How to Cool Down Coffee Fast: 19 Simple Hacks

It takes time to cool coffee to a drinkable temperature, never mind one for making a chilled drink. But what if you are in a hurry and need to figure out how to cool down coffee fast?

No matter what you do, you can’t turn coffee cold with a snap of your fingers. But there are several easy methods to speed up the chilling process significantly. Read on to learn some cool hacks for chilling hot coffee fast.

1. Add ice cubes

Sometimes, an old-fashioned method is the most effective. For example, adding ice cubes or crushed ice to a cup of hot coffee is one of the quickest ways to cool it.

“Wait,” you say, “won’t that just result in watery coffee?” Yes, the melting ice cubes will dilute your coffee. But lucky for you, there’s a way around it.

You can make your hot coffee extra strong — like a shot of espresso. Adding ice cubes will dilute it to a palatable strength.

You can even control the dilution. Brew your coffee with less water than usual and measure the missing amount of water into an ice cube tray. Ice will dilute the coffee to its regular strength.

black coffee with ice cubes

2. Use frozen coffee cubes

What if you want to chill hot coffee with the speed of ice cubes without worrying about dilution? Simple — use frozen coffee ice cubes to make the coffee cool.

Brew some coffee beforehand and freeze it in ice cube trays. And there you go! You now have iced coffee cubes to make iced coffee. You won’t have to worry about your drink getting watery since the iced coffee cubes will add more coffee to your mug.

3. Add milk or cream

If you like milky drinks, like iced lattes, you already have a ticket to cold coffee. Simply add cold milk or heavy cream to your cup. Add chilled syrup or coffee creamer to create a cooler drink. Try this stevia creamer recipe for a low-calorie coffee creamer option.

Finally, if you’d like to prepare for the future, you can freeze milk in an ice cube tray and freeze them. Then, when making iced coffee, pop cold milk cubes in, which will cool the cup without diluting your brew.

pouring cold milk into coffee

4. Get reusable ice cubes

Making lots of ice cubes can be a hassle if you drink plenty of iced coffee. Instead of endlessly refilling cube trays, a reusable ice cube set is a good substitute for ice.

Reusable ice cubes are usually made of plastic and filled with water. When frozen, they will cool your coffee fast without watering it down.

Alternately, whiskey stones are a great way to cool coffee. These small chunks of porous stone get very cold in the freezer or fridge without containing any water.

5. Blow on your coffee

Remember your mom teaching you to blow a hot drink? But wasn’t that a way to distract you until it cools down on its own? Nope — blowing on a hot drink removes heat from it.

Blowing on your brew increases the number of molecules that contact the surrounding air. This helps dissipate heat quickly to cool your cup.

Granted, you’ll probably run out of breath long before your drink reaches iced coffee temperature. But blowing is still an excellent way to chill coffee and not burn your tongue.

cooling down coffee in a cup

6. Keep your coffee in front of a fan

If it’s a hot day and your fan is on, why not get it to do the job? And the fan works faster than you trying to imitate the Big Bad Wolf blowing on your coffee!

The more air blows on the coffee, the more heat gets dispersed. You might be surprised by what a temperature difference holding your mug in front of a fan for five minutes can make.

7. Stir your coffee

Stirring any hot drink is a surprisingly effective way of cooling it down — and the same goes for coffee. So grab a spoon to cool the coffee’s temperature so you don’t burn your mouth. 

When you stir coffee, the hot water gets into contact with the air faster. This will increase the rate at which thermal energy dissipates, and you can soon drink coffee without burning yourself.

To get even quicker results, use a metal spoon. Metal has excellent thermal conductivity, so the spoon will suck even more heat away from the drink.

stirring coffee

8. Make cold-infusion coffee

Are you a fan of chilled coffee drinks? Why not infuse your coffee in the evening so you can enjoy an iced coffee first thing in the morning?

Japanese cold brew coffee makers are designed for brewing slow-drip coffee. However, you can try the cold-infusion technique with a French press or paper filters in a mason jar. Coarsely ground coffee is the best for the cold brew to ensure proper extraction in cold water.

Pour cold water over the coffee grounds and leave overnight, and you’ll have a refreshing coffee drink ready the next day. You can also prepare a decaf cold brew using the same technique.

9. Use an AeroPress with cold water

An Aeropress is your secret weapon if you want to make cold coffee quickly from scratch. Getting a full cup of refreshing coffee takes only a couple of minutes.

