6 Wrong Ways (And One Right Way) To Handle A Demit...

6 Wrong Ways (And One Right Way) To Handle A Demitasse

In last Sunday’s Seattle Times Health Q&A series, a concerned reader asked columnists Joe and Teresa Graedon if the ceramic cupwears at their neighborhood cafe could transmit nasty diseases, like the common cold, the seasonal flu, and what-have-you. This reader’s cause for concern comes from this unfortunate cafe experience: “I was shocked to see the barista at the coffee shop grab my cup by the edge and then press the lid on with her palm.” Ay ay ay!

Joe and Teresa referred to a 1982 study from the University of Virginia to answer the reader’s question:

It is relatively easy to transmit microbes via coffee cups. A study conducted at the University of Virginia demonstrated that half of the volunteers touching contaminated coffee-cup handles caught colds.

In light of this shocking feature in the SeaTimes, we present to you six wrong ways (and one right way) to properly handle a demitasse (or any cup, really).


1. The Lip Grip


2. The Finger Dip


3. The All-In


4. The Open Palm


5. The Tender Touch


6. The Pinch


7. The Teacher’s Pet

Do you feel we’ve omitted other tragic mishandlings? Sound off in the comments below!


  1. fabian pava

    3 January

    I think the most important thing in these subjects provided good hygiene, as there are many ways to contaminate drinking, not only to touch the cup,

  2. Aubrey

    18 December

    That sounds like some steamy fan fiction, nameJustaphil. Don’t stop now!!

  3. nameJustaphil

    18 December

    Customer went on to say: “I was absolutely flabbergasted to see the barista man-handle my demitasse but I just about had a stroke once I saw him grope the portafilter with his grubby talons; I could feel his ennui seeping into the espresso as he groomed the grounds for extraction. Simply petrifying!

  4. Shocked!

    18 December

    Who even holds a demitasse cup like that! haha

  5. Daveyboy

    18 December

    I would also recommend avoiding The Nasal Rinse or The Belgian Dip.

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