The Washington Post’s Wonkblog had a post today called, “The color of your coffee mug can change the way your coffee tastes”. It notes:
The color 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 colored mugs—one white, one blue, and one clear glass—had on the perception of different flavor points. The researchers served 18 participants the same cup of coffee, in one of the three similarly shaped but differently colored vessels, and then asked them to rate their sweetness, aroma, bitterness, quality, and acceptability.
“The color 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.”
In the case of coffee, specifically, the researchers have a hunch. The color 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 color, tended to have the opposite effect.
So obviously I want to know, has anyone tried this with beer? Will white-colored IPA glasses show up on next year’s must-have Christmas lists for brewers and beer drinkers?