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Does the colour of your mug influence the taste of your coffee?

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  • Does the colour of your mug influence the taste of your coffee?

    According to research recently published, yes it does!


    We investigated whether consumers’ perception of a café latte beverage would be influenced by the colour (transparent, white or blue) of the mug from which it was drunk.


    In experiment 1, the white mug enhanced the rated “intensity” of the coffee flavour relative to the transparent mug. However, given slight physical differences in the mugs used, a second experiment was conducted using identical glass mugs with coloured sleeves. Once again, the colour of the mug was shown to influence participants’ rating of the coffee. In particular, the coffee was rated as less sweet in the white mug as compared to the transparent and blue mugs.


    Both experiments demonstrate that the colour of the mug affects people’s ratings of a hot beverage. Given that ratings associated with the transparent glass mug were not significantly different from those associated with the blue mug in either experiment, an explanation in terms of simultaneous contrast can be ruled out. However, it is possible that colour contrast between the mug and the coffee may have affected the perceived intensity/sweetness of the coffee. That is, the white mug may have influenced the perceived brownness of the coffee and this, in turn, may have influenced the perceived intensity (and sweetness) of the coffee. These results support the view that the colour of the mug should be considered by those serving coffee as it can influence the consumer’s multisensory coffee drinking experience. These results add to a large and growing body of research highlighting the influence of product-extrinsic colour on the multisensory perception of food and drink.

    Java "Full paper here" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  • #2
    I wonder if using red cups make you drink the coffee faster? Interesting paper, more weight to colour therapy having real impacts.



    • #3
      A really interesting read. Thanks for posting!


      • #4
        Hmmm...interesting. Not too sure about the claims as it has a fairly small number of participants. I doubt I would be buying blue cups to make my brews taste sweeter.

        There are other variables that come into play e.g.

        "Each cup of coffee was made using a DeLonghi Magnifica coffee machine set to “regular” taste just prior to the experiment to ensure the temperature of each was as similar as possible."

        How can they be sure the quality of each brew made is the same. I guess an automatic will be more consistent than a human, or will it?
        I thought red should have been included or perhaps an unattractive colour.
        Perhaps some form of calibration/control where all participants were asked to sample the coffee blindfolded. Still, I'm no scientist and his methods were approved.