Can leftover coffee be reheated?

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia

Are we right to reheat some leftover coffee left in the moka for a few hours or should we throw it away? Here's what the science says

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We've got some leftover coffee from this morning that we don't want to throw away, but do we do well to heat it (perhaps in the microwave oven) and consume it or is it a practice that is harmful to health? Beyond what the purists of the drink claim - namely that coffee should be drunk hot, at the cost of burning the tongue, in a heated porcelain cup in order to avoid heat dispersion - heat the old coffee for a few hours, which in the meantime it has grown cold, not a healthy idea.





In fact, coffee is composed of 28% of soluble material (carbohydrates, sugars, acids) which gives flavor and aroma to the coffee and 72% of small particles insoluble in water that give the drink "body". Hours after coffee preparation, the properties of this blend are lost, so the drink changes its flavor. But not only that: if we heated it, it would take on an unpleasant bitter aftertaste that is far from pleasant.

It is not only the alteration of the taste that we have to worry about: when we heat the coffee (both through the microwave and over the fire), in fact, we alter the chemical components of the drink - and this can also damage our digestive system. The chlorogenic acid contained in coffee, when subjected to heat, breaks down into caffeic acid and quinic acid (responsible for the acidic aftertaste of coffee) - which in high concentrations pthey can cause heartburn and other stomach problems.

(Read also: Coffee in the mocha: which water to use and all the tricks to make it perfect)

Leftover coffee: how to reuse it?

Obviously, throwing away the coffee already prepared and left intact in the moka is a waste - especially considering the high cost of the raw material needed to prepare it. How can you avoid throwing away a precious drink without health risks? Here are some of our proposals:

  • Prepare a dessert. There are many recipes that include coffee as an ingredient - from the best known tiramisu (HERE you can find our recipe to prepare it at home) to delicious puddings or plumcakes. With a little imagination and the addition of some ingredients we can avoid throwing away the leftover coffee and make an excellent dessert.
  • Consume it cold. Why not prepare a delicious coffee granita or an excellent “grandfather's coffee”? HERE you can find a very easy recipe, with guaranteed results.
  • Combine it with other ingredients. If you really don't want to give up a hot drink, you can pour boiling milk over the cold coffee and prepare a latte or cappuccino (with the help of a whisk to make the foam): in this way, you will not have heated the coffee directly, but the presence of hot milk will certainly have contributed to giving you a warm cuddle… without waste.

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