Can You Put Hot Coffee In Glass?

Photo of hot coffee in a glass with grinded coffee in a jar and some coffee beans on the table and a glass with ice in the back. Can You Put Hot Coffee In a Glass?

Whether you’re shopping for a gift for someone or want to know if you can put hot coffee in glass, this is your go-to hub for all of the facts!

You can safely put hot coffee in a glass if it is rated safe for hot liquids. Putting coffee in, say, a water glass isn’t recommended. Since this glassware is meant for cold drinks, it might not withstand the pressure and stress that hot coffee can cause. Though, you can get many glass options that are rated safe for hot coffee. It’s one of the most popular materials for drinking coffee in the first place.

Read on for all the facts you need to know for safety and convenience regarding your coffee and glass.

Why isn’t glass safe for hot coffee?

If a glass is intended for cold drinks, why can’t you use it for hot drinks? It’s a logical question. The issue comes down to thermal shock. This is a kind of stress caused directly by a sudden change in temperature. The stress on the material (aka glass) will cause it to shatter. 

If your glass isn’t designed specifically for hot drinks, the literal shock of going from cold to hot in mere seconds can make it fracture and crack. In some cases, the glass can even explode! Putting hot coffee into a glass can be very dangerous!

Will hot coffee break a glass jar?

Are you feeling a bit apprehensive about that explanation? Yeah, I did too! Many people tend to pour coffee into glass jars without thinking about it. A jar is different from a drinking glass, after all, right? 

However, hot coffee can break a glass jar if it isn’t tempered. Tempering is the process of crafting and finishing glass, so it’s considered heat-safe. Even though a glass jar looks and seems different from a regular water glass, it’s no safer!

Can you put hot coffee in glass in the fridge?

Unfortunately, pouring hot coffee into a chilled glass in the fridge is the worst thing you could do. The temperature difference will be as extreme as possible, and it can increase the likelihood that your glass will break and explode. 

You should warm the glass before pouring hot coffee into it; if you are insistent on using one for your coffee (but more on that later).

Is it fine to put hot coffee in a glass?

Definitely not, as you likely already guessed. You shouldn’t put hot coffee in a glass unless you are sure it’s safe for hot liquids. It’ll tell you with a tiny sticker on the bottom of the glass or on the packaging when the store sold it to you. If you aren’t sure, you can check online for the manufacturer’s instructions!

When in doubt, assume that it isn’t safe for your coffee! Since it can be a severe danger to you, it’s better to err on the side of caution. Not only can you risk losing that fresh cup of delicious coffee, but you can also seriously injure yourself.

Is it bad to put hot drinks in a glass?

Any hot drinks should not go in a glass until you are sure it’s safe to do so. This could apply to coffee, hot chocolate, tea, or even if you are looking at doing some baking in a glass. Sure, it looks elegant to have a transparent look at your drink, but not if it compromises your safety!

Can I pour hot coffee over ice in a glass?

This is a common practice if you’re trying to make iced coffee that way. Technically, having a tall glass of ice cubes will help absorb the thermal shock and will help keep the glass from exploding since it dramatically cools the coffee as you pour it in.

However, you don’t want to use this as a way to protect your glass! Hello Little Home explains that putting ice cubes in your glass before pouring your hot coffee will ruin the taste that you’re going for.

If you are intentionally making iced coffee, then you’ll want to use a plastic tumbler rather than a glass one, and you’ll also want to follow the brewing instructions for that strong taste of a classic iced coffee. Of course, this is different from hot coffee poured over ice cubes.

How to know if a glass is heat resistant

This is a wonderful question to ask, of course, since safety should always be your priority. I mentioned already to look at the manufacturer’s packaging or website if you aren’t sure, however, there is another way to know if your glass is tempered or not!

It’s all about the thickness of your glass’ inner wall. If your glass is tempered, you’ll be able to visibly see the gap between the outer and the inner wall when you pour a liquid in. You’ll want to pour a colored liquid (room temperature) into the glass and see if you can see the insulated inner wall. If you can, it’s a sign that it’s tempered and will be safe for hot drinks! However, always check to make sure. It’s a good habit to get into.

Best cup material for hot coffee

So, if glass isn’t the best choice for hot drinks most of the time, then what is? There are a few options that you can consider for your hot coffee. In order of best to worst, those are:

  • Stoneware
  • Ceramic
  • Tempered glass
  • Stainless steel
  • Plastic

Stoneware and ceramics don’t change the taste of the coffee as you drink them. Stoneware conserves heat much better than ceramic, but ceramic tends to be lighter and easier to care for. 

Stainless steel and plastic are less popular because stainless steel changes the flavor of the coffee, and plastic can do the same — plus a lot of plastic is avoided since it can leach chemicals into your coffee!

Can you put hot coffee in mason jars?

Mason jars are hot topics right when it comes to the overall aesthetic of your drink. Mason jars, if their authentic ones rather than fashion ones, are safe most of the time to use for your coffee, as Mason Jar Lifestyle explains. Since they’re often used to make soup and preserve food, they’re designed for high heat.

That said, you’ll still want to be extra cautious about using mason jars. Double-check that you are buying authentic ones designed specifically for high heat. And still, ensure that you follow instructions for safely pouring hot coffee into a glass, which I’ll get into in a little bit.

Can you put hot coffee in a wine glass?

Sure, it might seem really posh and special to serve hot coffee in a wine glass. However, it’s not at all safe for hot coffee! Wine glasses are thin and fragile at the best of times, and when you pour hot coffee into them, they’re almost guaranteed to shatter!

How to pour hot coffee safely into a glass

Okay, so now that I’ve explained the different ways to understand if glass is a safe material for your coffee or not, let’s take a moment to learn how to properly pour hot coffee into a glass that you have. After all, even if a glass is rated safe for hot liquids, you’ll still want to ensure that you’re doing your part to keep yourself and your precious cup of coffee safe. The steps include the following:

  • Make sure your glass is room temperature or slightly warmer
  • Put a metal spoon in the glass
  • SLOWLY pour half of your coffee into the glass
  • Allow it to warm up
  • Pour the rest of your coffee in
  • Stir carefully

These tips are designed to help you stay as safe as possible when pouring hot coffee into a glass, but it’s still important to always use caution. If you hear any squeaking, hissing, or crackling, it’s a sign that the glass is heating up too quickly. You‘ll want to stop what you’re doing and let it sit somewhere (preferably covered) so that the glass is contained in case it does crack or, worst-case scenario, explode.

Learning how to judge what’s safe for your coffee or not is essential for, well, your safety. When it comes to coffee and glass, you can put hot coffee into a glass as long as it is tempered and rated safe for hot drinks. You won’t want to put hot coffee into a glass tumbler for milk or water, but you can put it in a heat-safe mason jar or glass coffee mug.

Putting hot coffee into a cold drink glass can cause it to heat up too quickly and shatter or even explode. If you are pouring coffee into a glass, you’ll want to read above for how to do it safely so that you don’t waste your coffee or put your health at risk!

Know someone who loves using a glass holder for their coffee? If so, share this with them to keep them safe!

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Robert Knowlton is an expert barista with more than 15 years of experience. Robert's main goal is to make sure everyone can enjoy the perfect cup of coffee regardless of their skill level.