A waiter tries whiffing coffee.  (Source: Reuters)

Whiffing, has become a worldwide craze thanks to Le Whif, a French company launched by a Harvard professor.

David Edwards, a Harvard professor, invented the device.  (Source: Reuters)

School children "whiff" some chocolate.  (Source: Le Whif)
Why drink your coffee, when you can inhale it

A bizarre little gadget is revolutionizing the beverage industry across the world.  Le Whif is no ordinary hot drink -- rather its a small metallic inhaler that you insert "beverage" canisters into.  The canisters spray an edible aerosol shot of the substance directly into your mouth, without your lips even touching a single glass.

The device may sound like an elaborate April Fools prank, but its very real, and its on sale in France now.  The company's homepage can be found here.

Le Whif was the brainchild of Harvard professor David Edwards, who designed the device in conjunction with his colleagues at the ArtScience Laboratory in Paris, France.  It delivers "hundreds of milligrams of tiny food particles" directly into the user's mouth.  Professor Edwards describes, "Le Whif first offered the taste of chocolate without the calories, and now it offers the kick of coffee without the cup.

Currently the company offers four flavors -- pure chocolate, raspberry chocolate, mint chocolate and coffee for €1.80 (about $2.42).

It takes about 8 whiffs to get the effect of a full cup of coffee.  A canister contains an 8 whiff serving, or more. 

Not everyone is enthused with the whiffing fad.  A Paris waiter, interviewed by
Reuters comments, "Replace a coffee?? That!? Never. Never.  To start with you don't get the taste of coffee at all; you get this sort of powder in your mouth that's absolutely horrible in your mouth.  And its not nice at all."

Waiters also complain that whiffing interferes with traditional coffee related activities, such as the French tradition of dipping bread in hot coffee.  

Regardless, they seem powerless to stop the whiffing craze.  Whiffing chocolate is becoming very popular among kids in the UK and France.  And now this strange contraption seems poised to captivate adults in mass as well, with its pitch to coffee addicts worldwide.

Might we see whiffers in the States, perhaps at our local Starbucks?  We'll have to wait and see.

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