Can You Heat Cold Brew Coffee? (Should You, What’s The Point?)

Coffee that is cold brewed is ground coffee that you mix with cooled water to refrigerate over the night. The next day, you can strain the mix to concentrate.

Can you heat cold brew coffee? Yes, you can absolutely heat up a cup of coffee made from the cold brew process. The recommended method is to first heat up water on a stove. Preheat your cup by pouring the hot water in it and discharge it. Next, pour the concentrate into this preheated cup. You can then dilute the concentrate as required.

Let’s discuss this in more detail.

Can You Heat Cold Brew Coffee?

Heating a cup of coffee that is cold-brewed is a great idea.

It can result in a cup of delicious coffee for regular coffee drinkers. There are many ways that one can heat this kind of coffee. Some assumptions say that directly heating it will make it more acidic.

Also, there is skepticism about whether it will even taste good.

Cold brewing refers to a way of brewing coffee. Iced coffee is brewed just normally, but here the case is different.

In this method, ground coffee bean elements are soaked in either room temperature or cold water and not hot water. In the way that you can consume a hot-brewed cup of coffee that is served with some ice, you can serve cold-brew coffee hot.

Using the cold brewing process has pros. Although the entire process that consists of extracting takes more time, the final result is a rich, smooth, and delicious coffee.

Cold-brew is very easy for almost anyone to make and store. This brewing method is perfect for beginners. It is pretty difficult to go wrong, and the results it produces are consistent for every batch.

The coffee can taste bitter if the coffee solubles get dissolved. Using cold water, they may not get dissolved, thereby preventing you from tasting the bitterness.

Making this kind of coffee also does not require expensive gear.

These are the reasons that encourage having coffee made by this method, either with or without ice. You can choose to indulge in it this cold way during the warm and sweaty summer months and have it hot during cozy winter months.

When it comes to heating your cold brew, there are many ways of doing it. But what should you choose?

Read on!

How to Heat Cold Brew Coffee?

You can heat up the cold brew coffee concentrate that has been diluted on either a stove or in a microwave. It will be ideal for keeping the stove running on low.

If you leave it on there for a lengthy period of time, it will lead to reducing the flavor.

If you heat the concentrate and dilute the same using water later, the coffee’s taste will be affected. Now that we have given you these methods, here is the most suitable way to heat it.

  • Pour water into a pot and heat it up over the stove or in a kettle of the electric type.
  • As soon as your water begins to simmer and boil, you can turn off the heat.
  • Get your coffee cup and preheat it by pouring in the heated water and discharge it
  • Pour the concentrate of cold brew into the cup
  • You can dilute the concentrate with hot water

This process is the correct way to relish your cold brewed coffee that is made by cold brewing, heated.

This resultant coffee will be having a creamy and smooth, delicious taste. If you follow these steps above, you will be tasting the real taste of heated cold-brewed coffee.

Heating it directly over the stovetop or in the microwave may leave your coffee with a sour or bitter taste due to chemical reactions that may occur. Also, an amount of the liquid is bound to evaporate, thus making the sour taste more concentrated.

The steps given above are the best but the easiest to make the heated cold brew kind of coffee.

When you arrive at the diluting of your hot coffee, you can use hot or warm milk instead of hot or warm water.

Also Read: Why Does Cream Curdle In Coffee?

Does Heating Cold Brew Coffee Make It Acidic?

One of the most striking aspects of this kind of coffee is its low acidity.

You can enjoy the iconic strong flavor, either hot or cold, without worrying about risky changes in its acidity. Heating it will not make it acidic – in contrast to traditional coffee.

The less acidic nature of this kind of coffee gives it a smoother, sweeter taste. It is also relatively mild on the stomach – an incentive for the preference of many people.

The level of acidity in coffee has a precise relationship with heat. The coffee grounds that go into cold brewing coffee do not gain exposure to high temperatures. So, the chemistry of the drink will not undergo alterations once prepared.

Factors Affecting Acidity in Hot Cold Brew Coffee

Several factors dictate the acidity of coffee. These include but are not confined to the plantation soil, the land’s elevation at the respective location, brewing, and more. They influence the overall pH level of the coffee you drink.

Conditions of Plantation

Take the example of coffee plants that grow in volcanic soil for more profound insight.

Volcanic soil is generally highly acidic, resulting in the subsequently mature coffee plant being acidic as well.

