A New Study Says the Color of Your Mug Can Make Your Coffee Taste Worse

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Stick with clear.
Stick with clear. Photo: Shutterstock

Here’s some news for the true coffee snob: a team of researchers says the color of your mug or cup may affect how you perceive the taste of your morning joe. The lead author of the study, which was recently published in the journal Flavour, apparently got the idea after hearing a barista say that for some reason customers think coffee tastes more bitter in a white mug than in a clear glass one. He and a small team conducted a series of experiments and discovered there might actually be something to this claim. In fact, according to the study, a white cup does make coffee taste “significantly more intense.” Why? Because the brown color of the coffee “pops” out against the white, and people associate the color with bitterness. But clear cups — like these — have just the opposite effect, the researchers discovered, enhancing the drink’s perceived sweetness. Blue mugs, meanwhile, just amp up everything, supposedly enhancing both the perceived sweetness and bitterness. Alas, the study fails to address how Big Hug Mugs affect our perception of either coffee or time.

[Flavour, IFLScience]

A New Study Says the Color of Your Mug Can Make Your Coffee Taste Worse