Gourmet coffee & Music Pairing
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. – Pato, classical Greek philosopher (427 BC – 347 BC)
Experiencing specialty coffee engages all of our senses. Including the powerful sense of hearing, which triggers emotions and memories.
When sounds are added to a coffee drinking experience, it can affect the way we perceive flavor and taste. Especially different volumes and styles of music can enhance the intensity of flavor attributes that are associated with coffee such as sweetness, bitterness, sourness or saltiness.
Did you know that our perception of taste and flavor goes down if we are surrounded by loud music with very high decibel levels?
Do you want to intensify the sweetness of your coffee? Try listening to music with high pitched notes.
The connection between taste and flavor perception & pitch
According to the astrophysicist Charles Spence, who leads the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University’s experimental psychology department, different pitches of sound can be connected with basic tastes of bitter, sweet, sour and salty. High pitched music is associated with sweet and sour tastes. Therefore, when we listen to higher pitches of music we will – most likely – perceive the taste as sweeter. Low pitched music, on the other hand, can intensify the impact of bitter and umami tastes.
Spence and his team successfully explore how our five senses–touch, taste, smell, vision, and hearing–interact with each other. The team cooperates with Starbucks on a soundtrack to complement their coffee drinks.
Sounds & music highlight flavor notes
“When you have a food like a dark chocolate or a coffee that has a lot of varying and complementary or even contrasting notes like sweetness and bitterness, it can be hard for your brain to make sense of it all and to latch on to something. And these different pitches of sounds and of music sort of act as ways to highlight certain features of a food,”- Dan Pashman, host of The Sporkful food podcast at Stitcher and Cooking Channel’s web series You’re Eating It Wrong. Source: here
Perceived flavor notes mirror background music
Research also suggests that the perceived taste and flavor attributes of a drink tend to mirror the style of background music that is surrounding us. An interesting experiment had been conducted during which the participants drank red and white wines while one of four different styles of music was playing softly in the background. ‘Powerful and heavy,’ ‘subtle and refined,’ ‘zingy and refreshing,’ ‘mellow and soft’ music styles had been chosen. These characteristics can also be used to describe specialty coffee drinks.