Organic Gardening with Coffee Grounds

Summer is upon us and that means gardening. And whether you have a few pots of tomatoes on the patio or a large plot of ground, sustainable agriculture is the way to go. Organic gardening is fun and it is healthy. And organic gardening with coffee grounds is a great way to return mulch and antioxidants to the soil. Gardening Knowhow discusses composting with coffee grounds.

The benefit of using coffee grounds as a fertilizer is that it adds organic material to the soil, which improves drainage, water retention and aeration in the soil. The used coffee grounds will also help microorganisms beneficial to plant growth thrive as well as attract earthworms.

Many people feel that coffee grounds lower the pH (or raise the acid level) of soil, which is good for acid loving plants. But this is only true for unwashed coffee grounds. “Fresh coffee grounds are acidic. Used coffee grounds are neutral.” If you rinse your used coffee grounds, they will have a near neutral pH of 6.5 and will not affect the acid levels of the soil.

To use coffee grounds as fertilizer, work the coffee grounds into the soil around your plants. Leftover diluted coffee works well like this too.

Besides adding nitrogen to the soil, improving water retention and improving drainage there are more benefits to organic gardening with coffee grounds.

Keeping Pests Away

Some gardeners work used coffee grounds in to the soil around favorite plants to keep slugs and snails away and even deter cats from wandering through the garden and using it as a litter box. Coffee grounds in the soil also appear to attract earthworms which further improve the quality of your garden soil.

What Soil Nutrients Come with the Coffee Grounds?

According to Sunset coffee grounds, from Starbucks, contain phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and copper as well as nitrogen according to a coffee soil compost test.

Based on the overall chemistry and physical properties of the coffee grounds, they can be utilized at rates similar to other organic amendments when used in amending mineral soils. These data indicate that 25-35 percent by volume coffee grounds can be blended with mineral soils of any type to improve structure of those soils.

Only a small portion of the nitrogen in coffee grounds is readily available for the plants. Thus you won’t get a rapid increase in nitrogen availability but you will get a slow release over time.

Coffee: the Multipurpose Food

Organic coffee is healthy and good for you. The sustainable agriculture that produces organic coffee is good for the environment. Used coffee grounds find their way into beauty products and as we recently wrote organic coffee for hair is a good thing.

But now that gardening season is upon us it is time to return coffee grounds to the soil from whence they came. Organic gardening with coffee grounds works for a few patio plants and it works for a large garden. Till in to a depth of about six inches. Rinse with water beforehand if you want to avoid increasing soil acidity and forget rinsing if you want to acidify your soil. You can get a soil test by taking a few ounces of your garden soil to your country agricultural extension agent and then you will know which way to go.

Organic Coffee for Percolator

We have written about the best ways to make coffee including the use of a French press, adding coffee to water and boiling like Grandma did on the farm and pouring boiled water over coffee grounds like they do in the Eje Cafetero of Colombia. But what if you routinely need to make coffee for 50 or 100 people? And what if you still want great coffee? You will probably use a percolator with organic coffee. If you have not used one, what is a percolator and how does it work?

Coffee Percolator

A coffee percolator is a large container that heats water with a heating element at the bottom. Boiling water rises up a central metal tube and drips through ground coffee which is contained in a metal device with perforations like a strainer. The hot water extracts the coffee by circulating up the tube, through the coffee down to the container and then back up the tube to pass over the coffee. The heating element reduces temperature when the coffee is done. This happens by a thermostat that reads the temperate of the water higher in the container. A problem with percolators is that if the cycle runs too long it over extracts the coffee resulting in a bitter taste. Use about a tablespoonful of coffee for each cup of water which works out to about 2 ½ cups of ground coffee for forty cups of water.

Organic Coffee for Percolator

The Café Altura organic coffee web site as a few suggestions about the best coffees for a percolator.

