This Riddle Asking ‘Who Gets The Coffee First’ Is Leaving People Completely Stumped

If you love a good riddle, you probably consider yourself pretty clever.

Here at LittleThings, we love them all: brainteasers, riddles, optical illusions, and hidden messages.

A while ago, we wrote about this tricky chalkboard-sign riddle, and we’ve been keeping our eyes peeled for other good ones ever since.

The one I’m about to tell you doesn’t involve sneaky wordplay or hidden images. It’s actually a lot more straightforward than that.

All this puzzle involves is a single picture. The photo shows coffee being poured into a maze of pipes and containers. At the bottom of all the pipes, there are four coffee cups, labelled with numbers.

On November 9, 2017, Twitter user @_herbeautyxo shared the picture online, writing, “Let’s see who’s [sic] brain works [crying emoji]. who gets coffee first?”

Think you can figure out the answer? Keep scrolling to see if you’re really clever enough to outsmart this riddle!

who gets coffee first riddle

Here’s @herbeautyxo’s original tweet. As you can see, it got a lot of attention.

Within just a few days, the post had over 1,900 retweets, 4,400 likes, and 2,000 comments.

who gets coffee first riddle

So let’s take a closer look at the puzzle itself.

Assuming you were to pour coffee into the first “bucket” at a constant rate, which cup would get coffee first?

who gets coffee first riddle

One of the most common answers to the riddle is “4, 9, 7, 5.”

In fact, 529 people liked the comment that said that was the answer. But is it?

who gets coffee first riddle

Another popular answer was that they’d all get coffee at the exact same time. If that’s what you originally thought, you’re definitely not alone.

Unfortunately, that’s also not right.

who gets coffee first riddle

If you’re getting frustrated, don’t worry, I promise I’ll tell you the answer at the end.

But just take one more look.

who gets coffee first riddle

This time, really study the pipes. Take note of their locations and lengths.

Try to imagine a liquid pouring through the pipes. Where would it go first?

who gets coffee first riddle

If you’re still stumped, that’s OK.

Want a hint? What if I told you only one of the cups gets coffee?

who gets coffee first riddle

Now that you know only one cup gets coffee, take a final look.

Think you know which cup it is?

who gets coffee first riddle

It’s cup 5!

You were paying so much attention to the way the pipes attach and turn that you didn’t notice that almost all the pipes are actually blocked.

who gets coffee first riddle

There you have it!

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