After a busy day kicking shins, let’s get down to the important stuff


The secret to a better cup of morning joe might simply be choosing the right coloured coffee mug.

The colour of a coffee mug can alter the way coffee tastes, according to a recent study, which was conducted in Australia and tested the influence that three different coloured mugs – one white, one blue and one clear glass – had on the perception of different flavour points. The researchers served 18 participants the same cup of coffee, in one of the three similarly shaped but differently coloured vessels, and then asked them to rate their sweetness, aroma, bitterness, quality and acceptability.

What they found is that the coffee-drinkers tended to experience the same cup of coffee differently depending on the colour of the glassware they drank it from.

You have to pity the Australian tax payers that paid for this important research.

“The colour of the mug really does seem to have an impact,” said Charles Spence, head of the crossmodal research laboratory at Oxford University and one of the study’s authors. “We found a particularly significant difference between the white mug and the clear one.”

Specifically, the white mug was associated with a more “intense” (or bitter) tasting cup of coffee, and the clear glass mug was not. The blue mug, meanwhile, proved to be “kind of an intermediate.”

The opposite was true for perceived sweetness – participants noted less sweetness when drinking from the white mug than they did when drinking from both the blue and clear glass mugs. Differences observed in the rest of the flavour points were statistically insignificant, because of the small scale of the experiment. But Spence plans to extend it to a larger group, and expects to find a similar pattern.

“I have been working for more than a decade studying the impact colours can have on the experience of food,” he said. “It doesn’t just happen in laboratories – it happens in restaurants, too.”

Oh my.  Decade of troughing over food taste depending on what colour plate it is served on.

The world must have run out of real problems to solve.

In the case of coffee, specifically, the researchers have a hunch. The colour brown, they believe, might be something people associate with bitterness.

“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,” the researchers wrote. That would help explain why clear, glass coffee mugs, which dilute the colour, tended to have the opposite effect.

Well, there you go.  Money well spent.

Do you have a need for a coffee mug to be a certain colour?   Please share below.


– Roberto A Ferdman, The Washington Post, via Stuff

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.