Coffee percolators were all the rage before automatic drip coffee makers took their place. Still, many coffee aficionados prefer percolators because they brew rich, full-bodied coffee that is full of flavor. People who want to have full control over how long the coffee percolates choose glass stovetop percolators, while those who want to automate the process use electronic percolators.

When you use a percolator, some coffee will taste better than others. Consider the roast and the country of origin in order to pick the best coffee for your percolator.

They suggest that a dark roast is more likely to come out bitter when over brewed in a percolator and light roasts end up tasting watery. Thus they suggest a Goldilocks approach of sticking with medium roasts.

Their suggested sources of organic coffee for a percolator are these:


But where, for example can you get organic coffee from Colombia?

Here is a short list of Colombian organic coffee brands as well as high grade Colombian coffees that are essentially same-as-organic but without official certification.

  • Volcan
  • Sostenible
  • Linea Roja
  • Origen
  • Frailes
  • Juan Valdez
  • Oma
  • La 14
  • Aguila Roja

As we have often mentioned it can be difficult to get antioxidant rich organic coffee from Colombia out of Colombia. If you are interested in any of these products please contact us at Buy Organic Coffee for assistance.

We will be pleased to help you obtain smaller quantities of green coffee or roasted organic coffee for personal use. And if you are interested in wholesale coffee in shipping containers please contact us for a quote.

Lose Weight with Organic Coffee

There are lots of health benefits of organic coffee but how about weight loss? A few years ago there was a suggestion that you could lose weight with green coffee beans and green coffee extract.

A recent study reports that a group of overweight volunteers lost a significant amount of weight by taking a gram of green coffee bean extract daily for five months. Without any change to their diets or exercise regimen the volunteers were able to lose weight with green coffee beans as the only addition to their lives. Researchers reported that there were no unwanted side effects such as elevation of blood pressure or heart rate in the study volunteers. On the average each person lost ten pounds. Evidence of weight loss with green coffee beans is just one more fact added to the list of benefits of regular and healthy organic coffee.

This really sounded good until more information surfaced. Then we wrote about the bogus green coffee extract claim.

The Federal Trade Commission has levied a fine of $3.5 million on Applied Food Sciences, the company that sponsored the study claiming that green coffee extract resulted in weight loss. Here is a quote from the FTC.

The study’s lead investigator repeatedly altered the weights and other key measurements of the subjects, changed the length of the trial, and misstated which subjects were taking the placebo or GCA during the trial. When the lead investigator was unable to get the study published, the FTC says that AFS hired researchers Joe Vinson and Bryan Burnham at the University of Scranton to rewrite it. Despite receiving conflicting data, Vinson, Burnham, and AFS never verified the authenticity of the information used in the study, according to the complaint.

Despite the study’s flaws, AFS used it to falsely claim that GCA caused consumers to lose 17.7 pounds, 10.5 percent of body weight, and 16 percent of body fat with or without diet and exercise, in 22 weeks, the complaint alleges.

Its turns out that losing weight with green coffee extract claims were too good to be true. Or perhaps you can lose weight but the study was flawed and did not prove the claim. But, bad study and faulty claims aside, can you lose weight with organic coffee?

Coffee and Exercise

We have written about how coffee enhances athletic performance.

[D]rinking coffee increases adrenaline. Adrenaline increase heart rate and blood flow, increases blood flow specifically to the brain and helps improve short term speed and endurance. Scientifically, the caffeine in coffee is an ergogenic aid for sustaining a high degree of effort over the short term. And coffee only lasts just so long and then the body metabolizes and excretes it. Typically half of the caffeine that you ingest at 7 am is gone by 1 pm (a six hour half-life). If our hypothetical 154 pound runner drinks two cups of coffee and gets 400 milligrams into his system he will still have 200 milligrams six hours later. This is plenty of time for a slow marathon runner to complete the course or for someone to complete a soccer match.

The reason coffee enhances athletic performance is that it allows you to burn more calories faster giving you more energy. The key to losing weight is to burn calories as well. So, drink your organic coffee and go work out. It is a good way to lose weight!

