More than most people, I absolutely LOVE my morning brew. Coffee is a big part of my daily routine and I like to take my time drinking my coffee and savoring it.
I hate it when my coffee gets cold too quickly and Yeti tumblers, with their vacuum insulation, are great at keeping coffee hot for hours at a time. But can you put coffee in a Yeti or will it change the flavor or damage the Yeti?
Yes, you can put coffee in a Yeti tumbler or bottle. Coffee is not very acidic and the stainless steel shouldn't react or change the flavor, but some people claim it does. Yeti cups can keep coffee hot for 4-6 hours or keep iced coffee cold for 6-12 hours.
I've been drinking coffee out of my Yeti cups for years now and never had any issues myself. But my partner is adamant that the stainless steel completely changes the flavor of the coffee.
So I wanted to do some more research and find out whether or not coffee reacts with stainless steel, if it's safe to put coffee in a Yeti cup or bottle and if it actually changes the flavor.
Can You Put Hot Coffee In a Yeti Cup?
Yes, you can put hot coffee in a Yeti. The stainless steel shouldn't react with the coffee or change its flavor and the vacuum insulation in the Yeti will keep the coffee hot for hours. Much longer than a regular ceramic cup.
When it comes to coffee people often talk about coffee being acidic, with light roasts tending to be more acidic than dark roasts.
This might lead you to believe that the acidic coffee might react with the stainless steel and either damage it or change the flavor of it.
However, coffee is actually NOT very acidic at all. It has a PH level of 4.5-6.0, which is very close to neutral. Compare that to soda which is around 2.52 for coke or the PH of lemon juice which is 2.0 (very acidic).
A lot of people make coffee with milk, which is is even closer to neutral PH levels than coffee and even less likely to react with the stainless steel.
Coffee Machines Are Made From Stainless Steel
If you're still concerned about having your coffee in a stainless steel cup or bottle then it can be reassuring to note that most coffee is made in stainless steel.
For espresso, ground coffee is put into a group head which made from stainless steel. Hot water and the dissolved coffee passes through this into your cup so it's already touched stainless steel to begin with.
The steaming want and the milk jug the barista uses to heat up and froth your milk…also both made from stainless steel.
The stainless steel used in coffee machines and milk jugs is a slightly different grade than that used in a Yeti cup. But it shouldn't make any difference at all.
Even if you're making pour over coffee then chances are your gooseneck jug is also made of…you guessed it….stainless steel.
It's really only cold brew coffee that is made in glass and doesn't touch any stainless steel before it hits your cup.
Can You Put Iced Coffee In a Yeti?
Yes, you can put iced coffee in a Yeti. Coffee is not very acidic and the stainless steel shouldn't change the flavor. Your Yeti will keep your iced coffee cold for 6-12 hours, or longer if you use more ice.
Yeti's can keep ice frozen for 24+ hours, but thats when the cup or bottle is completely filled with ice. Because iced coffee generally only uses a little bit of ice you can expect it to stay cold for 6-12 hours max.
Iced coffee is actually less likely to react with the stainless steel and change the flavor when compares to hot coffee.
Heat speeds up reactions and when I looked into whether or no styrofoam cups cause cancer heat was a major factor as to whether or not those cups leeched harmful chemicals into your drink or food.
By the way, I also did a deep deep dive into whether or not Yeti tumbler cups cause cancer…the answer is no they don't.
Does a Yeti Cup Make Coffee Taste Different?
No, a Yeti cup or bottle should NOT change the taste of your coffee and it's made from 18/8 stainless steel which shouldn't react with coffee. However, some people do notice a difference in flavor and prefer a ceramic cup.
This question has baffled me for some time now. I love having coffee in my Yeti and when I go on bush walks with my partner I'll pre-make coffee and take it in either a Yeti or Hydro Flask bottle (as they are completely leak proof).
I can't taste the difference but my girlfriends swears on her life that coffee in stainless steel tastes way worse.
Yeti cups are made from 18/8 stainless steel which is considered to be non-reactive and is used widely in everything from cutlery to cookware to drink ware. She shouldn't notice any difference in taste. Maybe it's just her mind playing tricks on her?
However, I did some research and turns out other people feel the same way.
This reddit post has a variety of answers from people, some claiming no change others claiming big changes in flavor.
Here are some of the comments from people who think stainless steel does ruin the flavor of coffee:
I honestly think coffee from any stainless tumblr tastes like a**, brand new, or washed, or whatever. I can't put my coffee in them.
I hate coffee out of stainless steel too. I can definitely taste it.
I'm the same way. Hate coffee in stainless steel. There's a brand called Bubba that makes a stainless travel mug with ceramic interior. Can buy in Amazon.
My girlfriend has always claimed she hates the taste of anything in stainless steel. Water, coffee, smoothies…she thinks the stainless steel changes the taste.
I personally can't taste any difference at all.
To test whether or not she could taste the difference I made two identically coffees. One in a stainless steel cup, one in a ceramic cup.
I then took a bit of each coffee and poured them into identical ceramic cups for her to drink from. It was a blind test, she had no idea which was which.
OMG you should have seen her face screw up in disgust as soon as she tasted the coffee originally from the stainless steel cup. Even before tasting the second cup she knew that was the one.
“All I can taste is metal! How can you drink that?!”A girlfriend who does NOT like her coffee in a Yeti
Yes my girl has a flair for the dramatic but clearly she could taste the difference.
Still to this day I can notice any difference at all and the science backs me up on that. But she could tell the difference.
So I guess it comes do to each person's pallet and whether or not they can taste the difference. Some people may be able to, some people (like me) might not be able to.
How Long Will Coffee Stay Hot in a Yeti Cup?
Yeti tumblers, mug and bottles are all vacuum insulated and are great at keeping drinks hot for hours at a time.
