What Temperature Do Coffee Makers Brew At?

What temperature do coffee makers brew at? - Ideally, coffee makers should brew coffee at between 90 degrees Celsius and 96 degrees celsius. Categorically speaking, brewing a cup of coffee with anything lower than 90 degrees celsius would lead to under extraction of flavours resulting in a weak tasting cup of coffee, while anything more than 96 degrees Celsius would lead to a burnt tasting cup of coffee, though it tends to generate quite a lot more body from the coffee. 

The temperature that a coffee maker brews the coffee can greatly affect the taste of the coffee, especially the flavour notes that are present in each individual type of coffee.

While there is a temperature range that is acceptable to brew coffee at, there is no specific temperature within that range that is deemed as correct. This is because coffee extraction involves multiple factors such as the temperature of the water, the amount of coffee grounds used, grind size of the coffee grounds, and the total brew timing.

As such, temperature alone, while it directly affects the overall taste and quality of the end product, is not solely responsible for it. However, as a general rule of thumb, brewing coffee at 96 degrees celsius would achieve a greater body in the coffee and complements coffee varietals that boast full bodiness as a desired trait.

On the flip side, brewing coffee at 90 degrees celsius would achieve a more delicate cup of body, allowing the drinker to experience the more subtle flavour notes present in the coffee. This works particularly well with floral and fruit forward coffee varieties and origins. 

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If you are using a percolator, some sort of automatic brewer, or an automatic coffee machine, then chances are that you will not have the option of changing the brewing temperature, and will need to use the preset temperature.

However, you can likely still have some control over the taste profile of your coffee by adjusting the coffee grammage and dosage. This function is available on most decent coffee machines. Another way to prevent abnormalities in the water temperature is to allow your coffee machine to rest for a few minutes between each brew.

As the water boiler located in the machine needs to heat the new water being fed into the water reservoir, you should avoid dispensing one cup of coffee immediately after the previous one. This might result in the water in the water reservoir not being hot enough to produce a good cup of coffee.

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If you are using a hand brewing technique like a V60 or Chemex, then you theoretically have full control of the water temperature and also all the other factors that affect the final product. In such a case, the ideal thing to do is to measure your water with a thermometer.

If you do not have access to a thermometer, then another fairly consistent method is to use what we call “off-boil” water, which is water that has just completed boiling in your electric kettle. By the time you transfer it over to your brewing kettle, the temperature would have dipped to the ideal hot water temperature range.

Lastly, if you want to retain as much heat as possible in your brewing apparatus, consider using a glass or ceramic dripper which typically retains heat better than plastic or metal coffee drippers.

Lastly, if you are working on an espresso machine, there are also ways to maintain a consistent brewing temperature. As semi-automatic espresso machines are generally very high powered, the boilers in the machine tend to run a little bit hotter, especially if they have been left untouched for more than 15 minutes.

A trick that many baristas use to ensure that the water coming out of the group head isn’t too hot, is to flush the group heads before inserting the portafilter.

This initial dispensation of water helps to reduce the temperature back to the recommended temperature range, thus allowing you to extract your espresso at the ideal temperature range. 

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Previously: Making Coffee with a Coffee Sock

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