Avoid Liver Stiffness by Drinking Coffee

You can help out your liver by drinking coffee, even if you drink too much alcohol or have a really bad diet. That is what a study published in the Journal of Hepatology (liver) says. Coffee and herbal tea consumption is associated with lower liver stiffness in the general population.

Coffee and tea have been proposed to limit the progression of liver fibrosis in established liver disease, but it is unknown if this is also true for subclinical fibrosis. We therefore aimed to evaluate whether coffee and tea consumption are associated with liver stiffness in the general population.

Here is the summary of their results in plain words.

Lay summary

The Rotterdam Study is a large ongoing population study of suburban inhabitants of Rotterdam in whom data on liver stiffness, as proxy for liver fibrosis, presence of fatty liver on ultrasound and detailed information on coffee and tea consumption were obtained in 2,424 participants. The consumption of herbal tea and daily consumption of three or more cups of coffee was related to the presence of lower liver stiffness, independent of a great number of other lifestyle and environmental factors. Previous studies have found a protective effect of coffee on established liver disease and we now show for the first time that this effect is already measurable in the general population.

Researchers previously knew that people with a predisposition for liver disease were helped by drinking coffee but now it turns out that the protective effect of coffee is seen in all persons. We recently wrote that the incidence of liver cancer is lower in coffee drinkers.

[R]esearchers report that drinking a cup of coffee a day was associated with a twenty percent reduction in hepatocellular carcinoma, two cups a day with a 35 percent reduction and five cups a day with a reduction of 50 percent. Even decaf drinkers had a fourteen percent risk reduction.

Is organic coffee a better choice in this regard or is it just as good to drink regular coffee? Both studies, for liver stiffness and for cancer, only looked at coffee consumption and not specifically for organic coffee drinkers. However, increased health benefits come from drinking organic coffee because organic coffee drinkers avoid the up to 150 contaminants that can be found in regular coffee. This is because organic coffee certification requires that coffee is grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides or fungicides and without the use synthetic fertilizers. Shade grown organic coffee especially is commonly grown in a totally natural environment without artificial additives to pollute your cup of coffee.

The antioxidants in coffee carry most of the benefits of drinking coffee but why challenge the good that antioxidants do by adding impurities that in and of themselves may cause disease? Our suggestion is to stick with organic coffee and get the many health benefits of coffee without the unwelcome additives that too often enter the commercial coffee food chain.

Organic Coffee for Hair

There are lots of health benefits of coffee and not all of them come from drinking a cup of java. One is the use of coffee as a natural hair dye. discusses how to use coffee to dye your hair and improve hair health.

Natural methods of coloring sometimes don’t give a long lasting result (like these conventional ones), but at least they do not damage the hair and can even strengthen it. According to the National Cancer Institute there are over 5000 different chemicals used in conventional hair dyes, many of which are considered carcinogenic. Coffee is an absolutely natural product, which possesses beneficial properties.

Using this easy natural coffee mixture, you will get the desired shine, shade, and even promote hair growth. According to a study published in the January 2007 issue of the International Journal of Dermatology, coffee indeed helps with hair growth.

This is not useful for blonds or red heads but brunets can benefit from the use of organic coffee for hair coloring. You won’t get any bad extra ingredients with healthy organic coffee. And guys may even get help avoiding hair loss. The International Journal of Dermatology published an article about the effect of caffeine on hair follicle proliferation.

Caffeine was identified as a stimulator of human hair growth in vitro; a fact which may have important clinical impact in the management of AGA. [male pattern baldness]

So you can color your hair with coffee and even avoid losing more hair. But how do you do it?

Coffee Hair Dye

Make really strong organic coffee, preferably espresso.  Non organic coffee most likely contains some added chemicals.

  • Let your coffee cool down.
  • Mix 2 cups of leave in all natural conditioner with 2 tbsp. of organic coffee grounds and 1 cup of cold brewed coffee.
  • Apply the mixture onto your hair and leave it in for about an hour.   It will give your hair a beautiful chocolate color without any damage.

