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What Coffee Maker Makes the Hottest Coffee? (Best & Worst)

The temperature of coffee is a funny thing. I like my coffee either very hot or ice cold. My wife, on the other hand, prefers lukewarm coffee. So I wondered what coffee maker makes the hottest coffee and if some of them allow you to change that.

The Redline MK1 8 Cup Coffee Brewer brews the hottest coffee, varying between 197.6° and 204.8° which is exactly what the Specialty Coffee Association recommends.

The optimum temperature for serving coffee is between 160° and 185°. 

But there’s a lot more to know about coffee temperatures, which temps make the most flavorful coffee and even what temperature McDonald’s serves their coffee at these days.

So let’s keep sippin’!

Check out all my coffee product recommendations (click to see my list) with additional features and direct links to Amazon for easy purchase.

I always hand select items that I either own, have used, or have researched well to ensure they are great items. I also give not only top of the line as well as inexpensive alternatives so my choices work for any budget.

What single serve coffee maker makes the hottest coffee?

As I mentioned above, the optimal temperature for brewing coffee is between 197-205°.

But that’s not for drinking, obviously, unless you’re also a fan of using Old Faithful as a hot tub (please don’t). The optimum temperature for serving coffee is a range between 153-175°.  My wife likes hers on that low end, and I like my coffee hot!

Single-serve coffee makers, as the name implies, brew just one cup at a time.

Like many other sizes of coffee makers, with single-serve, you also have drip, pour-over, pod-style, and even French Presses. I should also say there are MANY coffee makers that all brew coffee pretty hot, so it’s not fair to say there is one that is significantly hotter than others.

It’s also worth pointing out that brewing or serving coffee at too high of a temperature can actually make the coffee too acidic and bitter.

That being said, in my research, the hottest single-serve coffee maker is the TouchPlus T526S from Touch Coffee, which is a Keurig-style pod coffee maker.

But I can’t recommend that one due to the overwhelmingly negative reviews on Amazon (34% are 1-star). I will say it brews the coffee at 200° and brews it very quickly (within 30 seconds).

But, based on the reviews, don’t buy that one.

For the hottest single-serve coffee maker that actually has great reviews, I would get the Keurig K-Elite Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker (click to see the current price on Amazon).

It brews your cup in under 1 minute and allows you to select a range of temperatures for the coffee serving temperature, between 187-192°. At almost 5 stars and well over 1,000 reviews, this one just makes a lot more sense than the TouchPlus.

What is the hottest temperature coffee maker?

If you have to have the hottest coffee, you’ll want one that serves the brew around 200°.

Especially if you’re putting a large amount in a thermos and then heading off to work, it only makes sense you’d want it as hot as possible, so it doesn’t get cold on the drive.

But there are a lot of choices when it comes to coffee makers:

  • Drip coffee makers
  • French Press coffee makers
  • Pod coffee makers
  • Percolators
  • Pour overs

So which style of coffee maker makes the hottest coffee?

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCAA) has some strong opinions about coffee temperature and which makes are the best. They prefer coffee makers that brew between 197.6° and 204.8°, that brew in under 4 minutes (so it doesn’t take so long the coffee is no longer hot) and also precise brew strengths.

The vast majority of the coffee makers that the SCAA approves are drip coffee makers, although some pour overs make the list too.

Unfortunately, while all the SCAA approved coffee makers all make hot coffee, ALL the ones I looked at had mediocre or bad reviews except for ones over $300.

Since I only like to recommend products either that I own or that have hundreds of great reviews AND that are priced reasonably, I can’t in good conscience recommend any I saw on their list.

BUT the Redline MK1 8 Cup Coffee Brewer has excellent reviews, is just over $100, and brews coffee between 195-200°. Did I mention the 2-year warranty and 60-day return policy?

So if you want one of the hottest coffee makers around with great reviews at a great price, that is the one I would get.

CLICK HERE to check current prices on Amazon Prime.

Which Keurig makes the hottest coffee?

Most Keurig coffee makers do NOT have a temperature adjustment.

