I worked as a barista for 5 years and I always die a little every time a customer marches up to the hand-off area to ask if I can reheat their cup of coffee. To break it down for you, it’s like wanting to freeze your melted ice-cream at some point. But since being nice and friendly to everyone is part of my job description, I will just gladly inform and educate them about it even though it makes my heart beat fast gasping for fresh air.
There were times when customers would raise their eyebrows on me with dark squinted eyes and would start a conversation as if we were in some kind of high school debate competition that this rare paradox is possible at all. I wish I could only just blush, look down, and hide behind the bar. It could be possible, though, to reheat the coffee. But sometimes I hope some customers can also be reminded that I am the one who is actually, literally, and truly wearing the apron here and not them.
As Carmichel says, Coffee is a one-time kind of use deal. We make it and you drink it. Reheating organizes the chemical makeup of the coffee and totally ruins the flavor profile. Some things don’t work to reheat and coffee is one of them – it’s always proper to just brew a fresh cup. The bottom line here is that we are an advocate to stop drinking bad coffee and we just don’t want you to experience it!
(This also goes well with ordering extra-hot-milk-based-coffee but I think that’s for another blog post?)
Also, please don’t pull the microwave card because it is an absolute no go. Blaming the air-condition of the café, the weather, or basically the temperature of the atmosphere you’re currently in will only make the barista judge you behind the bar (just like how we judge people who order a cappuccino with no foam) because clearly, we didn’t ask for you to let your coffee sit there for an hour, did we?
Just an alternative, and my personal advice, you may politely ask for steamed milk or hot water on the side instead. That wouldn’t put justice to the quality of your coffee but it’ll make it up at least if you’re only up for the warmth of the liquid in your cup.
On the event that you’re gonna be facing to make this decision in the future, do the right thing and, damn I can’t believe I’m saying this again, back away from the microwave. If your coffee gets cold, just ask for some ice-cubes instead. That way, you will not lose the smile from the face of your barista because if you choose to drink it over ice, it’ll be better.
Or perhaps next time if you don’t want this to happen, put down your phone and slurp the liquid gold as loud as possible because the quality is not gonna last in less than 20 minutes.