Coffee Taste Perception and the Color of our Cup

on June 14, 2018
Color is a power which directly influences the soul. 
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Russian painter and art theorist

Cups in specialty coffee

Specialty coffee culture is a multi-sensual, aesthetic experience. We experience the preparation and enjoyment of the coffee drink itself with not only our nose and taste-buds but also with all our other senses.

As Aradhna points out: the reason all of our senses matter is because all sensory inputs are ultimately combined into one overall evaluation in the part of our brain called the orbitofrontal cortex.’

Source: here

Not only do we appreciate the magic of the coffee drink in all its aspects, but we also notice and enjoy the beautiful utensils of the ritual and our pleasant surroundings.

colorful coffee cups

Hand paint coffee cups

The color of our cups matters!

The color of our cups can affect our taste perception. Sensory research indicates that colors convey taste expectations to the brain. Particular colors are widely associated with basic tastes of sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness. Basically, there seems to be a correlation between black and bitterness, yellow (and possibly green) and sourness, pink/red and sweetness, and white and saltiness.

Source: here

cup with espresso

Cup with espresso. Italy

Moreover, the Australian scientist, George Van Doorn, had an inspiring conversation with a barista. The barista – who had observed his customer closely – claimed that coffee consumed from white cups tastes more bitter and intense than coffee drunk from transparent cups. Van Doorn tested the claim with 36 participants and three different colored mugs: white, blue, and clear. The barista was right! As soon as the participants tasted the coffee from the white cup, they rated it significantly more intense compared to the coffee in the transparent cup.

arabic style of coffee cup

Arabic style of coffee cup

Making effective use of color contrast

Why does coffee from white cups taste more intense than coffee from transparent mugs? Van Doorn suggests that the color contrast of the cup and the drink is playing a significant role. A white cup, as he points out, accentuates the brownness of the coffee. He notes that brownness is associated with bitterness. Source: here

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Coffee and tea cups in studio
Mix Kaffee

1 Comment

  • furtdso linopv

    I’m very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

    August 8, 2018 at 8:15 pm Reply
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