Is coffee healthy? Does it boost metabolism? Increase your risk of cancer? Does it really help your workouts? Is it really that dehydrating? Coffee has been long debated as the greatest thing ever or what will ultimately lead to your death. But there’s so much research out there on coffee, it’s easy to overlook some of the lesser known studies on coffee.
1. The color of your coffee mug influences the flavor of the coffee.
A small study done on 18 men and women found that white coffee mugs made coffee taste the most bitter. The “intensity” of the flavor could have been higher because it emphasized the brown-ness of the coffee more. Whereas a blue or transparent mug was thought to make the coffee less intense or more sweet.
2. Where do you fall on the temperature scale, lukewarm or scalding? There is an ideal temperature to drink your coffee at.
I personally prefer my coffee as hot as I can bear it, but my mom will still drink coffee after it’s been sitting on the counter for an hour. 300 people in this study bravely burned their mouths until they found a suitable range of 125-155 degrees F (51.7-68.3 degrees C) with the ideal average being 136 degrees F (57.8 degrees C).
3. You might be disappointed to hear having coffee at the crack of dawn isn’t optimal.
If you like your cup of coffee with breakfast while you’re getting ready for work, you may want to consider postponing until you get to work. When you wake up, your cortisol levels, a.k.a. stress hormone, is naturally highest in the early morning, around 8:30 and drops off throughout the day with a few spikes. Steven Miller, a psychology professor at Rosalind Franklin University, says that 9:30-11:30 and 2-5 are the best times to get your caffeine fix based on this study. But if you can’t live without your cup of joe with breakfast, it may not be that critical. Since this study was only done on 28, mostly caucasian subjects in a research facility, it couldn’t account for any external life stressors like work, family, deadlines, etc.
4. Need to stay awake? There’s more than one way to do it with coffee.
Everyone has had those nights where you have to stay awake to drive home after a wedding or if you’re flying in on a late plane and have to make it to your hotel without wanting to fall asleep at the airport. 10 sleepy subjects were subjected to two monotonous hour long drives with a nap in between. Turns out, if you have a cup of coffee and then nap for 15 minutes, you’ll be more alert and you’ll be less likely to get in an accident.
5. Ever wonder why coffee is darker on the outer stain of your napkin or new shirt?
This baffled scientists for more than a decade until they figured it out in 2011. Apparently, the particles that give the coffee its color have different shapes. So the ones that are more circular like to stick together more tightly and will be around the outer edges making a darker color. While the oval ones can’t interact well with the circles, they are loosely held together in the middle, making a lighter color.