Thus, as I mentioned above, if you want a Keurig that does allow you to set the temperature, the one you want is the Keurig K-Elite Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker (click to see the current price on Amazon).

It brews your cup in under 1 minute and allows you to select a range of temperatures for the coffee serving temperature, between 187-192°.

At almost 5 stars and well over 1,000 reviews, this one just makes a lot more sense than the TouchPlus.

I will say the Keurig K575 also has a lot of great features, including 5 temperature settings AND it’s able to dispense hot water on demand (for tea, soup cups, etc) and those are great features.

Unfortunately, the reviews are not great AND it’s not currently available which is why I can’t recommend it. While the overall star rating is good, 20% of the reviews are 1-star which just doesn’t work for me.

One thing that always comes up with Keurig coffee makers, or any pod coffee maker, is the dreaded descale light.

I have the Keurig K-55 classic and I hate it when that descale light comes on. For starters, it always seems to come on suddenly before I’ve had my coffee. Also, I don’t always have their expensive descale solution on hand.

But to make things worse, sometimes when I do use their descale solution, that light is still on!

Luckily, I’ve figured out a few tricks, so if you have a Keurig, make sure you know What to Do When Descaling a Keurig Doesn’t Work (click to read my proven list of tips).

How hot is coffee usually?

The National Coffee Association of the USA recommends coffee be served between 180-185°.

But that’s not the only opinion out there. The National Institutes of Health weigh in also stating that “Hot beverages such as tea, hot chocolate, and coffee are frequently served at temperatures between 160° and 185°”.

They go on to say that “the consumer-preferred drinking temperature of coffee . . . (is) 140°” plus or minus 15°.

As we’ve said elsewhere, there is brewing temperature and drinking temperature. In both cases, using too high of a temperature can actually damage the beans and hurt the flavor, causing it to be too acidic and bitter.

Thus the Specialty Coffee Association prefers coffee makers that brew at 200° and not at boiling temperature of 212°.

Starbucks, on the other hand, the most successful coffee shop in the world, brews its coffee at 190° and serves it at 165°.

How hot you want your coffee to be served is ultimately a preference, but somewhere around 160° and 185° is about right.

One other question people have with their Keurig coffee makers is whether you can leave them on all day or if you should turn it off after each use.

I take on the question of Can a Keurig Be Left on All Day (click to read my article), including how energy savings and whether it is a fire risk. So check it out if you leave yours on for long periods of time.

What is the perfect coffee temperature?

Perfect means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

Given everything we’ve learned in this article, I would say the optimum temperature for serving coffee is about 160°. Much hotter than 170° and most people would have to let it cool down, and coffee flavor is at its peak right after brewing.

We’ve already covered the optimum temperature for brewing coffee and the typical range for serving coffee. We also know that using too high of a temperature for either brewing or serving coffee is likely to result in a more bitter or burned tasting cup of coffee.

That is exactly why you never want to add boiling water to your coffee grounds.

If you go down below 140°, we’re getting close to kid temps and luke-warm coffee, and if you’re anything like me, you either want hot coffee or iced and not something in between.

The perfect cup of coffee is more complicated than you think which is why the quality varies so much from restaurant to restaurant. To get the perfect cup of coffee you have to have:

  • A great quality 100% Arabica coffee bean that’s been freshly roasted
  • Ground to order or at least ground that day
  • High-quality purified cold water
  • A brewing temperature of between 197.6° and 204.8°
  • The brewing cycle is ideally completed inside of 4 minutes
  • Coffee is served quickly at a serving temperature of around 160°

Remember it’s the heat of the water that releases the oils in the coffee and it’s a delicate temperature balance with both brewing and serving to get the right flavor.

How hot is kid temp at Starbucks?

If you have kids, you no doubt have ordered a hot chocolate or if they’re older, some fancy drink and asked for it at “kid temp”.

My wife ALWAYS asks for her coffee drinks at Starbucks to be kid temp.

So I got a little curious about how hot kid temp is at Starbucks. After all, we know coffee is ideally brewed at 200° and served somewhere around 160° and 185°.

