Believe it or not, there’s no single “right” way to drink your coffee. But these expert perspectives will certainly give you something to think about.
As the folks at Starbucks’ development team would have it, coffee is meant to be savored. These coffee experts use a process they call “cupping” to ensure that coffee beans are on par with the Starbucks standard.
It’s not too pretty–but they swear it’s worth the effort. They sniff (for the aroma), slurp (to aspirate the liquid–bringing out the flavor), and taste it (very carefully) to experience every nuance that its flavors, scents, and textures have to offer. They also spit it out into a bucket that they keep by their feet, but that’s just because they go through hundreds of cups a day, which wouldn’t be safe to ingest. Of course, this method is most effective if you’re drinking rich, high-quality coffee, and if you’re are looking more for an experience instead of a caffeine jolt!
But etiquette experts wouldn’t tolerate slurping or spitting. For them, the “right” way to drink comes down to how you hold your mug.
They advise looping your index finger around the handle, keeping your thumb on top of it, and leaving the rest of your fingers folded into your palm. And, for some reason, it’s also important to never stir in circles. Instead, they suggest moving your spoon forward and backward in the cup. Whirlpools are much too fun for the refined coffee drinker.
For nutrition experts, it’s not about how you hold it or how you taste it–it’s about how you absorb it. They’re a scientific bunch, pointing out that when we fill our coffee with creamer and sugar, we’re undermining, if not completely doing away with, its health benefits.
To make sure you’re keeping your coffee healthy, they first suggest taking it without milk or creamer, which can decrease your body’s ability to absorb the coffee’s nutrients.
That means your body can’t benefit from the chlorogenic acid found in coffee, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties which is thought to help fight off diseases like arthritis and cancer. But if taking coffee without milk is out of the question, maybe consider using a non-dairy alternative like coconut or almond creamer.
Second, they say lose the sugar. If you’re regularly consuming too much sugar, it can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. And that’s just to name a few of the problems that excessive sugar intake can cause.
Third, don’t drink too much! It’s estimated that the average adult can safely consume only four cups of coffee a day. Now, if your coffee has a lot of caffeine in it, the number of cups you can safely drink will be lower. Just try not to consume more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day. Otherwise, you could experience a host of uncomfortable symptoms, including the jitters, which is sometimes strong enough to induce vomiting.
No matter how we drink our coffee, we can all learn a thing or two from the experts. So, next time you brew yourself a cup, consider savoring it with the “cupping” method, holding your mug with etiquette, or taking it without sugar and cream to maximize its health benefits.