Two metallurgical cokes were heat treated at 1673 K to 2273 K (1400 degrees celsius to 2000 degrees celsius) in a nitrogen atmosphere. The effect of heat treatment on the microstructure and microstrength of metallurgical cokes was characterized using X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and ultramicroindentation. In the process of heat treatment, the microstructure of the metallurgical cokes transformed toward the graphite structure. Raman spectroscopy of reactive maceral-derived component (RMDC) and inert maceral-derived component (IMDC) indicated that the graphitisation degree of the RMDC was slightly lower than that of the IMDC in the original cokes; however graphitisation of the RMDC progressed faster than that of the IMDC during annealing, and became significantly higher after annealing at 2273 K (2000 degrees celsius). The microstrength of cokes was significantly degraded in the process of heat treatment. The microstrength of the RMDC was lower, and of its deterioration caused by heat treatment was more severe than IMDC. The degradation of the microstrength of cokes was attributed to their increased graphitisation degree during the heat treatment.