To prepare cold brew AeroPress, grind a half ounce (15g) of coffee beans very finely. Place it into the Aeropress chamber, pour about 2 ounces (60-70ml) of room temperature water, and stir for one minute. Then, press it down gently. Remember to be careful as the fine particles clog the fine sieves easily — pressing with too much pressure could damage your Aeropress.

This will result in a very strong drink. You can drink it if you enjoy the caffeine kick or dilute it further by adding ice cubes. Presto — a delicious iced coffee in mere minutes!

brewing aeropress with cold water

10. Pop your coffee in the fridge

Popping your coffee into the fridge to cool it down might seem an obvious option. However, pay attention to what kind of cup you use. Thin or chipped glass or carafe could shatter in the fridge when the hot coffee meets the rapidly cooling glass surface.

It’s best to use a ceramic mug or a strong glass container. Of course, just a pitcher works, but a thick glass mason jar will work too.

11. Chill the coffee in the freezer

The freezer is the coldest place in your home (I hope!), so pop your coffee into it to chill it fast.

Just be careful not to stick a hot glass in the freezer as it may shatter and result in an awful mess. Instead, it’s best to use a metal mug. The cold surface will increase the cooling rate.

You also need to ensure your coffee doesn’t get completely frozen, or you’ll end up with a big block of coffee ice.

coffee cup in freezer

12. Pour your coffee into a metal bowl

A full-metal bowl is an effective cooling method for hot coffee. Metal has better heat transfer properties than glass or ceramics, so it will cool your beverage much faster.

Pour coffee into a shallow metal bowl or a pan. A large surface area will make your coffee chill fast.

13. Use a chilled cocktail shaker

Have you been practicing your mixology skills at home? Using a cocktail shaker to cool your coffee is a hack you’ve probably never considered.

Add some ice cubes to the cocktail shaker. Once chilled, discard the ice and pour the coffee. If you want to sweeten your drink, add some syrup or sugar. Then, shake like you are making a cocktail.

You can leave the ice in the shaker for even faster results, although that may water down the brew. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you start with espresso-strength coffee.

cocktail shaker and coffee cup

14. Make a coffee ice bath

An ice bath sounds like a chilling experience, right? You’ll have a hard time finding a more effective method that’s not liquid nitrogen.

You’ll need one small and one large container made of metal and some ice. Start by pouring coffee into the smaller container. Then, fill the bigger dish with ice and water and place the coffee bowl. The mix of metal and ice quickly dissipates heat.

For an even colder ice bath, add salt to the ice bowl. Putting salt in water lowers its freezing point. As a result, the water will get colder and chill your coffee quicker.

15. Use a cold cup

Here is a simple trick if you prefer your coffee hot but not too hot. Simply place your cup or mug in the freezer while you grind beans and brew your beverage. Then, fill it with ice cubes if you want to speed up the process.

When the coffee is ready, pour it into a cold cup. The surface of the cup will cool down the drink much faster.

cup filled with ice cubes

16. Get a coffee chiller

If you like gadgets, a designated coffee cooler might just be what you need. Coffee chillers have gotten increasingly popular over the past few years for making iced coffee.

Keep the coffee chiller in the freezer overnight. Pouring your coffee into it will quickly cool it from near boiling to room temperature.

17. Pour coffee into cups as soon as it is brewed

The bigger batch of coffee you brew, the longer it will take for it to cool down. Pour the coffee from the carafe into several cups to cool it faster.

You can use whichever method you prefer from this list to cool down coffee in smaller batches, depending on whether you want to make iced coffee or just cool your drink down to a drinkable temperature.

pouring freshly brewed coffee into cups

18. Use a smart coffee machine

A smart coffee machine — whether a Keurig or a drip maker — can be pricey, but they also allow you to have your coffee ready as you wake up. Most smart coffee makers have a handy timer function.

Grind coffee beans and fill the coffee maker before bed. Set the timer, and the machine will brew coffee while you are still fast asleep so you can enjoy it at the right temperature.

19. Make instant coffee

Many coffee snobs balk at instant coffee, but it’s an easy way to prepare a quick cup in the morning. In addition, instant coffee works even with lukewarm water.

Instant coffee is a good option if you can’t be bothered waiting until your brewed coffee cools down. So even if you are not a big fan of it, perhaps it’s worth having a can in the pantry for an emergency.

These methods will let you enjoy a refreshing iced coffee in no time. Start experimenting until you find a technique that gives you more flavor in a shorter time.

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