How long your Yeti will keep your coffee hot will depend on the starting temperature of your coffee.
A coffee starting at boiling temperature will stay hot in a Yeti for 4-6+ hours. By 12 hours your coffee will be lukewarm at best. A barista made coffee is usually around 130-150ºF (55-65ºC) and this will stay hot for around 2-4+ hours.
To keep your coffee hotter for longer in your Yeti try preheating the inside of the bottle with boiling water first. Leave for 1 minute and then discard before putting your coffee in.
This will stop the cold stainless steel walls of your Yeti taking heat from your coffee as you pour it in.
You can also wrap your Yeti in a towel or warm clothing and it will stay hot for longer. Also leave the lid on to stop steam escaping.
Can You Microwave Coffee In a Yeti?
Let's say you've made a coffee and over a couple of hours it's cooled down. You want to heat it up a little bit quickly in the microwave. Can you just put your Yeti cup or bottle in the microwave to warm up your coffee.
Yes, you can warm up coffee in a Yeti in the microwave. The metal will reflect all microwaves so you'll need to take the lid off to allow the microwave energy into your cup to heat up your coffee.
If you leave the microwave on too long then all the microwave energy will heat up the magnetron (the part of the device that generates the microwaves) too much and cause the microwave to switch off.
Older microwaves might not switch off automatically and this could actually cause your microwave to smoke.
So while you can put your Yeti in the microwave to heat up coffee you should only do it for a short period of time.
Liquid in a glass or ceramic cup will heat up faster in a microwave than in a Yeti or other stainless steel cup. This is because glass and ceramic allow some microwave energy to pass through into the coffee while the stainless steel of the Yeti cup will reflect the microwave energy.
What's The Best Yeti Cups/Bottles For Coffee?
I've written a full article on what are the best Yeti cups for coffee where I talk about each individual Yeti tumbler, mug and bottle and which are best for which size of coffee.
While there are a lot of different options ultimately the best Yeti cup for your coffee will come down the the size of coffee you like to drink.
So what is the best Yeti cup for coffee and which one should you get?
The Yeti 10 oz tumbler is the best Yeti for smaller coffees. It's thin enough to fit in any cup holder and comes with the MagSlider lid. The Yeti 12 oz bottle with hotshot cap is the best leakproof Yeti for coffee and the 20 oz Travel Mug with handle and leak proof lid is the best for the long commute coffee drinkers.
BEST YETI FOR LARGE (12 oz) COFFEE
Yeti 12 oz Bottle with HotShot Cap
Sizes: 10, 16, 22 oz
Price: See at Amazon
BEST YETI FOR SMALL (8 oz) COFFEE
Yeti 10 oz Tumbler with MagSlider Lid
Price: See at Yeti.com
BEST YETI FOR GRANDE (16 oz) COFFEE
Yeti Travel Mug with StrongHold Leak Proof Lid
Price: See at Amazon
There are so many options to good Yeti options to choose from you almost can't go wrong.
BEST FOR SMALL COFFEE: Yeti 10 oz Tumbler
The Yeti 10 oz tumbler is my Yeti cup of choice for small coffees (8-10 oz).
It's vacuum insulated to keep your coffee hot, dishwasher safe for easy cleaning but it's also thin, which means it fits easily into your car cup holder.
It also comes with the Yeti MagSlider lid making it splash proof so you won't spill your coffee while walking or driving.
BEST FOR LARGE COFFEE: Yeti 12 oz Bottle with Hotshot Cap
If you like my partner and you like your coffee a bit larger then the 12 oz Yeti bottle with HotShot cap is specifically designed for coffee.
It's perfectly sizes for a large coffee at a coffee shop and the lid is 100% leak proof so you can throw your coffee in your bag without having to worry.
The HotShot Lid is easy to use. Do a partial turn to open it and you can drink from anywhere on the lid.
BEST FOR EXTRA LARGE COFFEE: Yeti 20 oz Travel Mug
If you like to drink extra large coffees (16+ oz) then the Yeti 20 oz Travel Mug is the best Yeti cup for coffee.
It's vacuum insulated to keep your coffee hot. It's dishwasher safe, has a handle for easy drinking and is tapered at the bottom to fit into most car cup holders.
Most importantly the 20 oz travel mug comes with a StrongHold lid is that is completely leak proof!
Currently it's the only leak proof Yeti cup but hopefully Yeti will release more sizes in the future.
Can You Take a Yeti Cup To Starbucks or Other Coffee Shops?
Yes, you can take a Yeti cup to Starbucks to have it filled with delicious coffee. Most coffee shops, including StarBucks, allow keep cups (when there isn't any corona virus restrictions) and they will happily take a Yeti cup and fill it with coffee for you.
I used to work in an espresso bar and often we would have customers coming in with Yeti (or similar) insulated tumblers and we would happily fill it up with coffee for them.
Ideally try to take your cup in clean and dry but some cafes are even willing to clean you cups for you if you have leftover coffee in them and didn't have a place to
What Is The Best Yeti Lid For Coffee?
If you've already got a Yeti you may want a different lid that is specifically suited to coffee.
Yeti don't have many lid options for their tumblers. You can really only choose between:
The Standard Lid
Just a plastic lid with a permanent open sipping hole
The MagSlider Lid
The MagSlider Lid uses the power of magnets to make opening and closing the drinking spout easy. It also makes the MagSlider lid easy to clean which is a bonus.
This is the lid I have on my Yeti 10 oz tumbler that I personally use for coffee and it works great.
It's not 100% leak proof, it is only splash proof, so if you lie it down on it's side or if your cup falls over coffee will spill out.
The Straw Lid is NOT designed for hot coffee but can be used for ice coffee. The straw is made from plastic and isn't designed to be used with hot beverages