Scientists claim we hold our coffee mugs the wrong way

Research claims to have found the most efficient way to hold a coffee mug without spilling the contents inside.

In the U.K, we drink around 55 million cups of coffee per day. Despite the abundance of different cup styles which mitigate spillage, most of us have at some point ruined a crisp white shirt or important document with drips of coffee.

Lucky for us clumsy folk, science has come up with a solution. According to a study by Jiwon Han, the reason coffee spills happen is obvious. He suggests the design of a wine glass leaves the wine moving like calm waves rippling, but the cylindrical design of coffee mugs leaves your coffee “splashing aggressively” on the edges of the mug.

This begs the question, should you boycott coffee mugs entirely and stick to exclusively drinking wine from fancy glasses? Apparently not, according to the study.

Jiwon uses extremely detailed calculations, graphs and experiments to prove that we have been holding our coffee mugs wrong all these years! According to Science, we should be holding our mugs with a claw shaped hand over the rim, as shown in the picture to the right. 

So what is the science behind this new and strange way to hold your mug? Jiwon claims that as the magnitude of acceleration in the claw-hand model is much smaller, you are less likely to spill your precious caffeine.

He also suggests that walking backwards may help even more. This is because we aren’t used to walking backwards, so our body begins to rely on a sideways swinging motion to maintain balance, helping us keep the coffee mug even more still.

Now that we know, the question still remains. Do you want to be that person at work who walks around backwards with a coffee claw explaining to every co-worker why this is the scientifically proven best way to carry coffee? 

Personally I’m going to use the weekend to test if the claims about wine glasses are correct; all in the interest of science of course!

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Posted on Friday Aug 18