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The Color of Your Coffee Mug Can Affect Coffee's Taste

We think of ourselves as both coffee and coffee mug connoisseurs at Sonic, so this article in Tuesday's Washington Post caught our eye for obvious reasons. The color of your coffee mug can change the way your coffee tastes? Say what?!
In a recent study, participants were served coffee in three similarly shaped mugs of different color- one clear, one white, one blue- and asked to rate different flavor points. Drinkers commented that the coffee in the white mug tasted more intense and bitter, while the coffee from the blue and clear mugs was comparatively more sweet.

Other studies have also proven a correlation between color and how we experience food, but the reason why is still unclear. The researchers who conducted the coffee study offer one explanation:

The color brown, they believe, might be something people associate with bitterness. "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," the researchers wrote. That would help explain why clear, glass coffee mugs, which dilute the color, tended to have the opposite effect.


I have long favored my red Sonic mug above all other mugs in my cabinet. I like the shape and size, and now I wonder if I also subconsciously prefer it because the red color affects how I taste my coffee.

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Thursday, 22 October 2020
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