coffee mug

A Trivial Question About Your Coffee Cup

A coffee cup at Terra Vista. Detail of photo by B. D. Hilling, 2013.

Cari Romm explains, for Science of Us, a few details about why “It’s Okay to Never Wash Your Coffee Mug”:

As Heidi Mitchell wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal column, it’s fine to never wash your mug, as long as you’re not sharing it with anybody else. Better than fine, in fact: It may actually be the most sanitary option.

There are two caveats to that statement, infectious-disease expert Jeffrey Starke, a pediatrics professor at Baylor College of Medicine, told Mitchell: One, it only applies if you’re not sharing the mug with anybody else. And two, “if you leave cream or sugar in your mug over the weekend, that can certainly cause mold to grow”―in which case, wash it out.

The bottom line, Romm suggests, is that “letting your mug live in its own filth may be a safer bet than the alternative: scrubbing it with the disgusting communal sponge in the office kitchen”.

And, yes, there is the bit about putting the sponge in the microwave, but this still begs a question.

Who says you absolutely must use a sponge?

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Romm, Cari. “It’s Okay to Never Wash Your Coffee Mug”. Science of Us. 3 November 2016.

Coffee

A coffee cup at Terra Vista.  Detail of photo by B. D. Hilling, 2013.

And then there is coffee.

Adda Bjarnadóttir considers the obvious question, and, yes, those of us who count coffee among staples ought to check in every once in a while:

You can expect to get around 95 mg of caffeine from an average cup of coffee.

However, this amount varies between different coffee drinks, and can range from almost zero to over 500 mg.

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