Most of the time before going to work I really enjoy eating my breakfast while watching some documentary, but then I notice that I am quite late so I will hurry to eat my breakfast. Then the problem arises where I want to drink my coffee, but can't drink it easily because it is still too hot. Are there any methods to cool it enough so I can easily drink it in a short time?

Most of the time I do the following:

  1. Put it in the front of the fan - but this takes approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Throw it away - I don't want to do this!
  • 2
    "Throw it away" - I see what you mean here :D
    – nicael
    Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 11:06
  • 2
    This must be an American thing. Proper coffee should be at a drinkable temperature when it is poured.
    – Stephen
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 4:51
  • Could you take the coffee with you in a flask or lidded cup? Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 12:49
  • @EleventhDoctor because I am late I think if I take the coffee it will slow me down. Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 0:00
  • An interesting read: physics.stackexchange.com/q/5265/74783 (sorry, I don't know how to format comments properly)
    – Xylius
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 9:09

8 Answers 8


Methods I use with quotes from WikiHow:

  • Pour the contents from cup to cup. This may take sometimes. Chilling the mug beforehand works wonders.

    Take your drink and pour it from one cup to the other cup. If your cup goes higher, then more air will go through it, making it colder. Don't make your cup go too high, after pouring, it might bounce a few drops and land on your arms. It will burn!

  • Use Ice cubes. This method works if you drink the beverage fast, otherwise, the Ice Cubes melt and the beverage is watered down, unfavorable.Or you could wrap the ice cubes in foil as it still makes it cold but it won't be watered down quite as much

    Put one or two ice cubes in your hot drink.

WikiHow, says add 1 or 2, but I usually add more. Also, making milk ice cubes works, because it doesn't water down the drink.

  • Put your Milk, cream, and/or sugar into the refrigerator freezer and pour them into the coffee when you want to drink it. This way the coffee gets tasty and cool. Mixing the sugar and milk together and then freezing it is an amazing hack to save time when preparing coffee because just throw the ice cubes in when you want sugar and milk/cream.

  • Use Ice and Salt. I have never used this method.

    Put the drink inside its cup into a closed container. Put some ice sprinkled with salt into the closed container (not into the drink cup). Let sit briefly. Your drink will be cold in a matter of minutes.

Another Method

  • 1
    Cup to cup, always works! Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 14:58
  • 1
    Why not make coffee-ice-cubes; take a cup of black coffee, pour it into an ice tray, and freeze. When you add the cubes next morning, no 'watering down' effect. Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 20:12
  • 1
    This question is almost a year now and I am always thankful about the ice-cube trick. It always worked for me. Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 0:54
  • SO much effort for so little gain. @user104040 has the right answer - make it stronger, water it down, done.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 9:59

Make coffee ice cubes and keep in the freezer, that way you won't dilute your coffee when putting them in.

If you have your coffee in a mug with a sealable lid then shake it, once the cubes are in, for even cooler coffee.

Alternative: you could choose to drink ice coffee.

Answers on other Stack Exchange sites:

  • Love this method... I keep fast food cups from wendys/bk and fill them 3/4 with coffee and then freeze them. In the am before work I top off with hot coffee and cream and its immediate iced coffee that will get stronger as the am rolls on... not weaker from the ice melting.
    – Phlume
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 7:24

The other answers so far mostly suggest cooling your coffee by putting it in contact with cold things. This is a bad idea because it

  • Doesn't increase the rate of cooling a lot initially (approximately by a factor of 2 to 3)
  • Does increase the rate of cooling a lot once the coffee is already near room temperature relative to normal cooling, at which point you risk over-cooling your coffee
  • Ice cubes will dilute coffee

Instead, I suggest cooling your coffee in a different way. The rate of cooling is proportional to the surface area of the liquid, so increase the surface area of your coffee.

Take your coffee, and poor it into a large pan or container. The container should be as long and wide as possible. This increases surface area. This Pyrex 4-quart baking dish is a pretty good option, and is useful for other lifehacks like the "storing a leftover casserole in your refrigerator" hack (also requires plastic wrap). A bowl is not a good option as the rounded bottom has low surface area. Then wait for it to cool. You can put this near the fan if you want to, which will improve air flow and help mix the coffee, but it isn't strictly necessary.

If that doesn't cool fast enough (as could be a problem if you have to cool a whole pot of coffee and can only afford a small baking dish), take any clean metal silverware you have available and put it in the container prior to pouring the coffee. Ideally you want to have the silverware submerged as much as possible, but still have a small part outside the coffee so that it will stay in contact with the air as well and thus transfer head to the air. For forks and spoons, place them so that the large ends are in the coffee. This does two things. For one, it increases the surface area of the coffee, which is good. But it's doubly effective because metals are also good conductors of heat, and will evacuate the heat from your coffee faster than just air alone.

If that's still not fast enough, in addition, you can take an electric mixer and turn it on at high speed in the coffee. You can also mix with a spoon or whisk, but that's not as effective. The mixer will get air bubbles into the coffee. Don't worry, they won't stay for long, but that increases the surface area further. It also causes circulation, which will lead to a higher rate of evaporative cooling.

Once you finish with that, pour your coffee back into your mug (through a colander to sort out the silverware) and drink. Note that in a pinch, you can combine this method with most of the ice and/or refrigeration methods, but this is not recommended unless your coffee is very hot and you need to drink it very quickly.


Brew your coffee in a stronger concentration, and add ice cubes. The concentrated brew is important, so you don't end up with watered down coffee. Placing the cup on a shelf in the fridge can also be faster than using a fan.


Just pour the coffee into a chilled mug. If it's still not cold enough to drink, pour it into another chilled mug. Chill the mug by filling it with ice water and letting it stand while you're vegging out. Or keep 'em in your fridge.

You can find other hacky coffee-chilling ideas in: Cooling a cup of coffee with help of a spoon


I make my tea with half measure of hot water and afterwards I put some tap water. You can try that with coffee as well . it's so easy

  • I make my coffee this way every day. I don't see how this isn't a higher-voted answer; it's just so blindingly obvious... make it stronger, water it down, achieve correct strength & temperature all in one go.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 9:57

Pour your drink into a metal/plastic container and place it inside a pot filled with cold water. The material is important because glass, ceramic or porcelain cups will most likely crack due to temperature difference. Stir it with a spoon for a minute and it will cool a lot quicker than if you just left it in there.

Advantages of this method:

  • Faster than using a fan: ~1 minute if you stir, ~5 if you leave it;
  • Does not dilute the drink;
  • No additional cleaning up required.

If you are in a car, take off the lid, put it in the cup holder, and turn the air conditioner towards it for a few minutes while you drive. Then, you can drink it as you walk into the building, or while you work!

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