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Coffee Tips

How to Stir Coffee?

Are you wondering what’s the best way to stir your coffee? You’re in the right place. This article will discuss how to stir your coffee and the reasons behind it. Read on!

stir coffee

How to Stir Coffee

According to William Hanson (a protocol expert plus a leading etiquette coach), the best way to stir your coffee or tea is from 12 to 6 o’clock in a straight line and from north to south and south to north motion rather than in a circular motion. According to William, stirring coffee this way gives a sense or impression of elegance and reduces the chances of your coffee sloshing and splashing. What’s more, stirring your coffee in the 12 to 6 o’clock motion helps dissolve added sugar cubes more quickly than stirring in a circular motion.


Why Do People Stir Coffee?

Different people stir their coffee for varying reasons. Not to mention, your cup of cuppa may or may not need stirring. Generally, here are some reasons why people stir coffee.

  1. For more balance and full flavor

After the coffee is brewed, it begins to settle and separate, and stirring it helps recombine all the elements thus creating a more balanced cup of joe and one that’s fully flavored. Also, when adding milk to your coffee, stirring helps distribute the fatty molecules in the milk evenly throughout your beverage rather than allowing the molecules to separate and sit on top of your coffee.

  1. To reduce the temperature of your coffee

Stirring your coffee also helps reduce the temperature of your coffee thus enhancing its flavor. For some, coffee tastes better when cool.

  1. Release the delicate aromas

For most coffee lovers, the aroma of coffee plays an influential role in creating their day. Most people describe the smell of coffee as inviting and heavenly. Stirring your coffee while hot helps release the delicate gases that contribute to the beautiful aromas of coffee.

  1. Helps dissolve sugars fast

Stirring your coffee helps dissolve sugars faster than not stirring since it brings coffee molecules into contact with sugar crystals.


How Do You Stir Your Coffee Quietly?

stir coffee quietly

Stirring your coffee quietly is part of coffee drinking etiquette. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Hold your stirring spoon or equipment between your thumb and forefinger.
  2. Insert the stirring spoon in the middle of your cup and ensure that the head is fully submerged.
  3. Stir your coffee around the edge of the glass or cup while rotating the stirring spoon in your fingers.
  4. Practice the stirring skill.

The key to stirring your coffee quietly is moving your wrist and fingers while stirring rather than moving the whole arm.


Do You Have to Stir Sugar in Coffee?

When you add sugar to your cup of joe, it sinks to the bottom of the cup and slowly dissolves into the beverage. As the sugar dissolves, it increases the density of your coffee causing it to become heavier and thus settling at the bottom of your drink. Therefore, it’s important to stir sugar in your coffee to evenly mix the sugar crystals with your coffee for even sweetness.


Should You Stir Coffee with a Metal Spoon?

When stirring coffee that’s in a glass, you shouldn’t use a metal spoon. This is because the spoon can cause scratching or minor chipping in the glass, which may lead to glass damage. Instead, you can use wooden or plastic coffee stir sticks. Wooden stir sticks are made of either bamboo or birch wood. They are eco-friendly, durable, easy to recycle, and do not alter the taste of your coffee.

On the other hand, plastic stir sticks are made of polystyrene and are disposable. They have a negative impact on the environment and they can release toxic substances in your coffee, especially at high temperatures. Equally important, plastic stirrers break easily and can have uneven surfaces.


How Long Should You Stir Coffee?

Stirring medium grinds should take you approximately 3 seconds. Coarser grinds can be stirred longer, although they are unlikely to clump.


How Do You Stir Coffee Without a Stirrer?

If you don’t have a coffee stirrer, you can use a chopstick or a straw to stir your coffee. Additionally, you can mix your coffee back and forth between two cups until it’s evenly blended.


Does the Stirring Direction of Your Coffee Matter?

The direction that you choose to stir your coffee depends on your intentions. For example, if you intend to mix or blend ingredients, the direction you choose to stir is irrelevant. On the other hand, if you want to stir your coffee for drinking purposes, the way you choose to stir your coffee matters.



Coffee and tea should be stirred in a 12 to 6 o’clock direction in a straight line and from north to south and south to north. Stirring coffee this way gives a sense of elegance plus reduces the chances of your joe splashing. Equally important, stirring your coffee in this direction dissolves the sugars faster than stirring in a circular motion. With that said, the stirring direction depends on your intentions. Feel free to stir your coffee in any direction when blending ingredients.