10 Ways to Keep Coffee Hot: Brilliant and Cheap Methods

By Shabbir
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Coffee is one of those beverages where the temperature is super important. Hot coffee needs to be HOT, and there is nothing more disappointing than taking a nice sip of coffee in anticipation of warmth and goodness only to be greeted with a cool, tasteless liquid.

Sometimes, though, we’re just in too much of a hurry to be able to sit and enjoy coffee, so we have to space out our enjoyment – which is why there are some really neat ways to keep coffee hot. Here are our 10 favorites. There is no right or wrong way here, so if you have an innovation of your own, please feel free to share in the comments.

Some people may like their coffee cooler, but I prefer it to be halfway between hot and cool. For me, the heat and warmth add a whole dimension of flavor.

keep coffee hot with these 10 methods

10 ways to keep coffee hot (or warm, depending on your preference)

1. Immersion heater

Immersion heaters are really neat devices that you place inside the liquid you wish to warm up, and in a few minutes, you’ll have a piping hot liquid ready to go.

It’s basically a hot water kettle without the kettle – the heating element is portable and you immerse it in the liquid, and then plug it in, let it do its thing until the liquid is hot enough, and you have a warm beverage good to go!

Immersion heaters are actually quite common and there are a lot of defective models out there too, but the way to keep it going as long as possible is:

  • Plug it in?after fully immersing the coil in the liquid
  • Leave it in the liquid for a 20-30 seconds after unplugging so the residual heat can dissipate through the liquid

Most immersion heaters run on AC(wall outlet) power so they’re not something you can take in the car, but because they’re so portable, you can easily use them for traveling. You can use this to heat up the water before brewing, too.

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2. Mug warmer

This brilliant design is a little heated plate that you just put your mug on and it heats the mug and liquid through conduction and convection. You can power it with a wall outlet up to 110-120V. It’s a super way to keep coffee hot.

For a desk or kitchen or anywhere at home, it’s brilliant. The continuous heating will make sure you have an evenly heated and consistently warm coffee.

However, a word of warning: don’t let coffee sit on the warmer for too long, as it will eventually cook the coffee more than it should be and the taste will be ruined.

3. Heated Travel Mug

A heated travel mug is a great combination of the mug and heater listed in number two. This brilliant design is a standard coffee travel mug except it has a little plug in it. Plug it in, and the heater turns on and warms up the coffee(or any beverage). It comes with a USB plug and a car adapter.

The brilliance of a heated travel mug is that there is already built-in insulation. So if you pour hot coffee and take it on the go, you may not need to plug it in unless you plan on drinking it after a very long time.

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4. Car warmer

If you like to get your coffee from your favorite coffee joint, you can keep it warm with this portable car warmer for take out coffee. This is the most spill-proof and car friendly option on this entire list. It can fit into the existing cup holder or also double as a cup holder(though you’ll have to find some place to secure it) and it plugs into the car’s DC outlet.

5. Classical Thermos

How can we write about keeping beverages hot and forget the good ol’ thermos? Built to keep liquids warm for up to 24 hours, thermoses are the perfect way to keep a lot of coffee warm.

The options we listed above are only for single servings, but you can get a thermos in a variety of sizes(the one below is 40 ounces), so if a lot of people need hot coffee at once, thermoses are your best friend. Plus there is no hassle of electronics or anything.

6. Cozy

A more traditional way of keeping coffee and other beverages hot is by using a simple cozy. This little insulator will just wrap around your mug and prevent the heat from escaping quite as quickly.

Another neat cozy-related tip is to cover your glass french press in a cozy to keep your coffee hot as it brews.

Cozies are good options for drinking at home and in the office, and they’re also the most inexpensive option of the lot.

The only issue is that you can’t expect to keep your coffee hot for?too long, as the cozy will only be able to keep so much heat in.

7. Using a warm mug

If you just need to keep your coffee hot for a few minutes longer than usual, then you can just warm your mug before filling it with coffee.

This will prevent the coffee from losing heat to the mug itself, so it won’t cool as quickly. This tip is not quite as useful to keep your coffee hot for longer, but it’s a good way to preserve the warmth for a short time.

To warm up your mug, just pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds to one minute. The mug will be hot when you take it out, so be careful. Then just pour your coffee into the mug and enjoy.

Some espresso machines have cup warmers on top where you can place your cup as the machine heats up.

Another way to keep coffee cups warm is to pour boiling water into them and letting it sit until your brew is ready to pour. This is the classical way to warm up a mug.

You can also zap coffee in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds to warm it up, too.

8. Candle Warmers

These are essentially the same as mug warmers, except they’re meant to be used with scented candles.

However, the principle to keep your coffee hot is the same so you can really use these too if you’re unable to find a mug warmer.

9. Heating pad

If all else fails(as in nothing else is available) you may have a heating pad lying around at home or at work. These are usually used to soothe aches and pains but if your ache or pain is a hankering for warm coffee you can use the heating element of the pad and just place a mug of coffee on top of it.

The heating pad will transfer heat into the mug and keep your coffee hot. For a quicker job, try to wrap the sides of the mug with a bit of the heating pad, too. There are some heating pads which are flexible, and you can wrap the mug with it in a makeshift way.

10. Styrofoam

Finally, the least preferable option – when all else fails – is a styrofoam cup. These are not particularly good for the environment, but they do retain heat very well, so desperate times may have to call for desperate measures.


As I said in the beginning of the post, these are just 10 suggestions – there are numerous ways you can keep coffee hot, but these just happen to be our favorites.

If you have another method you prefer to use please share in the comments!

The important thing, after all, is that everyone has access to hot coffee wherever and whenever they need it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any disadvantage to using a warmer?

If you leave coffee on a warmer for too long, it can overcook the coffee and ruin the taste.

How do you keep coffee warm without electricity?

You can preheat the coffee mug to keep it warm, use a mug cozy, or use a styrofoam cup to retain heat.

How do you keep coffee warm for hours?

The best way to keep coffee warm for hours is to brew into a thermal carafe. These keep the coffee evenly heated, meaning there is less chance for overcooking the coffee.

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Last update on 2024-05-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About Shabbir

Shab is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee Brewster. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.