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

By 18 December 2012

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!

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