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  #1  
Old 26 February 2010, 06:33 PM
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Icon86 Don't wash your coffee cup

Comment: My fiance recently commented that he never cleans his coffee cup
at work because he was taught that the coffee residue buildup improves the
flavor. This seems digusting to me. I wash my cup after every use because
I use cream and sugar, but won't that black coffee residue grow germs, as
well? I've looked online and all I can find is that this belief seems to
be popular with military folks.

Does this really 'improve the flavor' like he thinks, or is it just a
'disgusting, germy film', like I think?
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  #2  
Old 26 February 2010, 07:12 PM
dfresh dfresh is offline
 
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I have heard this about tea pots, with people saying that the flavor improves due to the residue, but a tea pot never has someone's germs applied to it, and is regularly filled with boiling water to kill any germs that get in. A coffee cup...ick.
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  #3  
Old 26 February 2010, 07:26 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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I would think the germiness would be dependent to a large extent on whether you put cream and sugar and other possible growth media in the coffee. Without calories, the bacteria cannot grow. OTOH, a lot of things that we cannot digest, bacteria can, so maybe there could be bacteria that colonize coffee residue.

My experience, as someone who very rarely washes his coffee cup (regular and decaf, usually with artificial sweetener), is that there have been no signs of growth of colonies of bacteria, even when I have forgotten to empty my cup fully before a weekend. However, I have never noticed a difference in the taste after having washed the cup either.
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Old 26 February 2010, 07:44 PM
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My husband drinks black coffee. Leave a little in the cup (a few drops) and it ends up growing mold after a couple of days. Now if the cup is in constant use and constantly refilled and drained the constant circulation may keep organisms from gaining a foothold. A dry mug also keeps things from growing. To keep the possibility of organism growth to a minimum, I would wash the work mug on Friday night/Monday morning and rinse and dry each evening. But I don't drink coffee regularly and when I do it is in disposable cups from Starbucks.
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Old 26 February 2010, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetokiegirl View Post
SNIP To keep the possibility of organism growth to a minimum, I would wash the work mug on Friday night/Monday morning and rinse and dry each evening. .

I do this....

I have an iced tea maker and the basket that holds the teabags get a build up on it and the tea tastes funky, so I clean it with bleach and soap and water every few months. otherwise I just wash it as normal after each use.
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  #6  
Old 26 February 2010, 09:25 PM
Gayle Gayle is offline
 
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I usually drink my coffee with my lips touching the rim of the cup. How could I not get germs in it? It doesnít improve the flavor at all. Now my grandmother didnít rinse all the soap out of her coffee pot or cups and that was nasty.

For cleaning the baskets of coffee and tea makers, I prefer to use denture tablets. They get in all the cracks and crevices. Same for the gaskets on my thermoses.
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  #7  
Old 27 February 2010, 09:03 AM
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No, no, you don't wash the pot or carafe or whatever it's called. Your cup, you probably should wash at least once in a while.
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  #8  
Old 27 February 2010, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Game View Post
No, no, you don't wash the pot or carafe or whatever it's called. Your cup, you probably should wash at least once in a while.
Yes, Yes! I do wash the pot. It contains oil residue, which will get rancid if not washed. Probably no need to wash it every day though. There was a thread about something similar a while back in Old Wives Tales.
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  #9  
Old 27 February 2010, 11:47 PM
Gayle Gayle is offline
 
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Why would you not wash a dirty dish every time you use it?
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  #10  
Old 27 February 2010, 11:51 PM
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I had a commander when I was in the Navy who never washed his coffee cup in the two years I was stationed with him.

He was otherwise scrupulously neat.
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  #11  
Old 28 February 2010, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
I've looked online and all I can find is that this belief seems to be popular with military folks.
Anecdotal and all but I can certainly attest to that. The Chiefs community especially in the Navy tends to take pride in cultivating the most stained coffee cups imaginable. I have no idea why.
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  #12  
Old 28 February 2010, 01:02 AM
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Whalephant

Okay, gross factor number one: I've found that the saliva from my lips hardens and turns white around the rim of a hot coffee cup! So, icko! I wash it now and then...

Gross factor number two: "now and then" can be on the order of six months or more.

Gross factor number three: I drink tea and coffee out of the same cup. Mostly tea, but one time in 20, I'll have instant coffee. I don't make any special point of washing the cup between changes of beverage.

