#563 Watching cream go into coffee

Swirling seas of milky white twist and twirl like strange and distant galaxies in the far corners of outer space. As you grab a rushed coffee break in the chatty workplace cafeteria or cutlery-clinking dining hall, just stare deeply into your chipped ceramic telescope and enjoy the two-second escape from reality to watch those floating clouds mix and melt deep into the swirling darkness.


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61 thoughts on “#563 Watching cream go into coffee

  1. Buckets, Neil! You know it all! I watch this and all moments similar. My favorite being a first few drops of food coloring into an originally clear liquid (don’t act like you don’t know). You know me all too well. And, by the looks of it, everyone else too.


  2. Agreed! Never thought to appreciate that, but it SO TOTALLY deserves to be on this list. One of those things that every time I see it, I stop in temporary awe… but then promptly forget about it. Thanks for making me pause and appreciate this wonderful phenomenon!

  3. SO true. As a former barista, I always loved pouring the cream over the top of iced coffee… it’s like this sensation described above, but then when you add in the effect of the cream trickling through the ice, it looks so AWESOME! :D

  4. my favorite is when you have really dark coffee and slowly adding creamer/milk…watching it go through shades of darkness until it starts to look caramel-like

  5. My girlfriend thinks I’m a huge nerd because of it – but I LOVE the diffusion plume when you add cream to coffee. The best is if you seriously dump the cream in – with the single serving creams. The cream all sinks to the bottom and then floats back up to the surface – and it looks amazing.

    Diffusion looks amazing on the biggest scales (clouds, puffs of smoke,) all the way down to simple things like cream in coffee. Amazing.

  6. Sometimes I wish I was a coffee drinker just so I could have this experience more often. I do get to have the pleasure of watching the water change color as tea steeps, which is almost as awesome. Well done, Neil! :)

  7. I never thought of that, but now, I realize, it is truly, how you say it, AWESOME! Thanks, Neil, for letting me enjoy the smaller things in life. When you get to #1, it’s going to be both awesome and sad at the same time.

  8. I’m a cappuccino fan and I L.O.V.E. to watch sugar sinking through and disappearing into coffee.


    1. Me too! also taking my spoon of sugar and just barely submerging it into the coffee. Then watching the liquid slip in and meld with the sugar on the spoon… people laugh at me but I do it every time!

      good times.

  9. Gah! I love this but never even thought of it as a potential 1 of 1000 awesome things!

    The best is when you have a glass cup at some fancy pants cafe so you can see the cream diffuse all the way through.

  10. This is my absolute favorite part about tea, because you totally get the effect twice! It always makes me think of the molecules, and how you can actually see them moving…. But that could just be the Chemistry degree speaking. Awesome. :)

  11. Every time I stir my coffee after pouring in the milk, it hurts for a little moment to destroy this wonderful phenomenon. But then I drink the coffee and all the pain is forgotten.

  12. It’s too bad because I almost never put creamer in after the coffee. I do the reverse so that the coffee mixes the creamer in fully and then I don’t need a spoon. I’m going to have to change that back when I want a little awesome.

  13. haha how funny! this is awesome. i even wrote a journal entry about it one day at work, while feeling substantially unfulfilled by the nature of my job. it gives such a good feeling to watch the little mushroom cloud of white enter the dark brown liquid. very awesome indeed. :)

  14. I absolutely love this!! I do this every morning. I love to watch the white swirl into the black. I put enough creamer in my coffee that it makes it look like chocolate milk. :-)

  15. I’m so glad you included this one. It really is so cool to watch creamer merging into coffee. I always feel slightly let down when the coffee stops changing and suddenly it’s just a light brown color.

  16. Hi, just want to say that this blog and stuff is totally awsome! You should make a group on facebook or something, make people know ( -:

  17. amazing. you just reminded me of the awesome cup of coffee (with cream) i had earlier this morning. this post made me sooo happy.

    good choice. =)

  18. Mmm…I agree
    (it belongs in the awesome list)
    mix milk and dish soap in a bowl
    then add a drop of food colouring.
    Post when you see what happens.
    It’s incredible!

  19. this has got to be the most incredible description of pouring creamer into coffee that i have ever read!! fantastic job!

  20. You just convinced me to make myself some coffee, just so I can watch the cream swirl!! yayyyy


  21. Not only is pouring cream into coffee AWESOME on it’s own, now it’s awesome because it always reminds of my chemistry friend who first pointed it out to me. AWESOME!

  22. Oh yes! The scent, the sight…the knowledge that in a few short seconds, it will be drinkable…awesome!

  23. Seriously, this is one of my favorite small-pleasures-of-life and I thought NO ONE else even noticed it. Yay!

  24. This really is pretty cool. And it’s pretty awesome when you pour cream into coffee, see it disappear as it settles to the bottom, and then watch it resurface and swirl when you start to stir.

  25. I like to stir in a little sugar first and get the coffee swirling in the mug (either direction), then slowly add the creamer from the lip to allow it to enter the ‘swirl’ slowly; it prolongs and enhances the effect! (like a spiral galaxy; watch the dark center disappear)! You can also add a small ice cube and watch the affect. Cool …

  26. The best place to see this is at a bidgehead coffee shop, where they make the cream look like hearts and other nifty things when they put it in your coffee!

  27. I always put my cream in before pouring my coffee so I don’t have to stir it.


    If you ever get the chance, use a clear glass mug, pour in the coffee, then pour in buttermilk. You won’t be able to drink the result, but it’s the most AWESOME thing I’ve ever seen in a cup EVER!

  28. OK, now I’m going to make myself some coffee, to watch the cream swirl!
    I’m very curious! ;)

  29. I never noticed that I always watch the cream diffusion until this post.

    I’m glad others agreed that it was awesome, or I’d just think I was weird.

  30. there’s a barista in the valley who can make the coolest designs, like Freddo said, it’s quite a fascinating artistic talent and really difficult to ruin in the first gulp.

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