Besides for sanitary reasons, does the type of stirrer used effect the
quality of the coffee? Is there an "ideal" stirrer material when
Short answer yes.
A stirrer ought to not add any flavors to the coffee and, as a secondary concern to this question, be easy to clean.
Our choices are ceramic, porcelain, glass, wood / bamboo, metals (gold, silver ...) and stainless steel.
- Ceramic is too porous and the glazes are suspect at best as regards
health and taste.
- Wood / bamboo will absorb coffee flavors. If the wood / bamboo stirrer is only used for coffee I don't think it will impart any noticeable flavor profiles. I have been using a chopstick for a long time and have never noticed an added flavor. As a side note on a camping trip I used a trimmed (but still fresh) spruce branch and that did impart a flavor. :)
- Metals are suspect at best. There are numerous articles on the subject regarding aluminium, silver and other metals.
- Stainless steel does not impart a taste and does not react with the coffee.
- Porcelain does not impart a taste but, as with ceramics, there can be a concern about the glaze.
Food safe ceramic, porcelain and stainless steel will not impart flavor.
Wood / bamboo to a very minor extent might.