Like Your Coffee/Tea Extra Hot? Not So Fast.

I like all my food and drinks extra-hot. (Is it my imagination or do waitstaff give me the evil eye when I'm forever sending my food back, insisting it's not hot enough?) And back in the day when I used to make my daily trek to Starbucks, I always ordered my lattes extra hot.

Until one day, that latte was extra, extra hot, ...and I was extra upset. If you've ever burned your esophagus, you know what I mean. It hurts - a lot. The feeling is a cross between feeling like someone is sitting on your chest and the muscle inside is being squeezed by someone with a very strong grip.

That's why I read this latest study with interest: that drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of throat cancer. (I would guess that goes for coffee or any hot liquid, too.) The report in Science Daily says that esophageal cancer kills more than 500,000 people worldwide each year and is mainly caused by tobacco and alcohol use - but that drinking hot liquids is also thought to be a risk factor.

There are so many health benefits to drinking both tea and coffee, and I'd hate for anyone to think they shouldn't enjoy these drinks. But the next time you decide to reach for that steaming cup, pause for a moment and resist the urge...until it has a chance to cool down a bit.


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