Can You Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee? (If So, How Can You?)

Cold brew is smooth and refreshing, but it isn't exactly a Winter warmer. However, what a lot of people don't realise is that you can heat cold brew coffee up to make it a year round drink. 

I know, you probably have a lot of questions right now:

  • Does it still taste the same if it's heated up? 
  • How do I heat cold brew coffee properly?
  • Can I still call it COLD brew if it's hot!? 

Well don't worry, because we've done all the work for you and in this article we'll share our tried and tested methods for heating cold brew coffee so you can turn it into a cup of warming joe quickly and easily. 

Cold-brew is a distinctive type of coffee that is smooth and refreshing. It is increasingly popular, and for a good reason.  

People like cold brew because it allows for a smoother, richer coffee; the cold water leaves the bitter notes in the bean, resulting in a sweet yet rich-tasting coffee.  

Why It Is Called Cold Brew ?

It isn't called cold brew because it's served cold, it's because it's cold brewed coffee - and the name refers to the cold brewing process by which it's made.

Cold brewing involves steeping coffee beans in cold water for 18-24 hours. This allows the water to take on the rich flavor of the beans.  

two full mugs of cold brew

Unlike coffee which is brewed hot, the cold water doesn't destroy any of the caffeine in the beans. It's also often made with a higher ratio of coffee to water, around 2 – 2.5 times more.

This means that cold brew coffee contains a lot more caffeine than regular coffee, often over 200mg of caffeine in a single cup. Considering a single espresso only have 80mg of caffeine - this is a lot!

Related Article - Cold Brew Vs Hot Brew: Differences Compared

Related Article - What's The Difference Between Cold Brew & Iced Americano? 

Can You Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee? 

Cold brewed coffee, as the name suggests, is typically served cold. It even has ice cubes to keep it cool and refreshing. However, even if you love cold brew coffee you might not want a warm drink during the cold winter months.  

The good news is that you can heat cold brew coffee. So, whether you want a steaming cup of coffee, or a cool refresher, it can be enjoyed year round. 

Will Heating Cold Brew Change The Taste?

No, heating cold brew coffee won't make any noticeable change to anything except the temperature

Generally, when heat is applied to regular hot brewed coffee, the chemicals in the coffee react with oxygen and break down the flavor.

However, the cold brewing method uses room temperature water and the coffee beans are left in for a long time to give you a delicious coffee. 

This means that the character and flavor of the coffee is 'locked in' and could only be changed during the cold brewing process if you changed the ratio of water to coffee. 

Ultimately, this means when you heat cold brew coffee the taste and composition won't change, giving you exactly the same smooth coffee, but warm. 

What About Specific Types Of Cold Brew?

You can make cold brew yourself, or buy it from a coffee shop, and many people ask whether it will be impacted differently by the heating process.

Many people ask: 

  • Can you heat up Starbucks cold brew coffee? 
  • Can you heat up Califia cold brew? 
  • Can you heat up cold brew Bulletproof coffee? 
  • Can you heat up Stok cold brew? 

No matter where you got your cold brew coffee, you can definitely heat it up

The brewing methods individual stores or companies used are generally all the same (though different beans can give subtle flavors), and you can have heated cold brew coffee from anywhere without impacting the taste.

How To Heat Up A Cold Brew Coffee (The Best Way) 

Now we've established you can have heated cold brew coffee without impacting the taste, let's have a lot at the best ways of creating a hot coffee version.

There are three common methods to make hot cold brew coffee, they are: 

Pour Hot Water (For Cold Brew Concentrate) 

Using cold brew concentrate is a great way to make cold brew at home in minutes, and it's super simple to make this cold brew concentrate drink hot. 

  • Use an electric kettle to boil water 
  • Pour the boiling water into a mug to preheat it
  • Pour the cold brew concentrate into the mug until it's half full. This will warm the cold brew concentrate without shocking it to extreme temperatures. 
  • Pour boiling water over the cold brew concentrate to fill the mug. You can change the ratio of hot water to cold brew concentrate if you want it stronger of weaker. 
  • Enjoy your hot coffee!


Microwaving is the easiest and quickest way to get a hot cup of cold brew. There's no skill to it, but you may need to adjust the heating times depending on the ratio of cold brew concentrate to hot water. 

