Does Reheating the Coffee Destroy the Caffeine?


This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking our links.

Does Reheating the Coffee Destroy the Caffeine?

To most people, a nice cup of coffee is an energy boost to get them going on with their day. It would be a shame if a weak cup of coffee ruined that small moment of bliss. To avoid that, one might ask whether reheating coffee destroys the caffeine in it.

Reheating coffee doesn’t destroy the caffeine as caffeine stays stable until its melting point, 455 °F (235 °C). The boiling temperature will ultimately change the chemical structure of the oils and sugars in coffee, resulting only in an altered taste.

In this article, I’ll discuss the chemistry behind caffeine and whether reheating coffee is the best way to enjoy it after it’s gone cold. I’ll also share with you the fun ways you could transform your cold coffee into a refreshing treat.

Is Caffeine in Coffee Heat Stable?

Caffeine is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system and can naturally be found in many plants. However, it can also be synthetically produced. It’s also a metastable stimulant, meaning that it’ll stay stable for a while until changed.

The boiling point for caffeine is 352 °F (178 °C), and when boiled, it will not break down. However, caffeine will begin to dissolve, thanks to the hydrogen bonds reacting with water molecules. That said, caffeine will remain stable until its melting point, which stands at 455 °F (235 °C).

In other words, you should still be able to get a kick out of your coffee, even if it has been reheated after sitting out for too long.

Does Reheating the Coffee Change Its Flavor?

We’ve all been there — sometimes, we’re just too focused on a pile of work that’s in front of us to enjoy a cup of coffee before it gets cold.

While reheating the coffee might look like the most logical solution to this problem, that’s actually not the case.

Coffee goes bitter after reheating because of simple chemistry — the oxidation process. Oxidation causes the bonding of oxygen molecules, resulting in the rapid deterioration of aromatic oils and sugars, ultimately leading to that specific sour and bitter taste.

In other words, oils and sugar in coffee are responsible for the taste of the actual coffee, so reheating them causes their chemical structure to change, affecting the coffee flavor itself.

Even without the actual reheating process, whether by microwave or some other way, oxidation is bound to happen as coffee gets cold. So, to have the ultimate coffee-drinking experience, it’s best to stick to the freshly-brewed cup of coffee.

One thing to ensure when making a delicious cup of coffee is the freshness of the coffee beans. If coffee beans are stale, your coffee will taste funny from the get-go. So, if you can’t remember when and where you bought your coffee beans and if they’re still fresh, check out this article to learn how to know if coffee beans have gone stale.

Is Reheating Coffee Potentially Dangerous?

Now that we’ve covered the basics and why coffee changes its flavor after being reheated, let’s talk about the possible dangers of the reheating process.

The truth is that there are no health risks to reheating coffee. In this case, the only harm is ruining the actual drinking of the coffee part because of the sudden bitterness and overall yucky taste.

However, if there’s no other option left but to reheat the coffee, there are a few ways to save what’s salvageable.

Reheat Your Coffee on the Stovetop

The key to doing this method is to keep the stovetop at a low temperature. If the temperature is higher than it needs to be, there’s a potential risk of burning your coffee, ruining its taste even more.

All you need to do is stir the coffee frequently and watch for the temperature. You’ll know your drink is ready by taking a tiny sip or if the mug becomes too hot to handle.

Reheating Your Coffee in a Microwave

You should resort to this method only if you have 10 minutes to leave for work and you just desperately need that caffeine boost.

As there’s no way to prevent your coffee from tasting differently after being microwaved, there’s still one thing you can do — watch the time and temperature settings.

You should set the temperature as low as possible to prevent the coffee from burning. You should also be aware of how long your coffee’s been in the microwave. It’s one thing for your coffee to taste differently; you wouldn’t want it not to be evenly heated too.

If you’re still thirsty for answers on the best ways to reheat your coffee, you should give this video a watch, as it thoroughly explains the matter:

Is There a Way To Use Cold Coffee Without Throwing It Away?

While reheating coffee might not be the best way to enjoy it after it goes cold, there are ways to do it just right.

Make Coffee Ice Cubes

Instead of reheating your coffee, you should opt to freeze it.

To do this, you’ll need any kind of mold and old, stale coffee. You should pour the coffee into the mold and put it in your freezer overnight, and you’re pretty much done.

The next time you crave cold milk, you could add your homemade coffee ice cubes and stay refreshed and energized.

Make a Coffee-Flavored Cake

Coffee is a popular item used to make many delicacies, with cakes being the most common.

To bake a coffee-flavored cake, you don’t need any special ingredients. Coffee works complementarily with most cake ingredients, such as whipping cream.

Adding coffee to the whipping cream will make a delicious cake topping that will give you both a sugar high and an energy boost.

Final Thoughts

Reheating coffee has little to do with the actual effects of caffeine, as they’ll remain unchanged. However, your coffee will never be as tasty as when freshly brewed.

If you’re a coffee enthusiast, you should skip trying to save your cup of coffee by reheating it, as you’ll just end up disappointed. However, you should still go for it if you only need an extra energy boost.

If you want to be creative with how you can reuse cold coffee, you’re more than welcome to use the coffee-saving tips I mentioned in this article.