Back in my restaurant/bar days I learned a simple trick for dealing with an annoying complaint. The ceramic coffee mugs at the place were usually ice cold when on the rack, not because they were kept in the fridge, but because they naturally get cold when sitting out in a room. The same applies for insulated mugs like a Thermos. There were times where I would fill a mug with hot coffee and take it to a customer and that customer would brood over it for a bit due to their engagement in conversation with others. When they added the milk and sugar and stirred with their spoon, their coffee had lost that piping hotness it originally had when served to them. And so the customer complained that their coffee “wasn’t hot” and I had to go get them a new mug with another serving of coffee. I quickly realized that there were three factors that were speeding up the cooling process of the coffee: the cold mug, the cold milk, and the cold spoon. Since many of us take our coffee (or other hot beverage) on the road with us we want to keep it hot for an extended period of time with minimal heat dissipation. The solution to the customer complaints and to keeping the coffee hotter for longer only took a minute of my time.
- While your coffee is brewing, turn on your hot water and let it run for 30 seconds so it is nice and steamy.
- Take your mug or thermos out of storage (notice how it is cold?), fill it up to the brim with the hot water, and let it sit. By the time your coffee is done brewing, your mug is now hot. Stick your spoon under the hot water for a few seconds as well in order for it to also get hot.
- Before pouring your coffee, dump the water from the mug and add your sugar first and then your milk if you use these condiments.
- Now pour your coffee and enjoy a longer lasting hotness for your beverage.
By doing this you are significantly reducing the amount of cold that will cause the heat of the coffee to dissipate, be it from the mug, the spoon, or the milk. The reason you put the milk in before the coffee is because the force of the initial coffee pour will violently heat up the milk. The forced induction drastically reduces the milk’s cold factor as opposed to pouring the milk after the coffee, which spreads the cold factor throughout the hot liquid.