Why does coffee cool down faster than tea?

Why does coffee cool down faster than tea?

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0 thoughts on “Why does coffee cool down faster than tea?”

  1. I’m really into tea but I’ll draw on basic thermodynamics instead for this answer. If the same amount and temperature of liquid (of both types) is held in the same cup then it seems unlikely that the coffee really would cool faster than the tea. Other answers here are assuming that either there is more of one type than another, or the cup was heated in one case, or one started out warmer, but really those variables would vary, and could as easily be identical.
    Let’s touch on basic heat transfer mechanisms: conduction, convection, and radiation.
    Conduction : The cup loses heat to the table or saucer based on the insulating property of the material and the temperature differential between the cup and whatever it sits on; all that would be the same.
    Convection : A special case of conduction, the liquid loses heat in contact with the air. Essentially the effect is the same for the two types of liquids. In actual practice if one liquid included more volatile elements it would evaporate faster (as alcohol evaporates faster than water). But that’s actually a different sort of cooling mechanism, and seems unlikely to be significant, even though “volatiles” are compound types that carry flavor (a long story, that part). A layer of frothed milk or even surface differences in liquids could have a minor effect but that’s starting to get a bit silly, and tea would seem to cool faster based on that if there was any difference.
    Radiation : Any body radiates heat based on a temperature differential between itself and what surrounds it, even if those surrounding objects are relatively distant (like the effect of walking around under a clear sky; you radiate heat out towards empty space, more or less). Again this doesn’t vary for the liquid type. The effect does vary based on the color of solid objects (black radiates better than white, as I recall, but that class was awhile ago), so presumably for liquids as well, but again it’s not worth it even considering a potential minor difference.
    You’re probably either noticing something that isn’t actually occurring, or drinking larger cups of tea than coffee, or the processing up until putting the liquid in a cup results in a different initial temperature. It’s also conceivable that using a thick coffee mug soaks up lots of heat during initial warming and a thinner tea cup not so much, or more a stretch that one of those loses heat by those processes faster.

  2. Tea is made with water close to boiling point and the cup contains 95% hot liquid. Coffee is made from water at 95% and is only 30% of the cup contents, the rest being foamed milk at 64 degrees.

  3. The short answer is that it doesn’t cool faster, at least not technically, it just seems that way.
    Coffee brewed in a regular coffee maker, and most coffee shops too, is probably only heating the water to 195 F to 205 F.
    Black tea is made with boiling water at around 212 F, some people may use a slightly cooler water temperatures for green, white, oolong, or herbal tea, 165 F to 210 F (I tend to use boiling water for all my tea).
    If coffee and tea are made with different starting temperatures of water, with coffee brewed at a lower temp that tea, if makes sense that coffee would seem to cooler more quickly than tea. However, both regular black coffee and plain black tea likely cool at a similar rate, they just start at different temperatures.
    This wouldn’t account for other factors to consider: different containers used, like ceramic, plastic, metal, styrofoam, paper; lid or no lid; added cream, milk, sugar; stirred or not stirred; etc. These factors could all effect the rate of cooling.

  4. The water simply won’t evaporate. So in our cup in the fridge, the coffee evaporates a little, but quickly saturates the air above the surface, slowing evaporation and cooling.
    According to these results, coffee seems to cool faster than water, but only enough to be 0.73°C cooler after 30 minutes. … Considering the bounds of experimental uncertainty, coffee likely cools faster than tea , but even assuming perfect accuracy it would be warmer by only 1.8°C after 30 minutes.

  5. Because you usually take less quantity of coffe (e.g. an espresso) whilst with tea you take a full cup.
    The less quantity you put, the quickest it cool down. (same material of the container)


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