What Role Does Heat Play In Brewing Coffee?

Heat (specifically heat retention) is a very important factor in every method of brewing coffee. Often, the main reason the coffee you brew at home tastes different than it does at a cafe, is because home brewers simply don’t get the water hot enough.

While coffee should be brewed at temperatures between 91 and 95 degrees Celsius (195 and 205 Fahrenheit), there is a lot more too it than simply aiming for a temperature in this “range”.

To explain the role heat plays in brewing coffee: think of heat as a “currency”. The more “Heat” you have, the more soluble solids you can “purchase” from the ground coffee. But “more” isn’t always better.

This relates to a topic we will address in our FAQ on “Grinding Coffee”, regarding the relationship between grind degree and length of time the coffee and water are in contact for.

There is a further relationship to understand, one between roast degree and brew temperature. The darker the roast, the cooler the water can be (no cooler than 91C / 195F though).

For those looking to brew a better cup at home, take this to mean that unless you are brewing with a French-Press, Aeropress, or pour-over and can boil the water with a kettle, stick to the dark-roasts for home.

In order to properly extract coffee to the ideal 15% extraction rate, you need to factor in the following in determining water temperature:

1. Method of brewing.

2. Degree of roast.

3. Brew or extraction time.

For example, a dark roast brewed in a French-Press (with a 4-minute extraction time), would result in a temperature requirement between 91 and 92 Degrees Celsius (195-198 F).

Whereas a medium to light roast brewed as an Espresso (with a 20-30 second extraction time), would result in a temperature requirement between 94 and 95 Degrees Celsius (202-205 F).

Of course, there are dozens of combinations of the three factors and the above is simply to provide a reference and starting point for your extrapolations and personal testing.

Remember, at the end of the day, if you like the way it tastes, that’s all that matters!

Sign up for our newsletter

Don't worry, we hate spam too... 

Related Articles

Looking For Something Specific? Try A Search...

contact Us

Follow Us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with what is going on at FIX! 
Site ⚡'d by MarineView Media
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram