The #1 Tip for Drinking Coffee: Optimal Temperature

When you use a Nespresso machine at home, you don’t need to worry about adjusting the water temperature for optimal brewing. The water temperature is pre-set and not adjustable, so you can trust that the machine will brew your coffee perfectly every time. However, the ideal temperature for brewing a coffee capsule is not the same as the ideal coffee temperature for drinking. For the best coffee drinking experience, we recommend that you let it cool down a little before taking that first sip.

Ideal Coffee Temperature: Does it Matter?

Our taste buds perceive flavours differently at different temperatures. We’re familiar with the concept of drinking wines at certain temperatures to best appreciate their individual nuances. The same concept applies to coffee. Experts have found that our perception of both bitterness and sweetness is more acute at mid-range temperatures i.e. not very hot, nor very cold. As low-quality coffee cools down its bitter notes become more apparent, which is why they seem to be more enjoyable at very hot temperatures. In contrast, high quality coffee tastes sweeter as it cools down.

To best appreciate the bright and sweet flavours of Difference Coffee’s world-class beans, we recommend slowly sipping your coffee at approximately 60 degrees Celsius. This is the best temperature for coffee as it’s high enough to enjoy the warming sensation you desire from a hot drink, yet cool enough to perceive a coffee’s full and complex flavour profile.

When to Start Sipping

Many coffee drinkers are in the habit of sipping coffee when it’s very hot – just shy of scalding – because the high temperature masks bitterness. When you’re brewing high-quality coffee, we suggest you resist the temptation to do this, and instead let your coffee cool down for a minute or two before taking that first sip.

The time it takes for a cup of coffee to cool to the perfect 60-degree temperature will vary depending on the type of cup you’re using and any addition of milk or milk foam. If you’re in a hurry to drink it, simply stir the coffee to speed up its cooling.

Try an Experiment

You might like to experiment with an instant-read thermometer. Taste a just-brewed cup of coffee at a range of temperatures and notice the differences you perceive in its flavour. You could even try adding ice to see what types of coffee you enjoy as an iced coffee. Personal preferences vary, but we predict any cup of top-quality coffee will be at its most enjoyable at close to 60 degrees C. If you’re used to drinking coffee as soon as it’s brewed, you might be surprised to find you actually prefer it a little cooler. With just this slight adjustment in your regular coffee-making routine, you might improve the experience considerably. Why not give it a try?

Browse our coffee shop page to learn more about our remarkable coffee capsules.


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COFFEE KNOWLEDGE