Coffee Hair Rinse

And here are the instructions for a coffee hair rinse.

Shampoo your hair first and then pour coffee over your hair. Leave it in for 20 minutes. Use apple cider vinegar to rinse the coffee out of your hair (it will help  seal in the color). Then rinse it off with warm water.

If you don’t see the desired results right away, repeat the same process for a few days in a row to allow the coffee to penetrate the strands of your hair.

The author specifies that coffee for hair coloring and for coloring via the rinse method are not meant for diseases of the scalp or hair.

Coffee for Skin Care writes about coffee grounds as skin treatment at no cost. Just collect the coffee grounds that usually go into the garbage or disposal.

Coffee has proven to have wonderful effects on the skin. It contains powerful anti-oxidant agents, protecting the skin against free radicals and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Coffee tightens pores and removes dead skin cells, making the skin looking younger. It also displays anti-wrinkle properties.

Coffee is in many beauty products that you might purchase but using the grounds from making coffee is the free way to go. Take a look at the article for suggestions.

Organic Coffee for French Press

The best coffee is Arabica and the best of Arabica coffee is organic and comes from Colombia. But, once you have Colombian organic coffee in your home how do you make the best cup of coffee? Our suggestion is to buy and store whole bean coffee, grind what you need before preparing and use a French press.

French Press

Why use a French press to make coffee?

There are various ways to make coffee and reasons why you might prefer one over the other. In this article we consider why make French press coffee. The Life Hack web site offers six reasons why they say French press makes the best coffee.

Many people believe French press makes the best coffee. These are some reasons why.

Paper filters take out flavor and oils. When eating good foods, the flavor usually exists in the fats and oils. Paper filters in drip machines absorb much of the oil in your coffee grounds. French press doesn’t soak up flavor and adds tiny bits of coffee grounds in the coffee that percolates flavor.

French press allows for steeping. When you get a good cup of tea, you use bulk tea that steeps for several minutes depending on the type of tea. The end result is a mouth-watering cup of tea. The same is true for coffee through a French press. Because the grounds steep instead of filter, the coffee tastes better.

When you use a French press the coffee steeps just like tea. Because no filter is used you get the oils and particulate matter that contains so much of the aroma and flavor of the coffee. And the temperature of the coffee remains the same throughout the process until you pour into your coffee cup.

But if you have never used one, what is a French press?

A French press is a coffee pot, typically glass, with a fine wire mesh plunger. Coffee grounds are added to the pot followed by hot water. The coffee is allowed to steep for a few minutes and then stirred briefly. Then the plunger is pushed down through the coffee. The bulk of the grounds are pushed to the bottom of the pot.

French Press Coffee Maker

Now, how do you find good organic coffee for a French press coffee making? Buy organic coffee from Colombia and if you need help contact us for help.

Mistakes Using a French Press

The Kitchen reminds us of three common mistakes when using a French press.

Want to perfect your morning French press? Avoid these three common mistakes and you’ll be sure to get the best brew every time.

Don’t Grind the Coffee Too Much: For French press you want your beans to have a coarse, even ground.

Don’t Add Too Much Coffee: The art of the French press is in the coffee-to-water ratio, and because you’re extracting, the time is important as well. A general rule of thumb for French press coffee is in the range of 1:10 coffee-to-water ratio: that is to say, 1 gram of coffee for 10 grams of water.

Don’t Leave Coffee in the French Press: If you leave your coffee in the French press after it has finished brewing, you’re probably going to drink over-extracted, bitter coffee. That’s because even though you’ve pushed down the plunger, it will keep brewing.

You want to drink your coffee right away, so your best solution is to make the exact amount of coffee you’re going to drink.

Start with organic coffee from Colombia. Don’t grind the bean too much. And make as much as you are going to drink to avoid bitterness of coffee standing in grounds for hours on end.