  • Pour cold brew concentrate into a mug. Fill it to about half way. 
  • Top up with cold or hot water. 
  • Microwave for 1 minute. 
  • Check the temperature and put it back in for 10 seconds at a time if needed. 
  • Enjoy your heated cold brew!

Stove Top 

Making a hot cup of cold brew on your stove top is the slowest and most hands on method, but it gives you the most control. True coffee connoisseurs will like it because you can control.

  • Pour your cold brew into a small saucepan. 
  • Put it on a low heat and gradually warm the liquid. 
  • Keep heating the coffee until it reaches the right temperature.
  • Pour into a mug and enjoy!

Which Method Is Best For Heating Cold Brew? 

Can You Heat Up Cold Brew Coffee

There is no 'winner' when it comes to choosing the methods of heating your cold brew. It all comes down to what you have available. 

Using a microwave is the quickest and simplest way to do it, so if you have one then it's what we'd recommend. 

However, some people like the hands on process of using a saucepan on a stove top. 

Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference and there shouldn't be any impact on the smooth, bold, and slightly acidic flavor of the cold brew coffee no matter what you choose. 

Why don't you try them out and see which works best for you!

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Heating Up A Cold Brew Coffee 

Benefits Of Heating Up Cold Brewed Coffee:

  • You get all of the smooth flavors and unique properties of cold brewing while still getting to enjoy a hot drink.  
  • Cold brew becomes the perfect Winter warmer and a great year round drink. 
  • It has more caffeine, so you get a stronger hot coffee compared to regular French press or drip coffee 

Drawbacks Of Heating Up Cold Brewed Coffee:

  • It takes slightly more time to make.
  • The taste may change slightly (though it's not really noticeable)
cup of hot cold brew
  • You have to be more careful with your caffeine intake. It contains a lot more than hot coffee, so you may need to limit your intake if you're sensitive to caffeine.

As you can see, there are very few disadvantages, so it's well worth trying!  

Heating Up Cold Brew FAQs

Does heating up cold brew coffee make it acidic? 

There is a myth that cold brew has less acidity and will benefit those whose stomachs are sensitive to coffee. However, a peer-reviewed study in 2018 by researchers from Thomas Jefferson University found little difference in acidity between hot brew and cold brew. Furthermore, heating up cold brew has little effect on the chemical composition of the coffee and will not make it more acidic.  

What is the difference between cold brew and iced coffee? 

Cold brew is undoubtedly different from iced coffee. They are made differently, and as a result, taste very different.  

Iced coffee is brewed with hot water and is then cooled in the refrigerator or poured over ice. Cold brew, on the other hand, is brewed over cold water, which takes many hours. Iced coffee can also be warmed up but will taste much more like regular coffee.  

Is it bad to drink cold brew every day? 

Drinking coffee every day, including cold brew, is not bad for you; in fact, coffee has many health benefits. However, to keep your habit positive, make sure your add ons like sugar and milk align with your health goals. You should also avoid caffeine late at night as it may disrupt your sleep, especially cold brew, which has a higher caffeine content.  

Does reheating coffee change the caffeine level? 

According to Dr. Christopher Hendon, a premier chemist, reheating coffee will not affect the amount of caffeine. He explains that caffeine is a stable organic molecule, and the number of caffeine molecules in your cup is unlikely to change with colling and heating. In order for caffeine content to change, the molecules would need to break down, which only happens at very high temperatures that your coffee would not reach in your kitchen.  


Can you heat up cold brew coffee? The answer is yes! If you enjoy the taste of cold brew, you can heat it up without it having much of an effect on the coffee. The acidity and caffeine content will be the same, and it will retain its smooth flavor.  

You can heat up your coffee in whichever way is easiest for you. Whether that be using hot water, a microwave, or a stove, it makes little difference to the quality of your coffee.  

The only real consideration is that cold brew contains more caffeine than hot brew coffee (whether cold or hot). The rich, smooth flavor of cold brew - made hot to heat up your hands and warm your heart! Why not give it a go for yourself? 

Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis is the Head of Marketing here at Barista HQ. While keeping up-to-date on the latest trends in coffee, you can find her sipping a cold brew with just a touch of milk on the beach in the afternoon and a Corona with lime in the evening. She is passionate about keeping you informed about what’s new in coffee.

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