Kid temp at Starbucks is exactly 130°.

How hot is “extra hot” at Starbucks?

As I’ve mentioned, Starbucks brews their coffee at 190° and serves it at 165°.

Extra hot, by comparison, is served at 180°. Ironically, that’s still well below what McDonald’s served their coffee at in their most famous lawsuit (more on that below).

Of course, they don’t have the ability to change the temperature of their already brewed drip coffee.

So we’re talking about their espresso drinks. With any drinks where the shop is adding foamed milk or you’ll be adding creamer, always remember that even steamed milk will still cause the temperature of the coffee to drop.

So a cup of coffee served at 180° which then gets 1/4 cup of half and half added to it, can easily drop down below 160°.

So if you want your coffee hot and to stay hot longer, ordering extra hot at Starbucks may be the way to go.

Does coffee brew faster if you use warm water?

No, is the short answer.

But even if it could, you wouldn’t want it to. We need heat or time to extract the oils in coffee beans. That’s the reason when you make cold brew coffee you have to leave it sitting overnight for it to really get good coffee flavor.

But too much heat results in a more bitter and more acidic cup of coffee.

As I get into below, most coffee makers have a set brew cycle that remains the same no matter what the temperature of the water going in. In other words, if your coffee maker has a 6-minute brew cycle, it will still take 6 minutes to cycle through that cycle no matter what the water temperature is going in.

So start with fresh, purified, and cold water for best results.

Is it bad to put hot water in a coffee maker?

Yes, is the short answer. But not just for reasons you might think.

For starters don’t ever put boiling water from the stove in a coffee maker; especially a glass-walled French Press. The inner workings of a coffee maker aren’t designed to have boiling water poured directly on them, and the glass in a French Press, while optimized for heat, could crack when in direct contact with boiling water.

For another, many coffee makers have a basic heating cycle that doesn’t change if you use hot water versus cold.

It runs that same cycle and if the water you put in is significantly hotter going in, it will be significantly hotter coming out, and if it becomes too hot, as we’ve gotten into elsewhere in this article, your coffee can taste bitter.

But the other reason is that scientists don’t recommend drinking hot water from your tap, period.

According to the New York Times, “hot water dissolves contaminants more quickly than cold water, and many pipes in homes contain lead that can leach into water. And lead can damage the brain and nervous system, especially in young children.”

Plus hot water that’s been sitting in your hot water heater tank may have sediment, rust, or other contaminants too. That’s even true if your pipes are modern and lead-free.

The lower the quality the water you use, the lower the quality of your coffee.

So always start with cold water in your coffee maker, ideally filtered water (although many coffee makers these days have water filters in them).

Does the grind of the beans affect brewing temperature?

Yes is the short answer.

The fineness of the grind also impacts the quality of the final cup of coffee. The oils inside the beans are where the flavor lives and heat extract those.

Too low of a water temp can make for both a weak cup of coffee, but also a sour cup. Too high of a water temp can make for an acidic and bitter cup of coffee.

So the fineness of the grind is important as it affects how much flavor we are able to get out of the beans.

Going back to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) I keep mentioning, they recommend the following in terms of coffee to water ratio and fineness of grind:

  • Use between 3.25 & 4.25 ounces of freshly ground coffee for every 64 ounces of water
  • The brewing temp should ideally be between 197.6° and 204.8°
  • Use a burr grinder rather than a blade grinder to get a consistent medium-grind on the beans

Now, how does the grind affect the temperature?

Irregularity with the grind, but also fineness is what affects temperature the most.

A smooth, consistent grind gets more of the coffee in contact with the water. The grind size also directly impacts the number of coffee particles that are extracted into the final brew. As you might suspect, the finer the grounds, the more oils and coffee flavor is extracted.

If you’re using a blade grinder and have inconsistently ground beans, more water will just pass right through instead of being absorbed into the coffee.

That can give you a slightly hotter cup of coffee. But, it will also give you a weaker cup of coffee.

