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Ceramic coffee cups

Ceramic coffee cups

Large-sample experiment, conducted in Brazil

A recent study had been conducted during a specialty coffee event in Brazil. The goal of the study was to investigate whether or not different shapes of coffee cups will affect the coffee drinking experience of taste and flavour. 276 participants – both amateurs and professional consumers – were asked to drink the same coffee from a tulip, an open and split-shaped cup.

coffee cups

Ceramic coffee cups

The shape was the only factor that differentiated the cups from each other:

  • Tulip-shaped cups have edges that come toward each other at the top.
    Open-cups have rims that are wider than their base.
  • The split-cups that were used for the experiment looked similar to an hourglass.
  • The participants were asked to evaluate their experience of the aroma, sweetness and acidity of the coffee, and how much they liked it.

The study indicates that the shape of the cup affects the coffee drinking experience.

Ceramic coffee cups

Ceramic coffee cups

Both, the amateurs and experts rated

  • the aroma significantly stronger in the tulip-shaped cup
  • the sweetness and acidity significantly more intense in the split-shaped cup than in the tulip or open- shaped cups
Ceramic coffee cups

Ceramic coffee cups

Did you know?

Studies have demonstrated that:

  • Generally people prefer rounded shapes to angular shapes.
  • Round shapes are matched with sweet tastes.
  • Round shapes influence the actual perception of sweetness in different drinks.
  • When compared to angular shapes,curved shapes have demonstrated to increase a taster’s sensitivity to sweetness.
Ceramic coffee cups

Ceramic coffee cups


Fabiana M. Carvalhoa, Charles Spence (2018), The shape of the cup influences aroma, taste, and hedonic judgements of specialty coffee, Food Quality and Preference: goo.gl/kdKeR9
Charles Spence and George Van Doorn, Does the Shape of the Drinking Receptacle Influence
Taste/Flavour Perception? A Review, Beverages 2017:goo.gl/EE343z


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