So you’re out and about and your cup of coffee has gone cold. You wonder if you could reheat it.

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But can you microwave paper cups ? Don’t they have that warning on them saying not to place into the microwave ?

Let’s see if you really can or can’t reheat them.


Why reheating coffee is pointless in the first place

Let’s talk a bit about reheating coffee in the first place, since that is the actual intent of this question.

You see, coffee is only good while it’s fresh.

How long is coffee fresh for ? The first 30-60 minutes after it’s been brewed.

This means that if you bought your latte an hour ago, it’s definitely cold right now and it won’t be very tasty.

Flavor can and does evaporate out of your coffee as it cools down.

Reheating it only makes things move much faster, so you’ll be left with an even poorer cup of coffee.

The caffeine in it is going to be there, and still do its magic if you need it.

But the taste of the coffee will be off, and it’s hard to get the temperature right.

If you somehow get your coffee boiling, or close to boiling point, it’s going to be a poor cup of coffee, and taste a bit burnt. No matter what kind of coffee cup you use.

Again, you’re better off drinking your coffee as it’s fresh, or getting another one.

What you can do to reheat takeaway coffee

If you really, really need to reheat your cup of coffee, then you should use something other than the paper cup it comes in.

Depending on where you are, you’re probably going to have several options to choose from.

Any kind of ceramic or glass cup will be fine. Even styrofoam would be a better option (barely).

As long as it’s not metal, and not paper.

What if you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, with just the paper cup and a microwave ?

Then you can risk heating the paper cup, I guess.

You’re going to have to be very careful with the parts if the cup that aren’t covered with coffee, like the upper rim.

Please do not put the lid on the cup. Take it off and put it back later.

Put the cup inside the microwave, and set it to a lower setting, like medium. Keep heating for 1 minute increments, and check after each one.

You need to find a balance between warm coffee, and still holding together the paper cup.

You might not be able to get the coffee hot, but you might just get it warm enough to be drinkable without warping the cup.

Even so, the taste of the coffee might be off, so keep than in mind when you take your first sip.

Final thoughts

I hope you never have to really microwave your paper coffee cup. It’s a sad story when coffee gets cold, as it’s something few people like to drink.

In any case, you’re better off getting yourself another coffee.

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Reheating it is never worth it.

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