Can coffee cause cancer? Only if it's very hot, say WHO scientists

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Coffee Is No Longer on WHO's List of Cancer-Causing Substances

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - There is no conclusive evidence that drinking coffee causes cancer, the World Health Organization's cancer agency will say as it downgrades its warning, but it will also say all "very hot" drinks are probably carcinogenic.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) had previously rated coffee as "possibly carcinogenic" but has changed its mind. On Wednesday it will say its latest review found "no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect."

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At the same time, however, it will say other scientific evidence suggests that drinking anything very hot - around 65 degrees Celsius or above - including water, coffee, tea and other beverages, probably does cause cancer of the esophagus.

Lyon-based IARC, which last year prompted headlines worldwide by saying processed meat can cause cancer, reached its conclusions after reviewing more than 1,000 scientific studies in humans and animals. There was inadequate evidence for coffee to be classified as either carcinogenic or not carcinogenic.

It had previously put coffee as a "possible carcinogen" in its 2B category alongside chloroform, lead and many other substances.

The U.S. National Coffee Association welcomed the change in IARC's classification as "great news for coffee drinkers."

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What's an espresso?

Like a concentrated coffee shot (and the drink of choice throughout Europe), an espresso is "seven grams of specifically roasted coffee, extracted by an espresso machine for approximately 24 seconds," says Tal Inbar, owner of NYC's Macchiato Espresso Bar. Want to drink it the insider way? Don't order it to go. Italians drink their espresso while standing at the café.

What's a macchiato?

A macchiato is "the same as espresso but 'stained' with a little bit of foam—the word macchiato comes from the Italian word that means to stain," says Inbar.

What's a cortado?

"Cortado means cut (it comes from the Spanish word cortar). It's an espresso 'cut' with approximately the same amount of steamed milk." If you find an espresso or macchiato a little too strong, you'll love this option.

What's a cappuccino?

Three equal parts: a third espresso, a third milk, a third froth. "If frothed correctly (and if the texture is correct), this is not supposed to be so distinct and broken apart but rather a smooth, silky texture blending each of the elements," Inbar says.

What's a dry cappuccino?

Don't like too much milk in your coffee? Try ordering your cappuccino 'dry.' "This is usually very little warm milk and more foam or froth," says Inbar.

What's a red eye?

If a regular coffee is no longer perking you up the same way, try a red eye for an extra jolt: "It's drip coffee with a shot of espresso."

What's a caffe latte?

For those who like more watered-down, less-intense coffee drinks, a latte is "the opposite of a cappuccino," says Inbar. "It consists of espresso with a lot of warm milk and a little bit of froth."

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