How to Make Coffee in the Microwave?

The day just does not start properly without a hot and fresh morning cup of coffee for many coffee enjoyers around the world. Although most coffee enthusiasts have a good brewing set-up at home, sometimes you can find yourself in a situation where you only have a microwave oven to heat the water.

Not to worry at all as it is quite easy to brew your morning coffee using a microwave oven. Microwave oven is mostly used to heat up cooked and refrigerated foods but can also be used to boil water, in which you can brew coffee.

Just by following some simple steps, you will be able to make yourself a fine cup of coffee that will not only give you the jolts of energy that you need to start the day but it will also taste quite nice and rich.

Contrary to popular belief, microwaved water does not have any different texture or chemical properties, and it can be used to prepare coffee without any issues. I have not found that much difference between coffee brewed with microwaved water and regular boiled water.

Can You Make Coffee in the Microwave?

Yes, you can easily make coffee in the microwave oven. A microwave oven uses microwave radiation to move the water molecules present in the food inside the container which in turn heats the food. This is a direct method of heat transfer that bypasses the container or plate and directly heats the water.

Brewing coffee requires heating coffee grounds suspended in the water. When we use an espresso machine or a Moka pot, we apply heat and pressure to the water that contains coffee grounds. We can create a similar environment for a cup of water with coffee grounds.

However, when you make coffee using a microwave oven, it will not have the same result as coffee made using an espresso machine, Moka pot, or stove because the water will boil differently. Microwave oven often heats water over 100 c or 232 f without boiling and this causes the water to boil slightly differently.

But, this still results in the water boiling which can be used to brew a fresh cup of coffee that will be very similar to your regular morning cup of joe.

How to Make Coffee in the Microwave?

The ingredients, tools, and instructions necessary to brew a cup of coffee in the microwave oven are given below.


Here is the list of ingredients.

  • 30 gm or 1 oz ground coffee- coffee beans should be finely ground for this, otherwise, there will be a lot of residue floating in the water making the coffee taste bitter
  • 500 ml or 17 oz water- you can use tap water if your water supply is fresh. However, using filtered water or bottled water should be preferred. Tap water usually has too many minerals and salt in it that helps to heat the water above boiling point
  • Sugar- as needed
  • Milk- as needed. Milk should be around 70 c or 158 f. You can heat the milk in the microwave separately

Necessary Kitchen Tools

Here is the list of tools you will need.

  • Microwave oven. The default settings in your microwave oven are completely fine and you do not need to change the settings. 1000 wattage is enough to boil water.
  • Two ceramic or glass cups. Refrain from using plastic cups as they might dissolve microplastic in your coffee.
  • Funnel and filter. These are optional if you want to have a clear cup of coffee without any muddy substances in it. Otherwise, you might have to keep your coffee unstirred for a few minutes to let these substances fall to the bottom of the cup.
  • Metal spoon


Here are the steps to make a cup of coffee using a microwave.

Step 1

Take 30 gm of ground coffee or grind 30 gm of coffee beans in a blender.

Step 2

Put that ground coffee in a glass.

Step 3

Pour 500 ml of water into a cup.

Step 4

Turn on your microwave oven. Open the door, put the glass in the oven, and shut the door.

Step 5

Set the timer for 1:30 minutes and start the microwave oven.

Step 6

Use a spoon to stir the water. Put it back in the oven and blast with microwave for another 1:00 minutes. 

Step 7

Carefully take out the boiling water with mittens or a cloth.

Step 8

Pour the hot water into the other glass that contains coffee grounds. Stir the coffee with a spoon. You can use filter papers and a funnel to filter out the coffee grounds that didn’t dissolve in the water.

Step 9

At this stage, you can add sweeteners like sugar, syrup, and chocolate as well as milk.

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Making Coffee in the Microwave

Here are the common mistakes that can ruin your attempt to make a nice cup of coffee. Note these mistakes and avoid them to make a perfect cup of coffee.

Not Stirring the Water in Between

The microwave oven vibrates the water molecules without touching the glass. This often results in the water molecules absorbing more heat than the water needs to cross the boundary of the boiling temperature. Stirring the water in between helps the heat to get distributed among all the other molecules and also helps the molecules to move more freely. This is why I highly recommend that you stir the water in between two bursts of radiation.

Overheating the Water

Avoid overheating the water at all costs. Keep an eye on the cup as the water boils. Overheating the water can boil the water too much and cause too much steam to form inside the microwave oven. I suggest stopping the microwave and checking the water to make sure that it is not getting overheated if you feel like the water is getting too hot without boiling.

Using Dirty Water

Using contaminated water can cause the coffee to taste horrible. Water will not boil for too long in the coffee pot so it might even contain harmful bacteria. I suggest you use filtered water or bottled water to make coffee in the microwave oven.

Not Grinding the Coffee Beans Properly

Grind the coffee beans well if you are not using any filter papers to filter out the sediments left from the coffee grounds. Otherwise, the coffee might taste bitter. I recommend grinding the beans finely for making coffee in the microwave oven.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Coffee in the Microwave

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using a microwave oven to make a cup of coffee.


The biggest advantage of using a microwave oven to make coffee is that it saves a lot of time and takes the least amount of effort. It also does not require a lot of fancy equipment like a moka pot or a French press to make the coffee.


The biggest downside of using a microwave oven to make coffee is that the taste will not be as good as making the coffee with a coffee maker, espresso machine, moka pot, or even on the stove because the microwave oven does not boil the water for too long.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I Use Instant Coffee to Make Coffee in the Microwave?

Yes, you can use instant coffee to make coffee in the microwave oven. Do not mix instant coffee in cold water and put it in the microwave oven. Heat the water and then pour it into a glass that has the instant coffee powder in it to make a nice cup of coffee.

2. How Long Does It Take to Make Coffee in the Microwave?

From my experience, I have seen that it takes about 5-6 minutes to make coffee using a microwave oven.

3. Can I Reheat Coffee in the Microwave?

Yes, you can reheat the coffee in the microwave oven but it will not taste good. The coffee particles heat up differently in the microwave oven than the first time when the coffee was brewed and that makes the coffee taste bad. I usually throw away the entire batch if it gets to room temperature and brew a fresh cup of coffee because reheated coffee tastes unpleasant.

4. Does the Type of Mug Affect Microwaving Coffee?

No, the type of mug does not affect microwaving the coffee but you should refrain from using plastic mugs in the microwave oven. I use ceramic cups to heat water in the microwave oven.

5. Does Coffee Taste Bad When Brewed Using a Microwave?

No, coffee does not taste bad when brewed using a microwave oven but it can taste different than a regular cup of coffee made in the Moka pot, espresso machine, or coffee maker.


Microwaving water and brewing coffee with it is a quick and easy way to brew a nice cup of coffee but it often does not taste as good as a regular cup of coffee taste when brewed with a Moka pot or a coffee machine.

However, sometimes situation forces hands and taste can be sacrificed to quickly meet the demands of a hot and refreshing cup of coffee.

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