It’s also important to note that the oz. of coffee is weight, not volume as 1/4 cup of coffee a half-gallon of water would make a pretty weak pot of coffee. So true coffee aficionados actually have a small coffee scale they use to weigh their coffee.

But we can calculate from weight to volume if you don’t have a scale.

Following the SCAA guidelines, if you want to go on the high side (4.25 oz of coffee by weight), you would use a little under 1 1/2 cups of ground coffee for 64 oz of water; perfect for a standard 8 cup drip coffee maker.

How to get the right consistency of grind for your coffee beans

You’ll notice I said burr grinder.

A burr grinder ultimately gets a much more consistent grind than the ones that spin a sharp metal blade at high speed.

The metal blade grinders also can heat up the beans in the process. Unfortunately, that is adding to the cooking of the beans; not great for the flavor.

A burr grinder is where the beans are crushed between 1 moving piece with a rough surface against a non-moving piece with a rough surface. If you’ve ever seen olives crushed for olive oil, that’s basically a giant burr grinder.

There are two types of burr grinders, flat or conical. 

The conical one is what you most typically see at Starbucks. The one where the beans are held in a clear funnel above the grinder. And don’t worry; the ones for home use aren’t that big.

Both types of burr grinders produce a very consistent grind.

That is why coffee lovers prefer them over blade grinders. If you’ve ever used a blade grinder and opened the lid only to see mostly finely ground coffee but a few whole or half beans floating around in there too, that is EXACTLY why they aren’t preferred.

Check out all my coffee product recommendations (click to see my list) including great, but inexpensive coffee grinders! 

How hot does a drip coffee maker get?

There are a lot of drip coffee machines out there.

You can pay 40 bucks for one and potentially hundreds for another. So it makes sense that they aren’t all going to brew coffee at exactly the same temperature.

As I’ve mentioned above, the SCAA says a machine’s brewing temperature should get to 197.6°  within 1 minute of brewing and not go above 204.8°. They also want the brew time to ideally be 4 minutes but not exceed 8 minutes.

Unfortunately, a lot of the less expensive drip coffee makers either don’t hit those temps or take much longer to brew, all of which can give you a poor cup of coffee.

So if not just hot, but the perfect temperature coffee brewing and serving is your goal, skip the 40 dollar Mr. Coffee coffee makers. Look for something closer to $100, ideally one that says SCAA certified. That way you know it hits the right brew temp and time.

How hot does a coffee maker hot plate get?

These days, a hot plate or warming plate on coffee makers is getting rarer.

But for old-school drip coffee makers, you do still sometimes see them. The hot plate heat varies based on the manufacturer. A few even allow you to adjust the temp. But they typically heat to between 120° and 140°.

The hot plate essentially keeps the carafe warm while the coffee sits in it, preventing it from getting cold.

Sounds good, right?

Not really. Leaving your coffee on a hot plate is not good for your coffee as you are essentially cooking the coffee.  If you’ve ever been to grandma’s house and smelled that sour, burned coffee smell (or heck, just stepped inside some old-fashioned greasy spoon diner), you’ve smelled the smell of coffee that’s been sitting on a warmer for an hour or so.

That’s the reason that these days, higher-end coffee makers don’t come with warming plates.

Want a great cup of coffee? Get good quality whole Arabica beans. Grind them to order. Then, use purified cool water in a good quality coffee maker and brew fresh. 

Want more in an hour? Just repeat that process. It only takes a minute. And it will be SIGNIFICANTLY better than holding your coffee on a warming plate for an hour.

Does Mr. Coffee boil water?

Some people like the idea of their coffee maker getting hot enough to boil water.

After all, if the water has been boiled, then it has also been purified. Or they may simply want to use their coffee maker to make boiling water for other purposes.

The boiling point of water is 212° in most altitudes.

If you are simply wanting to know that the water in your coffee has been purified, the good news is that yes, most drip coffee makers, including the Mr. Coffee brand, do bring the water to boiling temperature as the water contacts the heating coils.

