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How to drink coffee in space

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

On Saturday, May 30, 2020, NASA sent the first astronauts to the Space Station from the U.S. since 2011. This historic human spaceflight is the first time in history that a private company, SpaceX, is providing the ride. As the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule head for the International Space Station, we started wondering "how do astronauts drink coffee in space"?

Astronauts drinking coffee in space
Bill Ingalls / NASA

Americans, on average, drink about three cups of coffee per day. But, we have a little thing on earth called gravity that helps keep our coffee in the cup. What happens when you drink coffee in zero gravity? There is a lot that goes into it. In space, your taste buds change, saliva changes in your mouth, and your sinuses are plugged.

How the Lavazza ISSpresso system works

In the "old days", astronauts were stuck with an instant coffee mixture that would have to be sucked through a straw. But, a few years back Lavazza released the ISSpresso, to drink coffee in space. This works similar to a K-Cup or Nespresso capsule machine. The ISSpresso was a big step up, but what astronauts really wanted was to drink their coffee out of a cup. Instead of drinking it out of a bag, licking it out of a cup, or throwing it into the air to suck down the hot coffee blob, the Zero-G Coffee Cup was invented. This cup wouldn't work on earth, but is a big hit in space! The coffee piles up at the lip of the cup and keeps flowing as the astronaut sips. The coffee pours out due to the effects of your mouth, wetting conditions of the fluid, shape of the cup, and surface tension.

Astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti, tweeted a picture of the first espresso in space on May 3, 2015.

Samantha Cristoforetti drinking coffee espresso in space with Zero-G Cup

As you know coffee gets things moving, internally. Astronaut Peggy Whitson explains how astronauts poop in space, just in case you were wondering. For you regular Earth humans, check out our friends at Tushy who will transform your restroom into your best room. Use code 5OFFTUSHY to get an exclusive discount on your TUSHY Bidet.


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