Coffee and poop exist at two ends of the same spectrum—that spectrum being the digestive tract. Long have we tracked their confluence. And yet unexpectedly, somehow, it’s come to pass that this very week here in late 2021 is the greatest week ever for coffee and poop.
First it was the New York Times, the Paper of Record, who took time out of their busy schedules condescending to their underpaid WireCutter staff members to report on studies published in the ‘90s stating we have no idea why coffee makes you poop. (The Times bafflingly didn’t bother to include this 2019 study that found we kinda do know what is going on down there.) They did, however, proffer an interesting new link to the coffee-poopoo choo-choo: the brain.
In one of those grunge-era studies, researchers found that coffee consumption could stimulate the need to go in a matter of minutes. Given that it would take coffee something like an hour to make it through the intestinal tract to reach the colon, some researchers have hypothesized that it isn’t the presence of the coffee itself in the gut but the signals it is trigging in the brain, or the “gut-brain axis,” which frankly sounds like an insult. In short, the idea is that the coffee sends a message to the brain to clear out the colon “because things are coming downstream,” per Dr. Robert Martindale of Oregon Health and Sciences University.
All these Ivory Tower steamers are fine, but the poop just keeps coming. Multiple holiday season gifts themed around coffee and poop launched this week as well.
First up is Poo~Pourri, the brand behind the fancy “before-you-go” toilet sprays. They have teamed up with Super Coffee—makers of no-sugar-added ready-to-drink coffee beverages—for a limited edition Vaniloo Latte Kit. In the kit, which they are calling the “most obvious collab ever,” comes a 12oz bottle of Super Coffee’s Vanilla Latte along with a brand new “exclusive scent” from Poo~Pourri, the Vaniloo Latte. Available for purchase on December 7th for $12.99, the Vaniloo Latte Kit invites you to answer the question, “Do I want my coffee to smell like my bathroom during Number Two time?”
If that doesn’t appeal to you, then Who Gives A Crap. It’s a brand, they make toilet paper. (A majority of working in the specialty poo space is making puns. So many puns. Honestly, I think I may have chosen the wrong industry.) Who Gives A Crap understands than when it comes to your coffee and your butt, the type of paper matters—I’m a bleached man myself. The Certified B-Corp making eco-friendly toilet papers is working to ensure their own necessity with their brand new Blend No. 2 Coffee Bundle. The bundle includes a roll of toilet paper made entirely from bamboo as well as a 12oz bag “deliciously smooth” medium roast coffee that will “satisfy even the snobbiest Australian coffee enthusiasts.” I’m not clenching, you are.
The Blend No. 2 Coffee Bundle runs just $18 from the Who Gives A Crap website, and the company will donate 50% of the profits “to ensure every person on this earth has basic human rights—like safe water and access to a loo.”
And there you have it—three coffee and poop stories in the same week. Truly, these days have been a nexus of coffee and poop, a once-in-a-lifetime alignment of sun and moon, and an exploration of the duality of man.