When you make your favorite, 100% Arabica coffee, it is usually because you need and want your coffee immediately. Unfortunately, coffee is too hot to consume right away, but there is actually a study on how to go about drinking hot coffee. Wired performed this study with three methods, in attempts to figure out how to deal with hot coffee so you can drink it without the problem of it being too hot.
The study begins with three of the same coffee cups, with the same amount of scolding hot liquid inside. The first cup is a simple coffee cup with a lid, similar to one you would get if you ordered a coffee to-go at a coffee shop. The second cup is one with no lid. The third cup to measure how to go about drinking hot coffee has a lid, but the experimenter blows on the opening of the lid to cool the coffee down. Of course, tasting and drinking hot coffee could be a way to measure the temperature, but using thermometers will work more accurately.
The researchers produced a chart showing that the cup of coffee without the lid, cup two, cooled the fastest. They associated the cooling coffee with two scientific methods:
Heat conduction, or thermal conduction, is the movement of heat from one solid to another, that has a different temperature when they are touching each other. By placing the hot coffee next to something cooler, the thermal energy is transferred to the object that is cooler, which decreases the hotter object’s temperature. If the cup of coffee was placed next to a cup of ice cubes, it will cool. In the experiment regarding drinking hot coffee, the air and the surface the cup is set on was probably not enough to cool the coffee, which leads us to the other method of cooling.
Cooling by evaporation happens when the water on the surface of the coffee begins to evaporate, so it leaves behind energy that lowers the temperature of the coffee. Without the lid, there is a great area available for evaporation, which will cause cooling.
Koffee Kult reports that the researchers also conducted an addition to the experiment in regards to the plug that gets inserted into the drinking hole in a to-go coffee cup. Cup one has a lid, and cup two has a lid with the plug inserted. The results to this study were nearly null, because both temperatures remained relatively the same. The plug seems to be meant for preventing coffee spillage, as opposed to keeping coffee warm until you reach your destination.
Per the study performed by researchers at Wired, the best way to go about allowing coffee to cool and drinking hot coffee is without the lid. Koffee Kult agrees that cooling by evaporation is most effective in this case.