Food Biz

Is This the Solution to Coffee-Stained Teeth?

April 17, 2017

Last week, two Slovakian brothers-turned-business partners based in the United Kingdom launched CLRCFF, the first clear coffee in the world. The company’s website offers delivery within the United Kingdom for £5.99 for a two-pack or £14.99 for four bottles, while its stocklists include Whole Foods and Selfridges; as of writing, it's not available internationally.

It’s a drink that has the appearance of water but the qualities one desires from coffee: preservative- and artificial flavor-free, sugarless, roasted directly from Arabica beans and pure water. And its appearance shouldn’t mask its potency, which its creators, Adam and David Nagy, have likened to that of a cold brew.

Four years ago, the brothers, avid coffee drinkers, were burdened with a problem that afflicts many coffee connoisseurs: They watched their teeth turn an ungainly shade of brown and were unsure of how to counteract this. So they decided to craft their own recipe as a solution and quit their jobs in February 2015 to devote themselves to full-time coffee entrepreneurship.

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The brothers have thus far kept the production process for this drink under wraps, offering only the slightly discomfiting assurance that it's “produced by methods which have never been used before.” Reviews of the product have been mixed-to-positive, with some expressing mild surprise at its inoffensive taste and others likening its mouthfeel to that of cheap corner store wine.

For those of us who can't access clear coffee, what’s the best workaround for yellow-tinged chompers, anyway? Do you just not drink coffee? I haven't been able to muster the discipline to wean myself off this drink, and I still haven’t found a way to fight the gradual decay of my teeth, either, beyond aggressive brushing and busting through packs of Trident. I fear I’m priming myself up for golden years with golden teeth.

Three years ago, though, the prospect of a clear coffee was, quite literally, a joke. If CLRCFF kickstarts a solution that manages to preserve the taste and sensation of drinking coffee, I’m all for it.

How do you get rid of coffee stains on your teeth? Let us know in the comments.

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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


Kristin April 20, 2017
I asked my dentist about this because I have sensitive teeth and can't deal with whitening treatments. She suggested:
- drink your coffee in a shorter amount of time, don't slowly sip all day
- drink a glass of water after your coffee to rinse out your mouth
- or the least popular but best method, drink less coffee =(

I've also been working hard on option D: worry less about it because probably I'm the only one who notices anyway.
E April 19, 2017
When drinking anything not clear or neutral in ph (=most every liquid except water), I use a straw. I don't like to as its so annoying, but I also love my teeth being so white. At home, metal straw. Outside, whatever straw that is available, almost always plastic, but sometimes paper.
Roberta D. April 19, 2017
Use Hydrogen Peroxide as a mouth rinse/gargle rather than products such as Listerine. It really helps with staining, and as a positive side benefit, healthier gums, and improved resistance to colds.
Windischgirl April 17, 2017
Dang, I wish we had copyrighted 'Clear Coffee' on the day my husband made it for the first time. Here's the recipe:
We have a coffeemaker with a built-in timer, so we prep the machine the night before and wake to a steaming brew (I know purists are cringing). So one night my husband preps the machine and we awaken to a pot of hot water (yes, he forgot the coffee). He dubs this 'Paul's Famous Clear Coffee.'
That night he tries again. The next morning we get nothing: there is coffee in the machine, but no water. He christens this 'Paul's Famous Dry Coffee.'
I decide I am going to take over the duties. I measure out 10 spoonfuls of freshly ground beans, reach into the fridge, and grab...the milk. I am able to stop myself in time before I invent 'Drip Machine Cafe au Lait'.
We are clearly a couple who needs the very least, in order to pay attention to what we're doing!
Matilda L. April 17, 2017
I brush my teeth right after my morning coffee, drink my daytime teas with a metal straw, I use a Waterpik and electric toothbrush, and use a tongue scraper to get rid of the coffee-colored plaque that accumulates on my tongue. Fingers crossed, I have an appointment with my dentist next week, so hopefully, these strategies will help with my stain problem.
Whiteantlers April 17, 2017
I rarely drink coffee, but I guzzle lots of tea daily. Oil pulling with coconut oil every morning before breakfast keeps my teeth white. I brush with charcoal powder also once every 2 weeks. It's abrasive, thus the in frequency.
Ron M. April 17, 2017
I also struggle with coffee stained teeth. What works really well for me is to simply have a glass of water after every coffee. Coffee stains take time to set, and if you rinse the coffee out of your mouth soon after drinking, the stain is minimized.