Hot Coffee Myth

There are a few myths about coffee, but none stranger than the fact that hot is not actually the best way to drink your brewed coffee.

Coffee is best brewed at a little over 90 degrees Celsius, just below the boiling point. “At that temperature,” Crema founder Geoff Polci says, “your taste buds interpret the flavours as bitter.” He suggests this is one big reason people got in the habit of putting cream and sugar in their coffee: cream to cool it down and sugar to sweeten the apparent bitterness. “If you wait two to three minutes for it to cool, well brewed coffee doesn’t need cream or sugar, it’s got natural sweetness,” Polci says.

And it gets even better if you leave it longer. If the coffee’s good, that is. “Coffees tend to reveal themselves more and more as they cool,” says Polci. “Bad coffee gets worse, and good coffee gets better. As it cools down, you can taste different things.” He says there’s probably an optimum temperature for each kind of coffee – Central American, Indonesian, African — and each person’s palate. There are some general rules, though. African coffees, for instance, which have the highest degree of what Polci defines as a kind of citrus brightness in flavour, are best at room temperature (about 20 degrees); they also make the best iced and cold brewed coffees.

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