Does Your Coffee Taste Bitter? Change the Color of Your Mug

Research Suggests the Color of Dinnerware Influences Our Taste of Food and Beverages

Coffee drinkers may not need that extra spoonful of sugar, according to research. In a study published in the journal Flavour, researchers suggest the color of your glassware can influence how you perceive the taste of coffee.

Researchers asked participants to rate the flavor characteristics of the same coffee in three different colored mugs – one white, one blue, and one clear. The results showed participants rated the coffee as having a more intense, less sweet taste when they drank out of the white mug than when they drank out of the blue and clear mugs. It is believed contrast in color played a strong role in the taste perception of each coffee. Brown coffee may appear more intense in color when in a white mug, which could be why it was thought to be less sweet in taste. This theory suggests a white mug may be a better choice for consumers who enjoy more bitter-tasting coffee, while certain colored mugs may be a better choice for consumers who enjoy a sweeter cup of coffee.

Color doesn’t just affect the perception of coffee taste, however. In another study, the color of plates was shown to influence the perception of strawberry mousse. Participants in this study rated the mousse as having a sweeter taste when sampled from a white plate than when sampled from a black plate.

The role color plays in our perception of taste has long been researched to better understand the purchasing behavior of consumers. For dinnerware and packaging manufacturers, producing the right shade of color for products could sweeten the pot and increase sales.

Like this article? Click here to sign up for our monthly Color Trends & Technology newsletter to stay updated on the element of color, best practices for controlling and evaluating the color of objects, educational seminars, and advanced technology for research and manufacturing environments.

The technological leader in color and light measurement solutions, Konica Minolta Sensing Americas helps organizations formulate, evaluate, and control color to meet product quality and operational goals more efficiently.

Privacy Preference Center