Some days get so busy that you lose track of time or, worse, your coffee, and then you’re left with cold coffee and a massive caffeine craving! Find out if there’s a way to salvage the day with this look at the question of whether to reheat coffee with milk!
Can You Reheat Coffee with Milk?
One iconic duo that everyone knows and loves is the classically smooth combination of coffee and milk. From lattes to drip coffees with milk, nothing compares to the robust yet creamy flavors of warm coffee with milk!
Sometimes life gets busy, and your favorite coffee and milk combo is left waiting. What happens when this classic coupling grows cold? Can you bring back the passion by reheating a cup of coffee with milk, or is this relationship forever on ice?
The answer is both yes and no. You can reheat your morning cup that has milk in it but for food safety and flavor reasons, it really only works if the coffee has been brewed and refrigerated or was only left out of the fridge for a brief time before chilling.
For the best results when reheating coffee with milk, you want to use a beverage that has only been out of the fridge for two hours or less. This means from brewing to chilling; the drink should only spend two hours or less at room temperature. This is because milk is a highly perishable ingredient, and outside of temperature controls, bacteria can grow.
Even when milk is combined with coffee, you risk making yourself sick by consuming milk that has gone bad. Always be aware of how fresh the coffee with milk is, and never reheat anything with milk that has been at room temperature for longer than two hours!
What Coffee and Milk Drinks Reheat the Best?
There are many reasons you might need to reheat your favorite milk-infused coffee beverage, from it losing heat to simply adding too much milk in the first place! No matter the reason, some drinks just work better than others.
Aside from keeping leftover coffee out of the temperature danger zone by chilling or reheating it within two hours of brewing, there are a few factors to consider when reheating coffee with milk.
Coffee with milk or cream that has not been frothed is your safest bet. The milk foam is not very stable and quickly falls or becomes clumpy in coffee as it cools. If you take your lattes with no foam, then they are fine to reheat, but foamy drinks like cappuccinos have less successful results.
Non-dairy drinkers are in luck when it comes to reheating coffee with milk. Non-dairy milk behaves almost exactly like cow’s milk when reheating coffee. Coffee that has been mixed with non-dairy milk can also be reheated as long as it has not crossed over the two-hour room temperature deadline.
A few great choices of coffees containing milk or milk products to reheat include:
- Brewed coffee with cream
- Americano with milk
- Brewed coffee with non-dairy milk.
Once you’ve chosen your favorite coffee and milk creation, take care to keep it at the right temperature, and you will be all set to reheat!
How to Reheat Coffee with Milk
Reheating coffee with milk is easy when you’ve chosen the right beverage and kept it at the right temperature. These are a few tried and true methods to bring the heat back to your favorite beverage! Use these tricks with either dairy-infused coffee or non-dairy.
There are two excellent ways to reheat coffee made with milk; the microwave or the stove. Both will breathe warm life back into your drink, so choose the method that best suits your space and time.
In the Microwave:
- Start with coffee that was brewed less than two hours ago or coffee that was brewed and chilled.
- Pour the coffee with milk into a microwave-safe mug or container.
- Heat using the standard setting for about 1 minute.
- Be extremely careful when removing the coffee from the microwave. Microwaves have a tendency to heat unevenly and can heat the coffee to the point of scalding.
- If the coffee is not warm enough after 1 minute of reheating, return it to the microwave and continue to heat in short bursts until it is warm enough.
On the Stove Top:
- Always begin with fresh or chilled coffee.
- Pour the coffee beverage into a pot and place it on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- Cook the coffee, stirring often, until it is warm throughout.
- Be careful not to overheat the coffee and milk mixture. This can cause curdling, so keep the heat low and slow for the best stove top results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Reheating Coffee
Yes! Technically, cold brewed coffee has never been heated due to its cold water brewing method, but you can use the above methods to heat cold brewed coffee with milk or reheat the leftovers.
Iced coffee is actually brewed hot and then chilled, so it is technically safe to reheat; however, if the cold coffee has ice added it can become watery and this makes it unpleasant when reheated.
Yes, you can reheat cold brew coffee. However, it is essential to note that reheating cold brew coffee may alter its taste and original flavor. It is recommended to heat the coffee slowly over low heat to avoid overheating or burning it. Additionally, some people prefer to dilute the cold brew coffee with hot water before reheating to achieve the desired taste. Ultimately, it depends on personal preference, but reheating cold brew coffee may not always result in the same flavor profile as a freshly brewed cold brew.
If you do not take care with perishable ingredients like milk, yes you can get sick. Always practice good food safety and only reheat coffee that has been properly stored and chilled within two hours of brewing.
An excellent coffee tumbler can help keep your coffee with milk at peak temperature for longer than without insulation. Depending on the brand and style of the tumbler, a good coffee tumbler can keep your drink hot for an additional one to two hours. This means you have an extra hour or two before you have to drink or chill the coffee to keep it fresh.
Always refer to your specific tumbler’s heat-keeping standards, and if you’re not sure, just default to only keeping the coffee out for two hours or less.
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- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food and beverages unattended
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove