and have not had a good cup of coffee with the new pot. I have tried adding a few more beans of a bold brew and have even changed to an extra bold brew but still get almost no flavor. I shouldn't have to increase the contents or change to a bolder flavor, so I'm wondering if the temperature of the water running through is not hot enough. Can someone help or give me a few suggestions?

Thanks,
Sandra

May 03, 2009
Proper temperature coffee brewing
by: Anonymous

From what I understand, the Technivorm Electric Drip Coffee Brewer is the only electric drip coffee brewer that heats the water to a proper 200º F. Sweetmarias sells them. The downside is the cost?$245 and $265. Another option is a French Press and a variable temperature electric kettle such as the Chef Choice 688 Smart Kettle or Breville BKE820XL Variable Temperature Kettle. And a low-cost single cup brewer solution is described on this website.

Mar 08, 2009
Forget the fancy coffee makers
by: howard

I still enjoy using the old perculator type on the stove. Best coffee and aroma although you do need to watch the temp does not get to hot.

Feb 20, 2009
hottest coffee?
by: deb

What coffeemaker does keep the hottest coffee? I have purchased the cuisinart w/ hot plate temperature control and it's still not very hot.

Any suggestions?

Feb 16, 2009
Thanks
by: Dave

I agree, temperature is important. Yes, a few degrees might not make a difference, but does a $20 coffee machine get to the 200 degree point?
Still learning.
Keep up the honesty.
Any body telling any body to "Tchuss!!" :(

Feb 15, 2009
Temperature for coffee brewing
by: Anonymous

I think the original author meant that getting the temp EXACTLY 200 degrees F, (93.5 Celsius) is not vital. A few degrees off doesn't matter, as with the range you stated.

Tchuss!!

Feb 02, 2009
oops!
by: Forestalio

When you say not to worry about if the temperature is not the right one when brewing coffee, you are contributing greatly to the making of a big mistake!

Water temperature in brewing a great cup of coffee is VITAL. It has to be between 92 and 96 celsius degrees! No more or no less. When you dismiss this fact so lightly you show how little you know about coffee brewing! Please correct this serious mistake!

Feb 28, 2008
Serving temperature
by: Tony G

What is the proper serving temperature for coffee?

Jan 18, 2008
Coffee Makers
by: Nick (The Coffee Detective)

Dave, hi

Good question. I fear not.

Whenever people ask me to suggest a coffee maker than doesn't create nasty plastic or rubber smells, I suggest the humble French press

It's beautifully simple and is made from metal and glass only.

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