If you're a coffee drinker of the Lorelai Gilmore variety, like me, then you know that coffee has three temperatures — scalding hot, lukewarm, and freezing cold. It's hardly ever just right. Perhaps you've wondered how to keep your coffee hot without relying on your microwave. I spend way too much time pondering hot coffee while wishing for a genius invention to solve this conundrum.
Now, I know this is not real problem, but when you wake up at 5 a.m. and drink 75 cups (OK I'm exaggerating a little here) of coffee a day, having hot coffee would sure make the day a lot better. Confession: I actually bought a microwave last year for the sole purpose of heating up coffee. In fact, this coffee problem bugs me so much that my roommate and I often discuss it while we're walking our dogs. "There has to be a better way," I said during our last walk. It turns out there is.
Apparently I'm not the only one spending way too much time thinking about hot coffee; maybe I should start a club or something. While making yet another trip to the microwave this morning to heat up my Nasty Woman mug of caffeine, I decided to Google "how to keep coffee hot." I can't believe I didn't do this sooner.
It turns out there are dozens of inventions to solve this cold-coffee catastrophe. Here are a few options worth checking out if you want to keep your coffee hot.
This genius invention called Ember is available at Starbucks, and keeps your coffee at whatever temperature you select all day long. You can even control the temperature with an app. That's right, no more trips to the microwave. What will I do with all of my new free time? This option is for diehard coffee drinkers as it's a bit pricey. It's a $150, and Starbucks can't keep it in stock, so a lot of people must think it's worth it.
If your heart just skipped a beat when you read that price, this option may not be for you. For me, when I remember that I spent a comparable amount on my microwave for the sole purpose of coffee heating, this starts to make sense. This is definitely going on my wish list.
2. Mug Warmer
If you're looking for a less fancy (and far less expensive option) mug warmers start at around $10. It's basically a portable hot plate for your coffee, and some even come with USB connections for your car. This could be dangerous though if you take a quick turn and spill the cup all over yourself on the way to work. Maybe skip the car and get one for work and one for home.
OK, you most likely own a scarf, so this is worth a try. Home Grounds recommends using a scarf, a jacket, or any kind of thick fabric, and layering it around your cup to give it a bit more insulation. The up side is that is option is free. The downside is that it won't keep your cup warm for more than an hour, but if you drink your coffee fast an hour might be enough.
Roasty Coffee recommends an immersion heater, which costs even less than the hot plate. This coffee-heating device is small enough to carry in your purse or pocket. Basically you just plug this in and drop it into your coffee mug, and volià, hot coffee for as long as you keep the heater connected to a power source. If you're stationary during the day working at a desk, this is a great, low-cost option.
Why not just dress up your coffee in your winter gear and call it a day? If you're into knitting you can make yourself a rad cup sleeve to keep your coffee cozy. If knitting is not your jam, a thermal sock will work the same way. Some coffee shops even sell knitted cup sleeves so your mug can look stylish all day long while keeping your cup warm.
So this one is not great for the environment, but if you reuse your cup I think it's OK. Why Styrofoam? A test between 12 basic coffee cups revealed that the original Styrofoam cup kept coffee warmer longer than other options.
Remember that episode of Seinfeld when Kramer tried to sneak his cafe latte into the movies, and he spilled it all over himself? I bet that latte was in a Styrofoam cup.
With options ranging from your winter accessories to high-tech gadgets, there's plenty of things to choose from to keep your coffee from cooling off too fast, which means your cold coffee problems will soon feel like nothing more than a bad dream.