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Why can it be assumed that coffee from coffee shops is kosher? Why couldn't the equipment become unkosher through exposure to non kosher ingredients or when being cleaned?

For example the Canadian chain Tim Horton's makes coffee in pots and puts those pots in a non kosher dishwasher. To me that should make the coffee not kosher.

There's also the issue with stirring milk/sugar with a non kosher spoon.

Why do (a significant number) of kosher Jews assume all this is kosher?

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There are a number of kashrut issues regarding drinking coffee from coffee shops, such as:

  1. Ingredients of additives (to those fancy flavored coffees)
  2. Chalav Yisrael (for those who keep it)
  3. Maarit Ayin
  4. Status of keilim (esp. considering their cleaning)
  5. Cup and spoon used to drink the coffee
  6. Bishul Akum

Various contemporary opinions range from being completely forbidden to walk inside a coffee shop to being able to drink kosher-ingredient coffee in a non-certified place. Some of the issues can be resolved making it permissible to drink there, such as

  1. M'lekatchila requesting for a disposable cup & spoon and b'dievad being able to drink from a ceramic cup (Yechave Daat Vol. 4 #42)
  2. Considering the cleaning with treif as Noten Taam Lifgam
  3. Wearing a hat inside the coffeeshop (instead of a kippah)

For more info:

  1. A great site that discusses the possibilities to allow is Kosher Starbucks
  2. An article from the Chicago Rabbinical Council detailing all the halachic issues in depth
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  • +1 for linking to both Kosher Starbucks and the CRC (who have diametrically opposite positions on the issue of Starbucks and similar coffee houses). – Seth J Sep 11 '12 at 14:39
  • this doesn't answer the question, which is "Why do some consider it kosher?" – Charles Koppelman Sep 11 '12 at 14:43
  • @CharlesKoppelman, note the three numbered items in the middle of the answer, and the links at the bottom. These directly address that question. – msh210 Sep 11 '12 at 15:30

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