There’s nothing better than a damn good cup of coffee, especially when it’s hot! But even the best of us can get overzealous and burn our mouths on the nectar of the gods. Thankfully, there are physicists out there who are working hard to protect our mouths, according to Wired.
Rhett Allain, an associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University, writes that an average cup of coffee starts out at 176 degrees Fahrenheit and that there are two methods of cooling down a cup of to-go coffee: a) removing the lid; or b) leaving the lid on and blowing through the sipping hole.
To find the best way to cool hot coffee, Allain set up an experiment with a thermometer and three cups of hot water (based on his “assumption being it is similar to black coffee”), one without a lid, one with a lid that he blew into occasionally and one with lid, left alone as his control. The results of the experiment showed that the cup sans lid did in fact cool fastest.
Allain also experimented with coffee plugs to see if they indeed keep coffee warm. His results show that the plastic sticks do in fact maintain the coffee’s temperature.