Where the hell is my blue coffee cup? I hate it when this happens. I know it’s silly, crazy and stupid but coffee tastes better in my blue cup. It used to be my delightful, cheery and red cup. But that bastard cup is on the lamb. I’m able to report that using a permanent blue marker to repair a white mug is not effective. Deep down I know that the friggin’ thing is white. In this blog I reported to you all that Australian research clearly showed that coffee tastes differently based on the colour of the vessel. From that very scientific study:
RESULTS: In experiment 1, the white mug enhanced the rated “intensity” of the coffee flavour relative to the transparent mug. However, given slight physical differences in the mugs used, a second experiment was conducted using identical glass mugs with coloured sleeves. Once again, the colour of the mug was shown to influence participants’ rating of the coffee. In particular, the coffee was rated as less sweet in the white mug as compared to the transparent and blue mugs.
CONCLUSIONS: Both experiments demonstrate that the colour of the mug affects people’s ratings of a hot beverage. Given that ratings associated with the transparent glass mug were not significantly different from those associated with the blue mug in either experiment, an explanation in terms of simultaneous contrast can be ruled out. However, it is possible that colour contrast between the mug and the coffee may have affected the perceived intensity/sweetness of the coffee. That is, 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. These results support the view that the colour of the mug should be considered by those serving coffee as it can influence the consumer’s multisensory coffee drinking experience. These results add to a large and growing body of research highlighting the influence of product-extrinsic colour on the multisensory perception of food and drink.
My multisensory perception of my coffee is “I want my blue mug!” I don’t think my coffee tastes sweeter in my blue mug but it does taste better. I don’t put any ‘stuff’ in my coffee, notwithstanding the occasional enhanced coffee, but that’s another story. I am a self professed coffee snob and drink ‘Kicking Horse/Kick Ass’ coffee. I grind the beans for each batch and use a French press.
On Fracas, my winter home, my cup of choice is a Tervis mug with a blue insert. Through this mug has flowed enough coffee to sink Fracas. Full blown panic attack if that mug is misplaced.
Take a look at your mug this morning. I don’t mean the mug that reflects in your bathroom mirror…jeezuz. I mean your coffee mug. Now go get the blue one (you know the one I mean), and taste the difference.