Do You Need to Abstain from Coffee to Get a Performance Boost?

Sports experts have known for years that consumption of coffee (caffeine) before exercise and sports improves performance. However, the belief was that you had to knock off the coffee and probably endure headaches for a week or two before your event in order for this to work. So, do you really need to abstain from coffee to get a performance boost when you ingest caffeine before an event? An article in The New York Times tells us that you can boost your workouts even in you are a regular coffee drinker.

Caffeine users tend to become habituated to its effects, as those of us who have watched our morning consumption creep up by a cup or three can attest.

So athletes typically have been advised to quit drinking coffee or anything else that contains caffeine for most of the week before a major competition, on the theory that doing so should reduce their habituation and amplify the impacts of caffeine on the day of the event.

But Bruno Gualano, a professor of physiology and nutrition at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, was unconvinced. A recreational cyclist and committed coffee drinker – “as a good Brazilian, coffee is part of my diet,” he says – he thought it possible that athletes could benefit from taking caffeine before an event, even if they had not abstained in the days beforehand.

The coffee drinking Brazilian professor put this to the test and reported the results in the Journal of Applied Physiology. The bottom line is that both steady coffee drinkers and those who have not had a cup for some time get the same performance boost from drinking coffee before a workout.

Performance effects of acute caffeine supplementation during a roughly 30 min cycling time trial performance were not influenced by the level of habitual caffeine consumption.

Participants in the study reported how much coffee they drank and how often.  Those who received caffeine before their workout did better than those who did not receive caffeine and prior consumption made no difference.

Coffee and Athletic Performance

A few years ago we looked at whether coffee enhances athletic performance and why.

We know that coffee wakes you up if you are sleepy. This is probably more important in in interactive sports like tennis, soccer, basketball, etc. where it is important to pay attention no matter how tired you are. But, how does coffee enhance athletic performance in sports like long distance running or weight lifting? Here is the Cliff Notes version.

  • Via a series of chemical regulatory pathways in the human body the caffeine in coffee affects the regulation of glycogen, sugars and lipid metabolism and stimulates the release of adrenaline.
  • Coffee can be effective to enhance performance when ingested as close as fifteen minutes before exercise or competition although an hour before is ideal to insure complete absorption and initiation of the regulatory pathways the help coffee enhance athletic performance.
  • Coffee is effective in enhancing athletic performance in moderate amounts, three to six milligrams per kilogram of body weight and larger amounts do not appear to help.
  • An eight ounce cup of brewed coffee contains from 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine.
  • A 154 pound runner weighs 70 kilograms.
  • Since three milligrams per kilogram times seventy kilograms comes to just over 210 milligrams it turns out that one stiff cup of coffee taken within an hour of performance will likely enhance athletic performance.
  • Two cups may be better but three will be a waste of time.

The Brazilian study confirms the fact that drinking coffee or taking a caffeine pill before sports helps increase performance. The new addition to our coffee knowledge is that you don’t have to abstain from coffee to get a performance boost.

Coffee Reduces Liver Cancer Risk

We have written time and again about the health benefits of coffee and especially about how coffee consumption reduces cancer risk. Now there is new information about how coffee reduces liver cancer risk. Newsweek reports the story.

Scientists have discovered a link between drinking coffee regularly and a reduced risk of developing one of the most common types of liver cancer. Scientists found people who drink five cups per day were 50 percent less likely to develop hepatocellular carcinoma, with the researchers saying their findings add to evidence showing coffee can be “a wonderful natural medicine.”

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Southampton, U.K., analyzed data from 26 studies-amounting to over 2 million participants. They looked at the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the second leading causes of cancer mortality worldwide, and the incidence rates based on how much coffee people drank.

The researchers report that drinking a cup of coffee a day was associated with a twenty percent reduction in hepatocellular carcinoma, two cups a day with a 35 percent reduction and five cups a day with a reduction of 50 percent. Even decaf drinkers had a fourteen percent risk reduction.