However, speaking to the OP, I can discern NO change in the flavor of my tea or coffee after washing. Tea or coffee in a clean cup tastes exactly the same as it does in a dirty cup.

Silas
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Old 28 February 2010, 02:03 PM
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In High School I won the "unwashed mug contest" - 2 years between washing it, though I wiped the rim and wiped inside with a tissue if I'd had soup or instant semolina in the mug. It was just too far to walk to a sink to wash my mug (we had a tap we used for filling the kettle, but the sink was down several flights of stairs). I figured that putting boiling water in the mug when i made tea or coffee sterilised it.

I use the same mug for all drinks at work and have noted that fruit teas add an odd flavour when I have ordinary tea or coffee as the next drink.
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  #14  
Old 01 March 2010, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
I've looked online and all I can find is that this belief seems to
be popular with military folks.
Thirded, and once again in regards to the Navy. A lot of the older types both officer and enlisted seem to have substantial cofee residue buildup in their cups. I honestly think it's just because they want to seem "crusty." A coffee mug in one hand, a flashlight in the other.
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  #15  
Old 01 March 2010, 01:10 PM
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This discussion reminds me of the old bachelor who once got the idea to wash his coffee cup. When he had done it he muttered to himself, "Oh sh*t, I had no idea there was a flower painted on the bottom".
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  #16  
Old 05 March 2010, 04:47 PM
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I drink my coffee with Splenda and a splash of half & half and I only wash it with soap and water twice a week. The rest of the time, I just rinse it with hot water and use a paper towel to swipe out any residue.

I used to work with a guy who drank his coffee black and never washed it. We'd end up taking it from his desk and washing it for him once a month. Eventually we all chipped in and got him a big brown mug so at least the stains weren't visible and grossing everyone out.
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  #17  
Old 05 March 2010, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
Gross factor number three: I drink tea and coffee out of the same cup. Mostly tea, but one time in 20, I'll have instant coffee. I don't make any special point of washing the cup between changes of beverage.
Silas
Tea leaves contain quite a bit of bacteria, and most states in the US have safety guidelines for restaurants that say tea should be thrown after such and such time, even iced tea.I think it's one day, but could be 8 hours.

The danger zone for bacterial growth is 45F - 135F, which includes room temperature. So, if you a bit of tea left in your cup, the bacteria can grow to dangerous levels. Silas, I hope you use really hot water for your beverages. Boiling water should kill off most nasties in the cup.
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  #18  
Old 05 March 2010, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gayle View Post
Why would you not wash a dirty dish every time you use it?
So no one else uses it.

My dad's former place of work was such that beverages were kept in the kitchen and he couldn't keep his mug on his desk. The inherent hazard of such a set-up is having people use your stuff, which he just hated. He eventually washed his work coffee mug only immediately before and immediately after going on holidays. He kept it unwashed the rest of the time so no one would borrow it; no one borrows a dish they'd need to wash to use.
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  #19  
Old 06 March 2010, 06:19 PM
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Default Never washed the carafe

I worked at the post office, the guys in the box section had their own Mr. Coffee maker. It was disguisting, they never washed the carafe, it was black, no matter how bad I wanted a cup of coffee, I wouldn't have drank out of it. Instead of throwing out the grounds they just added to it.
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  #20  
Old 14 March 2010, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
Tea leaves contain quite a bit of bacteria, and most states in the US have safety guidelines for restaurants that say tea should be thrown after such and such time, even iced tea.I think it's one day, but could be 8 hours.
I drink an alarming amount of tea, all kinds hot/cold/lukewarm, black/green/herbal, flavored/plain, sun-tea/steeped, etc. My favorite is iced black tea, and I drink this 4 out 5 times. All tea go icky pretty fast so I can attest to your experience. Sun-tea will last about 24 hours in the fridge before it starts to taste off but most people will not notice it for a few days and continue to drink it as it happens so gradually in the fridge. Room temp tea, especially tea that was steeped prior to drinking starts to change in about 8 hours black and only a few hours with cream or milk, but it is sugar that speeds up the process for all types of tea without fail in my experience. I can't count the number of times I have left iced-tea or sun-tea with sugar on my nightstand and went to take a sip the next day not thinking and gagged my way across the room to the sink in my bathroom. Ick!
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