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, 84 (8), 2011-2014

A Review of Hot Beverage Temperatures-Satisfying Consumer Preference and Safety


A Review of Hot Beverage Temperatures-Satisfying Consumer Preference and Safety

John Abraham et al. J Food Sci.


Hot beverages are served ubiquitously in the food-service industry as well as at residences and other venues. Coffee and tea beverages, in particular, are brewed at temperatures that are sufficiently high to cause immediate and serious risk for scald injuries. On the other hand, numerous research studies have been performed to identify the preferred consumption temperatures for hot beverages. The outcome of these mutually reinforcing studies is that the preferred drinking temperatures are significantly below the often-encountered brewing temperatures (∼200 °F). Consequently, there is great need to distinguish brewing temperatures from serving temperatures. Serving consumers beverages at very high temperatures is not only unnecessary (from a preference standpoint) but also unsafe. An appropriate range for service temperatures is (130 to 160 °F). PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Often times, hot beverages are served at temperatures near their brewing temperature; far hotter than preferred by consumers. This practice creates unnecessary risk to the consumer. A more rationale recommended range of service temperatures is 130 to 160 °F. This recommendation balances a range of consumer preferences and safety.

Keywords: Burn; hot beverage; injury; scald.

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