A hot cup of coffee is one of the many joys of life, especially if you’re feeling tired and it’s cold outside. Unfortunately coffee doesn’t stay hot for long, and if you’re like me, the coffee becomes undrinkable when it’s cold. This is why I’ve always been curious about finding ways to keep my coffee hot for longer, so I can extend the time I get to enjoy it.
For the past couple of years I’ve been analyzing the market, and stumbled upon these incredibly clever and satisfying ideas to keep your coffee hot.
Read on below if you’re often driving long distances, hosting a party, or simply want to keep your coffee hot for longer while you’re home or at the office.
Summary: Top 6 ways to keep your coffee hot
- Thermal carafe. This is a classic. Simply transfer the hot coffee to the thermal carafe, and it will stay nice and hot for hours.
- Insulated travel coffee mug. Keeping a single cup of coffee hot for hours is no problem with an insulated travel coffee mug, and the lid prevents any spillage when driving.
- Thermal carafe coffee maker. If you want to skip the step of transferring the coffee into an external thermal bottle, get one with a thermal carafe included. That way coffee is brewed directly into the thermal carafe.
- Coffee mug warmer. These heating plates are genius for those of us working at an office. Simply set it up on your desk and place your mug on top of it – it will keep warm for hours, and shut off automatically.
- Car cup warmer. Upgrade the cup holder with a cup warmer, if you want to keep your coffee hot for longer. Some of these gadgets also double as coolers – great for any time of the year.
- Heated coffee mug. While this is perhaps more of a gadget, it’s still a neat product for those who want exact control over their hot coffee.
With a thermal carafe you only have to brew coffee once a day, and then you’ll have coffee that stays hot for the entire day.
Perfect for a day trip, a family gathering, or a picnic.
Insulated travel coffee mug
The insulated travel coffee mug is a great way to keep your coffee hot while on the move.
Whether you’re driving or simply taking a walk in the park, this is a great way to ensure any beverage stays hot for several hours.
As the name suggests, travel coffee mugs are good for one person only, and because of their size and the capacity, they generally don’t keep contents hot for as long as larger thermal carafes do. Expect them to keep coffee hot for 1-2 hours at the very least, though.
The YETI Rambler Tumbler is a 20 Oz. travel coffee mug, and it keeps your coffee hot for up to 8 hours. It also works with cold beverages.
Thermal carafe coffee maker
A thermal carafe coffee maker is a rather expensive investment, but also worth it if you want the highest convenience possible.
They brew your coffee the good old fashioned way, but instead of a glass carafe the coffee drips to a thermal carafe that keeps it hot for the entire day.
You do have to remember closing the lid on the thermal carafe rather quickly after it’s done brewing, otherwise there’s no vacuum created inside the carafe, and the temperature falls rather quickly. However, after the lid is closed, your thermal carafe is sealed and keeps the contents hot for hours.
The Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 79114 is a solid choice for those wanting a superb thermal carafe coffee maker. The coffee tastes great, and the thermal carafe is quite good.
Coffee mug warmer
There are literally hundreds of options to choose from, when it comes to coffee mug warmers.
They basically function as a heating plate, where you place your coffee mug on top of it. That way your coffee keeps hot as long as it’s on.
While this isn’t completely free to use (it does consume a bit of power), it’s very cheap to buy. It does require you to stir the contents of the mug once in a while though, because it only heats the bottom of the mug. However, we don’t think these are major dealbreakers, and for what it is, it’s still a very convenient way to keep your coffee warm for extended periods of time.
The Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer is a good choice for this purpose, and a very reasonably priced one as well.
Car cup warmer
A car cup warmer keeps your coffee hot while you’re driving, by simply plugging it into your 12-volt. It’s a neat way to keep more than one type of mug hot, and could be a great solution for those who like to get a cup of coffee from drive-throughs.
It works like a charm for both hot and cold beverages, but I’ll say it works best for hot beverages. It does have temperature options ranging from just 38 degrees to 140 degrees F, but we’ve found a few reviews claiming that it works best for keeping contents hot.
Check out the VAlinks 2-in-1 Car Cup Cooler and Warmer, if you’re interested to learn more about this type of gadget.
Heated coffee mug
Have you ever been missing the ability to control your coffee mug through an app? And furthermore, the ability to adjust the temperature and keep the coffee exactly as hot as you want it?
Although heated coffee mugs might seem a bit over the top, a lot of people do actually love them for what they are: Cool gadgets that give you and your coworkers something to talk about.
The Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2 is probably one of the most talked-about coffee mug, and if you’re interested in this kind of gadget, check out this review from Techhive to learn how well it works.
Bad ideas for keeping coffee hot that won’t work
While we’re at it, we might as well discuss some of the bad ideas we came across, that absolutely won’t work properly for one reason or another, and could basically just ruin your coffee instead.
Reheating in a microwave or pot
While coffee stays perfectly fine for hours in a thermo, it should never be reheated in a microwave or pot.
Todd Carmichael, CEO and co-founder of La Colombe, puts it quite simple when discussing this in an article on Tasting Table:
Reheating reorganizes the chemical makeup of the coffee and totally ruins the flavor profileTodd Carmichael, CEO and co-founder of La Colombe
He also suggests that you rather drink it over ice, because that way it will keep the flavors intact and you’ll get the same amount of caffeine that way.
While they might look cute, sleeves aren’t going to keep your coffee hot for extended periods of time.
These serve more of a decorative purpose, and won’t really make much of a difference when it comes to keeping anything hot.
This is somewhat the same concept as sticking the coffee mug into the microwave: It reheats the coffee.
For that reason, and because we think this is just too much of a hassle to be considered a great idea, we think immersion heaters aren’t useful unless you want to boil a cup of water and THEN add coffee powder afterwards.
Heating pads are originally designed for pain relief and keeping you warm on cold days, and because of the soft padding, they won’t really work for keeping a cup of coffee hot.
It would be a waste of money and energy as well, since the entire heating pad warms up while you’re only using a small area of it for your coffee mug.