The intoxicating aroma of freshly brewed coffee is irresistible to many culinary connoisseurs. It can be a fundamental tool to finish off an evening meal or to accompany a sweet dessert. For stay-at-home parents and office dwellers alike, it is often the fuel that powers the morning. Coffee loses flavor and becomes bitter as it cools or sits on the burner of a drip coffee machine. You can reheat the coffee using the microwave or stove top, in order to salvage every last drop of that lukewarm or even ice-cold brew.
Reheated coffee will not have the same flavor as freshly brewed. Coffee’s chemical structure changes as it loses heat and java specialists argue that heating up cold coffee will in fact have an even more damaging impact on taste. Cooking with cold coffee is one option, but if that cup of Joe has to be consumed immediately, be prepared for increased bitterness. Extra cream, milk, milk alternative and sugar are all options to experiment with to achieve the right flavor.
Some microwave makers tout the utility of the appliance in reheating coffee, within limits. They caution against bringing the coffee to a boil and recommend adding a splash of water to the mug. Indeed, even the manufacturers of some high quality coffee makers recommend this technique – in the microwave and not run through the coffee maker a second time, which can damage the machine’s internal mechanisms.
Those working from home, studying late night in a dorm with a hot plate or even killing time by a campfire can use the old fashioned method — a pot on the stove or over a fire. The trick here is to heat slowly to avoid burning the coffee, as that burnt flavor will permeate the brew and hit the taste buds as soon as it is consumed. An outdoor excursion of campfire cooking might require extra diligence to make sure the coffee does not warm up too quickly. Dilution with a bit of water in either case can help to relieve bitterness.
Adding dairy or alternative, soy milk or almond milk, to old coffee can mask the stale taste. Heat the milk first, on the stove, microwave or in the steamer of an espresso machine and then infuse with the cold coffee. Use equal portions milk and coffee or adjust for taste. If there are flavor syrups handy in the kitchen cupboard or office staff room, add a shot or two or some sugar.
Although top quality coffee brands argue reheating coffee simply is not a good idea, in every working person’s life there are times when brewing a fresh pot is not possible; and having another cup is a necessity. For those times, remain patient with the brew and remember you can salvage it. Turn off the pot if you know it will not be finished right away and when you are ready to reheat take your time and be creative.