Other than waking up next to Ryan Gosling and his chiseled abs, there’s nothing better than waking up to the sweet smell of coffee and drinking it out of your favorite mug. And while we can’t stop collecting cute cups to drink out of, it turns out we’ve been holding our mugs wrong this entire time.
Science is finally explaining why we always spill coffee on ourselves.
Author Jiwon Han explains, “Rarely do we manage to carry coffee around without spilling it once. In fact, due to the very commonness of the phenomenon, we tend to dismiss questioning it beyond simply exclaiming: ‘Jenkins! You have too much coffee in your cup!'”
According to Han’s new research study, A Study on The Coffee Spilling Phenomena in the Low Impulse Regime, we spill our hot–brewed beverage on our favorite shirt or new shoes because of the way we hold our cups. Luckily, it’s a simple fix and we won’t waste our four-dollar Starbucks drink anymore.
Han told Food & Wine there are two ways to keep your coffee from running over your favorite cup. The author’s first suggestion is to alter your grip. Instead of holding holding your favorite mug by the handle, carry it by gripping the top.
He calls this “the claw method.”
Using “the claw method” shrinks the “magnitude of acceleration,” according to Han. He says it makes us swing our drink around in a much gentler manner, forcing the hot–brewed beverage to stay put in our mug.
The author’s second method is a bit more interesting, considering we have trouble keeping our coffee in place walking normally. He suggests we walk backwards. Hear him out.
“Since we are not accustomed to backwards walking, our motion in the walking direction becomes irregular, and our body starts to heavily rely on sideways swinging motion in order to keep balance.”
Like the first method, the backwards method causes the hot–brewed beverage to move gently around the top of the cup rather than splashing around and spilling all over. This isn’t first time Han’s has touched on this subject. Last September, the author gave a demonstration at a TED Talk about the same topic.
If you start walking backwards out of your favorite cafe, we promise not to judge.