In 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified beverages consumed at very high temperatures, defined as drinks over 65°C, as “probably carcinogenic to the human oesophagus”31. It is the temperature, rather than the drinks themselves, that appears to be responsible. 65°C is significantly hotter than the temperature at which most people can comfortably drink coffee without scalding their mouth and tongue; coffee is typically drunk at temperatures below 60°C32,33. When IARC assessed evidence for a link between oesophageal cancer and coffee specifically, it found insufficient evidence of an association31.

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