Sunday, June 28, 2009

Reheating Coffee

One myth I repeatedly encounter regarding coffee is the one that it should never be reheated. People say this in the same tones as they might employ when saying something like "Never make tea out of Nightshade leaves."

The key, however is in what the coffee was doing before it became cold, and in how you reheat it. A half-pot of coffee in a drip-brewer carafe that sat on the burner for four hours yesterday before you finally got around to switching it off probably isn't going to taste very go0d if you reheat it. But you certainly may, and aside from bad taste, and perhaps heartburn, it won't hurt you.

A friend of mine makes a pot of coffee in his drip-brewer every morning, and immediately after it is done brewing, (and pouring a cup) he turns it off. Then, when he wants another cup. he pours and microwaves it. This is his method of making sure each cup tastes fresh-brewed, and it works pretty well, compared to coffee that has been sitting there cooking for hours.

I have occasionally filled my vacuum carafe, had a cup or two, become involved in something, and only realized the next morning that I hadn't drunk more than a little of my coffee, when I picked up the carafe to head for the kitchen. So, should I then pour most of my daily ration of coffee down the drain, and make a fresh pot? Of course not. There is nothing wrong with the coffee in the carafe from the day before, aside from the fact that it is no longer hot. At this point, I have two choices. I can either microwave each cup as I pour it, or I can heat the whole batch and pour it back into the carafe. As one of the reasons I have the carafe in the first place is so I don't keep having to return to the kitchen for a fresh cup, I usually opt for the latter. I pour the coffee into a saucepan, and heat it for a couple of minutes over a burner on my rangetop, then pour it back into the carafe, and continue as usual. I just take care not to boil it.

So, go ahead and reheat coffee, whether in the microwave or on top of the stove. Just remember that it will taste the same as it did when it got cold, so if it tasted lousy before, it will still taste lousy.

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