True lovers of this aromatic invigorating drink are convinced that there are no minor aspects in the coffee world. The smallest detail here can cause a lot of heated debate, for example, about how appropriate is the use of a coffee accessory.
Do you know how to hold a stick for stirring coffee? Most likely, it seems to you that this is absolutely unimportant. But in coffee etiquette, all the nuances are significant. How to hold a disposable coffee stick and what types of this device exist? Let's talk about this in our article.
Where can I find this accessory?
In fast foods, coffee vending machines and roadside cafes, the traditional coffee (tea) spoon has long been replaced by a coffee stick, thanks to which the owners of catering establishments can significantly reduce production costs and at the same time improve the quality of service.
Naturally, this does not apply to restaurants and expensive cafes. In such places, the use of a coffee or tea stirrer will look somewhat inappropriate. In respectable establishments, the only and indispensable companion of a cute cup with a fragrant drink, served, as a rule, on a beautiful saucer, is traditionally a coffee (teaspoon) spoon.
It is known that in some European countries they can bring coffee with a disposable stick even in expensive restaurants. It would seem that the corporate identity is being violated, and yet restaurateurs can understand: the first place for them is not aesthetics, but the health of visitors, which largely depends on the hygiene of the accessories they use.
What is a device?
This small accessory (disposable) is designed to mix sugar, cream or milk in order to obtain a drink with the most uniform consistency. These sticks are issued by coffee machines, they can be found in fast food chains and even in some author's coffee houses.
Users together note the advantages of this accessory, which is different:
- Hygiene. Unlike traditional coffee spoons, such sticks are disposable, therefore, experts say, they do not pose any risk to health.
- Ease of use. This appliance can be used no matter which coffee cup you use.
Unlike teaspoons, a coffee stick is convenient to stir the drink in tiny cups. For stirring cappuccino and latte, there are special sticks that are longer than usual.
About types of stirrers
How to hold a coffee stick? This question raised a whole wave of discussions on social networks, which showed that the answer to it requires a fundamental approach, coupled with many aspects of the problem. And first of all, it is important to discuss what kind of sticks are and how they differ from each other.
What material is the accessory made of?
First of all, these devices differ in the material of manufacture. They are:
- Plastic. Such devices resemble a miniature oar. The long handle in them expands from top to bottom and ends with a blade with several small openings, windows, providing uniform and high-quality stirring of sugar. Plastic coffee sticks are issued in vending machines, mobile coffee houses, fast foods.
- Wooden. Most often they are made from bamboo. Externally, such accessories are very similar to sticks for ice cream. They differ in equal width over the entire length and rounded ends. Such coffee appliances can be found on racks in bars and in small restaurants.
About the types of coffee sticks by size and purpose
For those who would like to know how to hold coffee sticks correctly: a similar accessory is also provided for stirring tea, cocoa and hot chocolate. Depending on what the sticks are for, they are divided into several of the following types:
- The length of coffee sticks for vending machines is usually 90-120 mm.
- For espresso coffee accessories are served whose length is 100-120 mm.
- Devices for coffee drinks (Americano, latte) have a length of 140-180 mm (the largest). Extra long coffee accessories are made exclusively from wood.
How to hold a coffee stick? In the photo below you can see the image of this accessory, which is nothing more than a plastic or wooden "spatula" with an elongated handle. Using such a wand is not at all difficult - you should, holding the accessory by the elongated handle, just stir the drink with its lower, somewhat expanded part. Manufacturers often equip this part with special openings through which liquid passes during the coffee mixing process, thereby enhancing the mixing efficiency.
About the inventors
A patent for such a stick, describing in detail its design, as well as the above method of use, was granted in Russia in December 1999 to businessman Elena Baturina.
It indicates that the device has two elements - a handle and a working part. The working part is distinguished by expanding downward lower sides with windows on the surface. The pen, according to the characteristics presented in the patent, is a narrow part of the device. The document describes in detail the distinguishing features of both elements of the accessory - it refers to the “expanded working part”, which has the “shape of a spatula with a semicircular outer side”, the presence on the surface of the working part of “rectangular windows with a semicircular side and rounded corners”. It is also noted that "the rectangular handle is made with a slight bevel towards the base of the working part." Special holes in a plastic disposable stirrer reduce fluid resistance and provide quick and effective stirring of sugar in tea or coffee. Thanks to a special shape, resembling a spoon, a coffee stick is quite convenient to hold in your hand. The main area of use of these stirrers is the fast food chain of outlets.
How to hold coffee sticks?
At first glance, this question seems extremely simple and inconsequential. Nevertheless, there are several radically opposite opinions regarding this problem. And if, as a rule, there are no questions with wooden accessories (in view of their identical shape from both ends), then heated debates are still ongoing about how to properly hold a plastic coffee stick.
Many guardians of coffee etiquette, in fact, are concerned: should the spatula act directly as a drink stirrer or is it a finger holder?
About European Tradition
Coffeemen will be interested to know that, it turns out, in many European countries only the narrow side is used to stir sugar in the drink. Our compatriots, on the other hand, act the other way around - they stir coffee with a “spatula”. Why is that?
About the reasons for the origin of tradition
Explain for those who are "hooked." The fact is that abroad, sticks are loaded into coffee machines in such a way that they are fed to customers with a “spatula” forward. Therefore, it is precisely the “spatula” that consumers of coffee take with their fingers, stirring the drink. Accordingly, the other part of the accessory directly stirs itself. But Russian consumers are guided by a slightly different logic. The wide end of the coffee stick is used by them (similar to a teaspoon or coffee spoon) to stir sugar in a drink.
Definitely the correct answer to the question of how to properly hold a stick for stirring coffee until it exists. It can’t be, at least until the rules of good taste have been devised regarding the use of an invigorating drink in fast foods and coffee machines.
Barista tips on choosing coffee appliances
Not only the question of how to properly hold the coffee sticks, worries lovers of this aromatic drink. Many of those who would like to buy this accessory do not know how to choose it correctly. For those who set out to purchase their own set of chopsticks for coffee (in particular for business), it would not be superfluous to heed the advice of an experienced barista:
- Buy sticks better in wholesale stores. Usually 250 sticks per unit are much cheaper.
- If accessories are purchased for the machine, you should opt for sticks with a length of 100-120 mm.
- An important problem is the choice of color. It is best, experts say, to purchase a set of brown or white sticks. Inveterate coffee lovers claim that transparent coffee accessories are the least convenient in everyday life. In fast foods, they merge with the general background of the dishes.
- An ideal option for the barista is wooden sticks.
- For large drinks (latte, etc.) it is recommended to use accessories with a length of 120-160 mm.
- Experts recommend purchasing devices for stirring coffee in individual packaging, which provides each stick with its own "pencil case" made of paper. This automatically increases the hygiene safety of the device.
The question of how to properly hold coffee sticks is not considered professional by a barista. You should do as you are accustomed and more comfortable. Do not just grab your fingers at the opposite end of the accessory. And if the question is still important, it is better to choose wooden coffee sticks.