The study about the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma was a review of other research and was published in the British Medical Journal.

We found 18 cohorts, involving 2 272 642 participants and 2905 cases, and 8 case-control studies, involving 1825 cases and 4652 controls. An extra two cups per day of coffee was associated with a 35% reduction in the risk of HCC (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.59 to 0.72).

In other words this study included more than two million people and showed a statistical relationship between how much coffee these people drank and the reduction in liver cancer risk that they experienced.

The researchers note that this effect carries through even with people who had pre-existing liver disease that would tend to predispose to the development of liver cancer. That is to say, that coffee has a cancer preventative effect even in people who were more likely than average to get liver cancer.

Organic Coffee

This study in question did not specify if people drink organic or regular coffee. However, there are extra health benefits to drinking organic coffee. Primarily they have to do with reducing impurities that you otherwise would consume. Organic coffee certification guarantees that a lot of bad things are not in the coffee you drink.

The soil in which organic coffee is grown must have been verified as free from prohibited substances for at least three years. In addition there must be distinct boundaries between land on which organic coffee is grown and land where pesticides, herbicides, and prohibited chemical fertilizers are used. This guarantees that drift of substances sprayed or otherwise applied on adjacent land will not contaminate the organic plot of land. Organic coffee certification includes the adherence to a specific and verifiable plan for all practices and procedures from planting to crop maintenance, to harvest, de-husking, bagging, transport, roasting, packaging, and final transport. Along the way procedures must be in place at every step to insure that there is no contamination of the healthy organic coffee produced in pristine soil with regular coffee produced on soil exposed to herbicides, pesticides, and organic fertilizers.

Coffee is not only morning wakeup drink but also beneficial to our health. Go the extra step and drink only organic coffee to move other risks from the impurities in regular coffee.

Organic Coffee for Sale Philippines

The Philippines were once the fourth leading coffee producer in the world. But that was a couple of hundred years ago when it was a Spanish colony. Today the Philippines rank number 110 in terms of coffee production for export at 25,000 tons. However, 100,000 tons of coffee is consumed locally. What kind of coffee is for sale in the Philippines and can you find healthy organic coffee there?

The Four Viable Coffee Varieties

The Philippines are one of the few countries where you can find all four commercial coffee varieties.

  • Arabica
  • Robusta
  • Liberica
  • Excelsa

Arabica coffee is the best tasting and aromatic coffee. Robusta is a hardy coffee variety that produces more than Arabica and is the source of caffeine in soft drinks. Liberica and Excelsa are similar to Robusta.

Liberica Coffee

Liberica coffee is, like Robusta, more resistant to coffee leaf rust than Arabica. It was imported from Africa to Indonesia in the 19th century to replace plants devastated by the fungus. Today a major producer of Liberica coffee is the Philippines although it can be found in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and throughout Central America. Liberica coffee is also, like Robusta, less flavorful than Arabica.

Excelsa Coffee

Excelsa coffee should not be confused with Café Excelso from Colombia. In Colombia Excelso refers to bean size. Excelsa is produced in the Philippines and is more leaf rust resistant than Arabica. It was during the 1950’s that a coffee revival occurred in the Philippines with the planting of leaf rust resistant strains such as Excelsa. This was after a 60 year hiatus. The Philippines were a major worldwide coffee producer until leaf rust hit in 1889. This was coupled with insect infestations in the Batangas area, the major coffee region in the Philippines. Slowly but surely the Philippines are increasing their production of coffee for export using leaf rust resistant strains.

Organic Coffee from the Philippines

There are organic coffee producers in the Philippines. You can find them online.

Negros Island

Negros Island Rainforest Organic Coffee is organically grown without the use of Chemicals and Pesticides. Farmers help in building healthy soils and preserves biodiversity in the rain forest. The Organic Coffee is made from selectively handpicked ripe red coffee cherries by the rural forest dwellers in Negros Island, Philippines. Exceptionally great tasting as the coffee beans mature more slowly in the shade natural sugars increase and enhance the flavor of the coffee.

