A recent study published on Flavour shows that the color of your coffee mug might affect the way that your coffee tastes. This study was performed by the School of Health Sciences and Psychology at the Federation University Australia.

This study follows up on another study that found the color of your plate might change the way your food tastes. This research can be quite useful to business owners who want to create returning customers by serving them the best tasting coffee.

Background Of The Study

The study begins when the researchers were at a local café and the barista there told them that coffee from a white mug was more bitter than coffee in a clear mug. This led the research team to conduct an experiment, to test whether this is true. They tested blue, white, and clear mugs to see the effects on the taster’s rating.

In the United States brands such as Starbucks use clear containers which were found to be one of the highest rated in the experiment. This comes from testing that the company might have already performed within its own market. As we can see there is an effect by color on the taste of your coffee. On the other side, we have places like Dunkin Donuts which choose to use a white container for those of you on the go. If you were to take the same cup of coffee and only change the color of the mug you would find that the clear container would be rated as being sweeter than the white container.

Coffee and Contrast Of Mugs

There is another question that arises from this what if we changed the type of coffee. If we were to change the coffee to that of a color that contrasts the mug more efficiently would it taste better or worse? While the study does not directly measure the impact of contrast between mugs and coffee color it would be quite interesting. Not only because it allows us to see what types of coffee are best suited for what mugs but for us to also see how companies may already be implementing it into their products.


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. – Does the colour of the mug influence the taste of the coffee?


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