Most coffee drinkers love this beverage the most when it is served hot so they can more easily appreciate the smells and aromas. But apparently, this could actually have fatal consequences.
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Increased risk of cancer from drinking coffee
When we drink liquids that are too hot, our risks of developing oesophageal cancer increase. While one Chinese study has found that drinking tea which is too hot increases the risks of cancers that are normally triggered by alcohol and tobacco, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently confirmed that temperature alone could increase your risks of contracting cancer.
The connection between temperature and cancer was made as a result of various experiments carried out in South America and Iran where drinks are usually drunk when they are hotter than they are in the UK, for example. Food scientists subsequently found that this increased risk of oesophageal cancer occurs when the drink is served and consumed at more than 65°C.
Coffee which is served too hot
The Chemical Investigation Office in Karlsruhe, Germany, has carried out temperature checks on a total of 400 cups of freshly brewed coffee at a variety of locations and their results show that the average temperature when served was around 75°C. One of the employees working on the study explains:
These were typically recorded in cafés, well-known coffee chains, bakeries and other places.
When coffee is served at a temperature of 75°C, it is classed as being in the ‘red zone’ and should not be drunk straight away because this hot temperature causes burns and damage to body tissues. However, what exactly is responsible for this increased risk of cancer is not yet certain. It could be related to irritation caused to the tissue by the heat itself, or another substance that affects the tissue after it has already been damaged by the heat.
Do not drink immediately
Therefore, the solution to reduce your risks of developing cancer is to not drink your coffee immediately, but instead wait and let it cool down until it is at least 65°C. The problem is, however, that you can’t know for certain how long it will take before your coffee has cooled enough. Several factors such as the type, thickness and material of the cup and whether you have diluted your beverage with hot or cold milk all play an important role in this.
Nevertheless, waiting around five to ten minutes is recommended, and viewed as the general rule of thumb. Furthermore, it’s also worth knowing that drinking too much coffee can even trigger migraines, but while there are lots of advantages to simply avoiding this drink completely, who would want to give up such a luxury?