Another pertinent example is coffee which grows in higher altitudes. It tends to have a more acidic nature since higher altitudes yield coffee beans with more concentrated qualities.


The conditions in which the coffee plants grow certainly impact the acidity of the final rendition. However, the coffee beans themselves comprise an array of acids like chlorogenic acids (CGAs). These acids are pivotal in the acidic taste of coffee.

Note that they also encompass a few of the same acids that citrus fruits contain. It lends to the fruity undertones of the coffee.


The process of roasting will define which acids are finally going to be more pronounced in the coffee. The duration for which the coffee beans are heated will govern how acidic they are and how intensely their unique flavor profile comes through.

As a typical standard, the more the beans are roasted or, the darker they are, the less acidic the coffee will be. The coffee beans will be more acidic if they have been in exposure to hot water. It discharges the oils and acidic compounds that contribute to the acidity of coffee.

The Texture of Coffee Grounds

The texture of the coffee grounds affects the release of flavor during brewing. If the base coffee grounds have a coarse nature, the final drink can be more acidic.

Method Of Brewing

An additional factor that influences the acidity of coffee is how long you brew it.

Coffee achieves a sweeter taste when it is brewed for a long time. It is due to the release of certain sugar content. Hence, the longer the brew, the more sugar is released, and the taste of your beverage will be richer.

If you do not brew your coffee for too long, the sugar is not comprehensively extracted from the beans. It has the potential to result in a cup of coffee with higher acidity.

With this in mind, do not brew the coffee for too long either since it will produce a sour drink. Cold brewed coffee comes from beans that have mingled with the water for about twelve to twenty-four hours.

The method of cold brewing makes the concentrate around 60% less acidic than traditional variants.

What Happens If You Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee?

When you heat up this kind of coffee, you obtain a hot, flavourful, and smooth drink. There are no particular effects of heating it up. You may experience some changes in the taste, but they are minimal.

It is always better to add warm water to the coffee concentrate instead of heating it up altogether. This will ensure maximum preservation of taste and chemistry.

When you warm up this coffee, the drink’s chemicals react with oxygen and end up breaking down the flavor more rapidly. To cold brew is a unique process- the oxidation of molecules attains a slow speed.

There are more than thirty kinds of acids in just a single cup of coffee. Despite this, only two acids spur into action with this kind of coffee- chlorogenic and quinic acid.

When these two acids are subjected to heat, their compositions undergo specific subtle alterations and cause the drink to evolve a sour taste. The other acids in the drink witness far fewer effects of the process of heating. They contribute to the overall well-rounded flavor of this hot coffee.

Why Heat Cold Brew Coffee?

It is undeniable that heating this kind of coffee brings in a deluge of benefits it. If you are always on your toes, using an older cold brew concentrate for a steaming cup of hot coffee is highly convenient. It will help you preserve time and effort.

You can prepare a batch of cold brew concentrate in advance and add some hot water to it whenever required. Cold brew concentrate is generally safe to use for as long as two weeks after preparation. It would help if you stored it in a completely airtight container.

As you already know, the addition of hot water is a better option than direct heating. However, you can still heat your coffee without apprehensions. It will serve you a palatable, smooth, and layered drink.

You should heat this kind of coffee since hot water does not thin the coffee beyond measure. The brew is exceptionally highly concentrated all by itself.

Another reason why you might heat cold brew coffee is because of the caffeine content in it. Hot cold brew has much less caffeine content when compared to regular coffee. So if you’re looking for a low-caffeine specialty coffee, this is your choice.

Is It Bad To Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee?

A common misconception many people carry is that it is terrible to heat up this kind of coffee. You shouldn’t heat up iced coffee, but cold brew coffee doesn’t follow the same grammar.

You will perhaps heave a sigh of relief to know that such is not the case. There are no adverse side effects of heating up this kind of coffee.

While many coffee lovers would prefer enjoying their cold brew in a pure, original form- many choose to heat it. There are no risks of the coffee’s acidity skyrocketing or posing any health concerns.

Wrap Up

Cold-brewed coffee (not the same as iced coffee) is an enjoyable form of the much-loved drink. There have been persisting debates surrounding whether you can heat cold-brewed coffee or not.

It is essential to understand the fundamentals of this kind of coffee and the method through which it is prepared. It helps gain insight into the fact that it is indeed safe to heat cold-brewed coffee. It is entirely up to the consumer and their preferences.

Leave a Comment