If you love coffee, drink it from a clear glass mug.
It turns out that the color of your coffee mug can affect the way your coffee tastes, reports The Washington Post of an Oxford University study conducted in Australia.
The study: Led by Charles Spence, the British team served the same coffee to 18 people in one of three similarly shaped but differently colored mugs: white, clear and blue. The participants were asked to rate the coffee for its sweetness, aroma, bitterness, quality and acceptability.
The results: The coffee-drinkers experienced the same coffee quite differently, depending on the color of the mug from which they drank. "The color of the mug really does seem to have an impact," Spence told the Post. "We found a particularly significant difference between the white mug and the clear one."
- White mug: a bitter, less sweet taste
- Clear mug: a sweeter, less bitter taste
- Blue mug: sweet taste with average bitterness
The differences observed in the rest of the flavor characteristics, based on the mug color, were not statistically significant.
"I have been working for more than a decade studying the impact colors can have on the experience of food," Spence explained to the Post. "It doesn't just happen in laboratories--it happens in restaurants, too."
This effect is called "crossmodal," which means that one sense affects another. In this case it is vision and taste.
But why is coffee perceived to be less bitter and sweeter tasting in a clear glass mug than in a white mug? Spence hypothesizes that the brown coffee color is intensified by the white mug, while a clear mug dilutes the color.
--From the Editors at Netscape