Protecting Your Palate: What is the Best Serving Temperature for Hot Drinks? - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jan 29, 2020

Protecting Your Palate: What is the Best Serving Temperature for Hot Drinks?

We’ve all heard horror stories and urban legends about someone’s third cousin’s mother-in-law suing a fast food chain for spilling scalding hot coffee on her lap. They always end with shocking injuries and million-dollar settlements. Whether or not these anecdotes are true, burning your mouth on a hot beverage is an inconvenience everyone can relate to.

This may leave you wondering what the perfect temperature is for serving hot beverages. We have done the research for you to help you avoid toasting your taste buds this winter.

What is the perfect serving temperature for hot drinks?
According to Dr. Fredericka Brown and Dr. Kenneth Diller, mechanical engineering professors at The University of Texas at Tyler, the optimal temperature range for serving hot beverages is between 125°F and 136°F. Their research shows that although people may have different ideas of what the best temperature for beverage consumption is, drinking a warm beverage outside of this range can negatively impact taste or cause physical discomfort. In some cases, drinking beverages that are above this range can cause serious burns to the mouth, tongue and esophagus.

How can I tell if my beverage is too hot?
Knowing the optimal temperature for serving hot beverages is good information, but how do you know if your drink falls within the 125°F - 136°F range? The obvious answer is to invest in a kitchen thermometer. Most superstores and major online retailers sell several models of kitchen thermometers that range in price and quality. These thermometers have several other food preparation uses, so it may be an investment worth making.
While testing the temperature of a drink on your lip may seem like a good way of seeing if it is too hot to drink, it is not a recommended method of measuring heat because it can also lead to burns. If you do not have access to a kitchen thermometer, it is always better to be safe by drinking a beverage that is a little cooler to avoid burning yourself.

What is the best way to cool down hot drinks?
Brewing temperature for coffee and other hot drinks is often much higher than recommended serving temperature. Because of this, cooling is an essential step in making most hot beverages. While most people instinctively blow on their drinks, research has shown that this is an inefficient method for lowering the temperature of liquids. The best method for rapidly cooling drinks is to leave them out without a lid on. However, if you are to use this method, it is important that you make safe decisions and keep uncovered hot beverages out of reach of small children and in an area where they cannot be easily spilled.

How do I keep my drinks at the perfect temperature?
Maintaining the temperature of your coffee can be a balancing act. Luckily, there have been several advancements in beverage container technology. Some modern thermoses and mugs let very little heat escape by creating a vacuum that is insulated with copper plating and stainless steel. This makes it so that you can simply pour your drink into the container just as it reaches the perfect temperature range and keep it on hand for hours on end without having to reheat it at all.

Whether you’re a businessowner who serves coffee for a living or a parent preparing hot chocolate for your child, taking into account the temperature of beverages is an extremely important safety precaution. These tips and suggestions will give you insight into how to best serve hot drinks for any occasion.

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