The Science of Altitude

I woke up this morning at 2800 metres above sea level, in the city of Quito, Ecuador, pondering why when I make coffee here it is never really hot?

Of course, the answer is something to do with Altitude. At sea level, and I do live at or near sea level in England, water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. So if you boil water the old fashioned way in a pan on the cooker, when you see the big bubbles you know the water is hot! Here in Quito, due to the city being at 2850 metres (approximate average) about sea level, water boils at a lower temperature. And it does not matter how long you keep heating the water all that happens is that it turns into steam. The boiling point of water at 2800 metres above sea level is approximately 90 degrees Celsius, so that is why my coffee feels at least 10% cooler.

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