The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the consumption of "very hot" beverages (temperature >65 °C) as "probably carcinogenic to humans", but there is no information regarding the serving temperature of Brazil's most consumed hot beverage-coffee. The serving temperatures of best-selling coffee beverages in 50 low-cost food service establishments (LCFS) and 50 coffee shops (CS) were studied. The bestsellers in the LCFS were dominated by 50 mL shots of sweetened black coffee served in disposable polystyrene (PS) cups from thermos flasks. In the CS, 50 mL shots of freshly brewed espresso served in porcelain cups were the dominant beverage. The serving temperatures of all beverages were on average 90% and 68% above 65 °C in the LCFS and CS, respectively (P95 and median value of measurements: 77 and 70 °C, LCFS; 75 and 69 °C, CS). Furthermore, the cooling periods of hot water systems (50 mL at 75 °C and 69 °C in porcelain cups; 50 mL at 77 °C and 70 °C in PS cups) to 65 °C were investigated. When median temperatures of the best-selling coffees are considered, consumers should allow a minimum cooling time before drinking of about 2 min at both LCFS and CS.
Keywords: Brazil; coffee; food service industry; risk; temperature.