Kalinga Organic Coffee

Due to the efforts of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Kalinga, coffee farming in this province is becoming organic. The project will be started in three areas. It is in line with the “one town, one product” program of the government answering the high demand for organic products. As Noryn Bagano of DTI Kalinga coffee stated towards the “Sunstar”, markets in Europe, the US and other parts of the world are waiting for this coffee, as soon as it is certified as organic. The certification will be done by EcoCert and the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines. Coffee is one of Kalinga’s main crops. 2.460 tons (70 % of the Cordilleras’ total production) were produced in this province in 2003. Almost 8,350 ha are used for the plantation of coffee, and still there is a large area available to increase this.

Watch these folks as they grow.

Starbucks Pays $100,000 for Woman’s Hot Coffee Burns

Everyone likes a cup of hot coffee, especially healthy organic coffee. But be careful when you prepare or drink very hot coffee. A warning from WHO is that very hot beverages are associated with a higher incidence of esophageal cancer. It’s not what you drink but how hot it is served that increases the risk of cancer of the esophagus.

In reviewing the most recent scientific evidence over the past 25 years since its last analysis on the matter, the WHO concluded that coffee should no longer be considered a carcinogen and that it may actually have positive effects for your body when it comes to two types of cancers – liver and uterine cancers.

There was another significant finding: “Very hot” beverages “probably” cause cancer. This is mostly based on studies related to the consumption of a traditional drink called mate or cimarrón in South America where the tea can be taken at temperatures around 158 degrees Fahrenheit (or 70 degrees Celsius). That’s significantly hotter than people in North America or Europe usually consume their drinks.

So, if you are used to drinking your boiling hot coffee before it cools think again.

And when buying coffee house coffee you should also be aware of how hot it might be and if the lid is on tight when you buy for takeout.

In 1994 there was a famous lawsuit against McDonald’s brought by a 79-year-old woman who suffered 3rd degree burns when coffee she had just purchased at a McDonald’s drive through. She asked McDonald’s to pay her $20,000 which was the amount for medical expenses which included hospitalization and skin grafting as well as other expenses related to the injury. McDonald’s offered $800. When the woman engaged an attorney and sued her lawyer asked for $300,000 in damages and McDonald’s offered $90,000. Settlement was not reached and the case went to trial where the jury awarded the woman $160,000 for medical expenses and $2,700,000 in punitive damages.

One would have thought that the McDonald’s experience would have taught large restaurant and coffee house chains to be careful of how hot their coffee is. But apparently Starbucks has not caught on. USA Today reports a Florida woman severely burned by Starbucks coffee received a $100,000 award from a jury at trial.

A Florida woman who was severely burned after the lid popped off a cup of Starbucks coffee and spilled on her lap was awarded $100,000 for her injuries Thursday.

Joanne Mogavero, a mother of three, sustained first and second degree burns on her mid-section after the lid popped off a 20-ounce cup of coffee in 2014, pouring 190-degree liquid in her lap.

A Starbucks representative testified during the trial that the coffee company receives 80 complaints a month about issues with lids popping off or leaking.

In our article how, How Hot Is Starbucks Coffee, we cited expert opinion about hot coffee and burns.The Burn Foundation discusses hot liquid burns.

When tap water reaches 140º F, it can cause a third degree (full thickness) burn in just five seconds.

Hot Water Causes Third Degree Burns…

  • in 1 second at 156º
  • in 2 seconds at 149º
  • in 5 seconds at 140º
  • in 15 seconds at 133º.

How hot is Starbucks coffee? If the lady actually suffered 3rd degree burns the coffee was probably at least 140 degrees and more likely 150 or above.

Be careful with hot coffee and before you leave the takeout window make sure that your coffee is securely in the drink holder with the lid firmly attached. Then let your coffee cool just a bit before drinking.