Even if you're vigilant about descaling the lines in your Keurig or Nespresso coffee maker, you might be overlooking one spot that needs just as much attention: the drip tray. A new study in Nature Scientific Reports has found that drip trays are perfect breeding grounds for multiple types of bacteria.
The study looked at the drip trays of 10 Nespresso machines, nine of which had been in regular duty for at least one year. The test subjects included two CityZ machines, four Essenza machines, three Pixie machines, and one Inissia machine, which was bought new for the study.
All of the coffee makers were gathered from academic departments, biotech companies, institutes, and homes around Valencia, Spain. (Kind of makes you wonder whether these scientists were just a bit bored and looking for something to study.)
The researchers found that the liquid in each drip tray was host to between 35 and 67 genera of different bacteria. Perhaps more interestingly, the study states that "no differences were detected between machine models or use (domestic vs. communal)."
So the next time you go to clean your coffee maker, make sure to empty your drip tray and give it a good scrub. You might even be able to put it in your dishwasher, if the manual says it's okay. Then your morning routine will be both delicious and germ-free.