Then, after the coils, the water passes through a tube where it eventually comes out and contacts the coffee grounds.

As the water passes through the tube, it does lose some heat, so it is not still at boiling temp by the time it pours into the carafe, although it will still be very hot.

Do be aware that you don’t want to pour boiling water directly onto ground coffee. If you do it will end up tasting really bitter and basically ruin your cup of coffee.

To get a great cup of coffee, you want the water to be between 192-205°.

That way, there’s enough heat to interact with the beans, extract the oils from the coffee, and allow the coffee to pass through the filter.

What temperature is McDonald’s coffee now?

These days, McDonald’s coffee is served between 176–194°.

That being said, that is still hot enough to cause burns. It’s also arguably a little hotter than it needs to be. So use caution when holding, drinking, or opening the lid on a cup of coffee no matter where you buy it.

“McDonald’s hot” is a common term these days when something is very hot.

The phrase originated after McDonald’s got sued in 1992. That suit was over them handing 79-year-old Stella Liebeck a cup of coffee at the drive-thru that later spilled in her lap. In fact, she spilled the entire cup of coffee between her legs while trying to add creamer.

How hot was McDonald’s coffee when they got sued?

At that time, McDonald’s training manual specified that coffee should be served at “195 to 205 degrees and held at 180 to 190 degrees for optimal taste.”

As I mentioned above, by comparison, Starbucks’ drip coffee is typically served at 165°.

Now we could certainly fault her for getting her coffee from McDonald’s instead of a more reputable restaurant or coffee shop. We could also fault her for being clumsy. After all, you’d have to really not be paying attention to pour an entire cup of coffee in your lap.

But the reality is that she suffered 3rd-degree burns because McDonald’s had served her coffee that was incredibly hot.

The jury agreed and awarded her almost 3 million dollars in punitive damages, plus a little more in compensatory damages. Appeals eventually reduced her payout to an undisclosed amount of under $600,000.

Ironically, she originally just asked for $20,000 to cover lost income and medical expenses. McDonald’s refused and only offered her $800 (I’m guessing some number-cruncher lost their job over that bone-headed move).

And in case you’re wondering if this was someplace like Chicago in the middle of winter where you’d expect coffee to be extra hot, it was actually in Albuquerque.

To be fair, places like Starbucks have certainly been sued for hot coffee burns too. But McDonald’s lawsuit is by far the most famous and the largest payout.

It also came out during the trial that McDonald’s had over 700 similar cases and had paid out lower amount settlements many times and yet had never changed their coffee serving temp.

Final Thoughts

In this post, we took an in-depth look into the world of coffee.

We examined the proper brewing temperature & serving temperatures. Then, I talked about the proper grind and answered all the top questions related to what coffee maker makes the hottest coffee.

We also answered that question specifically with my recommendation of the Redline MK1 8 Cup Coffee Brewer, which is an outstanding drip coffee maker with great reviews and truly makes a great, and hot, cup of coffee!

What’s your favorite way to make coffee?

Check out all my coffee product recommendations (click to see my list) with additional features and direct links to Amazon for easy purchase.

I always hand-select items that I either own, have used, or have researched well to ensure they are great items. I also give not only top of the line as well as inexpensive alternatives so my choices work for any budget.

As an Amazon Associate I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases if you click to Amazon from my site and choose to make a purchase. You can read my complete affiliate disclosure for more details.

Jeff Campbell

Rich Pavcek

Saturday 15th of February 2020

I tried two top of the line Keurig coffee makers and neither brewed hot coffee. The temps were about 170 to 175 degrees even though the adjustable temp was set to 192 degrees. Not acceptable. So stop telling people that they will get hot coffee.

Jeff Campbell

Saturday 15th of February 2020

Hi Rick

Thanks for commenting and I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience. I was going off the manufacturer's specs. But I do have a Keurig myself (the classic model) and will test the temp and report back. But to the taste, mine is plenty hot.

If you want to comment back and let me know which models you tried I'll dig in further. Also, when you say you "tried" them, does that mean you bought brand new ones?