Good news, everyone! Coffee doesn’t cause cancer! But also, maybe hot coffee does? This koan-like announcement about the non-carcinogenic nature of coffee was made by the World Health Organization (WHO) recently, but as Reuters notes, the WHO maintains that “very hot” beverages–like, say a freshly brewed and properly extracted pour over with no time spent waiting for it to cool–are probably still carcinogenic.
In conjunction with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the WHO specifically devoted to cancer research, the WHO announced yesterday that there is “no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect” of drinking coffee. This comes as a reversal of the WHO’s previous classification of coffee as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” one they have held for the past 25 years.
But the WHO also noted that drinking very hot beverages, which they classify as a drink 65° C (149° F) or above, are probably still carcinogenic. In particular, very hot beverages may lead to oesophageal (or esophageal, depending upon which side of the Atlantic you reside) cancer. This finding isn’t limited to coffee, but includes water, tea, and just about any other consumable liquid over 65° C.
Overall, though, the report is good news for coffee drinkers. Just to be safe, maybe let your coffee cool a bit before drinking it. Besides, that’s when the flavors really start to pop anyway. Or just have a cold brew.
Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.
*pre-photoshopped top image via WTOP