The good news: The World Health Organization has reversed its stance on the link between coffee and cancer—in fact, the WHO even acknowledged coffee may protect against some types of cancer, possibly due to the drink’s antioxidants. The bad news: The International Agency on Cancer (IARC) announced on Wednesday that a review of over 1,000 studies on humans and animals suggests hot drinks in general are carcinogenic.
The IARC, the same killjoy organization that linked cancer to red meat last year, designated anything above 65 degrees Celsius (or 149 degrees Fahrenheit) as “very hot” and capable of causing esophageal cancer.
That may put a damper on your morning and teatime routine, but there is an easy solution: Add ice. Specifically, for the cocktailians out there, try switching your usual Irish Coffee out for iced Irish Coffee. Summer weekend mornings are especially perfect for a chilled version of the classic, caffeinated cocktail. And if anyone calls you out on ordering a second (or third), just kindly refer them to the WHO.
If ice just isn’t your thing, simply have some patience and let your coffee, tea, hot water with lemon, Hot Toddy or Hot Buttered Rum cool down a bit before pouring it down your throat. Temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit dampen taste anyway, so waiting a few minutes will actually improve the drinking experience. Your taste buds and your cancer-free throat will thank you.