I often encounter a situation where I have coffee, hot water, sugar, and Styrofoam cups, but no spoon. How do I effectively mix the ingredients?


11 Answers 11


Use some other utensil. Or some object, such as a chopstick, straw. Or pour the mixture back and forth between two styrofoam cups until it's blended.

  • 7
    Pouring coffee back and forth is the traditional method of mixing for South Indian coffee. It makes the milk frothy too. It's known colloquially as "metre coffee".
    – Jay
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 19:38
  1. Pour solid ingredients into a cup
  2. Pour about a third of a cup full of liquid into the cup
  3. Swirl cup gently until mixed
  4. Fill cup with remainder of liquid
  • Always do that! Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 11:11

If you already have coffee and a cup, you're done. Pour coffee into cup, let sit for a while (optional), and drink.

Not to need any of that extra fufu (i.e. cream/sugar) in the first place is the ultimate life hack. Result = drink coffee anywhere regardless of the availability of "condiments".

  • 2
    -1 This does not answer the one and only question in the OP "How do I effectively mix the ingredients?" Since the OP says he has coffee and water, the obvious assumption is that it needs to be mixed (powder/instant of some sort).
    – TIO Begs
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 19:38

My method is a variation of one of the other answers. I add the milk and sugar to the cup and swurl then add the coffee.


Coffee stirrers. Go to Mcdonalds or anywhere that is a chain restaurant and take a couple extra when you're there. You're overpaying for their food anyways, may as well take a couple of cheap plastic stirrers!


When it is clear that it is only me drinking this coffee I use this trick: I take a first sip and, while still having the cup in drinking position, I "blow" the coffee back into the cup so that the created turbulences sirres up the sugar at the bottom.

I always wondered if this is considered inhygenious by someone, but it works for me.


Some coffee shops provide spaghetti pasta for such a use.

You can also pour the dry ingredients slowly into the water stream, but you need steady hands and good timing so as not to end up with dry ingredients left once the cup is full of water.


Use your finger (if your coffee is not too hot and your finger is clean) as seen in 10 Years movie.

  • 4
    Yeah, but who knows where the OP stuck his finger ...
    – CustomX
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 13:33

Maybe this is a variation on other answers, but one option is to make sure the cup is significantly bigger than the amount of coffee you are drinking to allow room to safely 'swirl' the coffee and ingredients together. If there's a lid, you can get away with a little less room. If it's one of the lids that has a closable sippy hole, you may even get away with actual shaking the coffee (though obviously ensure that the lid is held on tightly as you do)


If you don't want to pull anything in the cup, there still is a (very simple) way. Not very effective but it works.

Just stand upward, hold the cup in front of you and turn in your own axies. The liquid in the cup will turn counterwise while the cup will not.

The "mixing-force" is very weak in this, so sugar which has not dissolved completely ain't affected by this very well. But if you can wait a view minutes after inserting sugar, or if you only use milk, it works well.


This may not strictly answer your question, but two possible suggestions with one main point: Avoid the situation!

1) Always carry a stirrer of some sort with you. Try a small measuring spoon -- often the smaller measurements aren't too long and since they're often held on one ring or chain as part of a set, you can use attach it to your key ring (assuming you have a tissue or something to wipe it with)

2) Use a self-stirring mug (search google or ebay) rather than the provided Styrofoam ones, though I realize this may not be feasible if you're traveling and can't carry the mug.

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