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Chris Amirault

Hot Coffee with a Straw?!?

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I saw something today I'd never seen before. A student at Johnson and Wales brought back coffee and iced tea for several people in the bread classroom (including yours truly -- more on that visit later), along with straws for all the cold drinks. However, one of the iced tea drinkers was short a straw, and when we looked around to see why, one visitor was drinking the hot coffee through a straw stuck into the little hole in the cover.

I have never seen this before. Does it have some meaning of which I'm unaware?

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Nope. He wasn't wearing lipstick, and given who it was (male culinary professor) I would have been surprised if it was lip gloss, ChapStick, or any other emollient. Maybe, but... nah.

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I have seen that a few times recently. Different ages but always a woman. Maybe it eliminates the dribble factor of those openings in the plastic covers.

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Maybe a cultural thing? The only time I ever noticed a man doing that, he was also eating a hamburger impaled on a fork, and acting as though it was a very ordinary thing to do; he was an exchange student at the Graduate Center at 34th Street.

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I did it the last time I burnt my upper lip making hard candy. Idiote. :raz:

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My mom does that. She says it keeps her teeth from being stained.

This is the reason I've heard given for this.

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I saw something today I'd never seen before. A student at Johnson and Wales brought back coffee and iced tea for several people in the bread classroom (including yours truly -- more on that visit later), along with straws for all the cold drinks. However, one of the iced tea drinkers was short a straw, and when we looked around to see why, one visitor was drinking the hot coffee through a straw stuck into the little hole in the cover.

I have never seen this before. Does it have some meaning of which I'm unaware?

I used to do this with Starbucks. I take my coffee black, which is always quite hot at SB, I guess for people who add a lot of milk/cream. Drinking it through a straw kept me from burning my tongue many times.

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Here it's a health department thing, all drinks for employees/students in a commercial kitchen must drink from a closed container with a straw. Having the mouth touch the outside of a container like a coffee cup top or water bottle rim is not permitted.

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Here it's a health department thing, all drinks for employees/students in a commercial kitchen must drink from a closed container with a straw. Having the mouth touch the outside of a container like a coffee cup top or water bottle rim is not permitted.

OK, I'm intrigued. What, exactly is the rationale behind this? I cannot, for all the regulatory/quality/safety/biosafety/pseudo-science geek experience I've had in my career, for the life of me even begin to figure out why a straw is better than a bottle rim or an adult "sippy" cup lid.

'Splain, pleaze, Looooocy.

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It's supposed to minimize the chance that a person's hand would touch the spot where their mouth touched. With a water bottle, you have to unscrew a cap that may have germs on it because your mouth touched the rim of the bottle then the cap was replaced -over and over again. With a coffee cup, you have a cup with a lid with a hole in it, but, when it's close t being full you grab it near the top because that area is cooler than the main body of the cup. People might grab the cup under the rim, holding an arc under the lid. Or they might grab two opposite side of the rim with their fingertips, holding their palm above the lid. Either way, it's possible to touch an area where the lips rested, thus transferring bacteria from the mouth/chin to the hand or glove.

A straw limits the contact with the mouth to a small, easily identified area of contamination.

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So it just goes down the gullet, bypassing the mouth?

Correct. All the caffeine without all that awful coffee taste!

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Yup, the folks who use a straw for ice tea do it so they wont have to taste all that awful ice tea, same thing for all those milkshake drinkers in the world, at least by that logic.

Drink thru a straw. Does it skip your mouth? Really? It just skips the front teeth - you know, the ones that show coffee stains. And if you've paid to have your teeth bleached, you would care about these things.

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Update: A nice fellow named Alex sent me a link to his company that makes, lo and behold, straws for hot beverages. Yes, it's the Hot Straw! Dentist recommended!

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Looked at that site, and, WHAAAAAT?! They're messing with us.

I buy the reasons that have been suggested upthread, here – workplace regulations thing, the ouch-I've-trashed-the-outside-of-my-lips thing – but the reasons this website suggests on the home page are kind of implausible sounding: 'Spill stopper'?! They've got to be kidding. I'm the sort of person who can frequently be seen falling upstairs, and even I manage to get coffee from my cup to my mouth without dousing myself; on those occasions that I'm not coordinated enough to accomplish this, a straw isn't really going to help.

And, unless the coffee shoots straight down your throat, bypassing your mouth entirely, it's still going to come in contact with your teeth. Also, I've never found coffee to stain that persistently (tea is much worse), and the 'sugar eroding the tooth enamel' thing sounds kind of nuts, because I don't know anyone whose only source of sugar is their coffee (and again, even when using a straw, the coffee is going to swish about your mouth a bit).

Is this just the solution to a 'problem' they've invented themselves, or what?

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Maybe the man had Parkinsons or other shakiness? I know a couple of folks who have pretty good tremors and they use straws to help them drink without spilling all over.

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Hi, I also saw a woman drinking her coffee through a straw. Middle-aged actually. She could have burned her tongue, I guess.

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Using a straw, you will be sucking up all the ground settled on the bottom of the cup.

dcarch

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I have been known to drink coffee with a straw, not only does it not stain my teeth, but I get to stir the coffee with it when I need to, much better than those little stir sticks that are way too flimsy, IMHO...

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