If part of your morning routine involves coffee, it's likely that you have a very specific ritual about which cups you use.
An Australian scientist has taken it upon himself to find out whether there's any scientific basis for thinking that taste is influenced by cup color—and it turns out, the color of your cup plays a big role in how you think your coffee tastes.
A study called Does the colour of the mug influence the taste of the coffee?, published in the journal Flavour, looks at how color influences the taste of coffee.
According to the lead author, Federation University Australia's George Van Doorn, the experiment was inspired by a conversation with a barista who "reported that when coffee is consumed from a white, ceramic mug, it tastes more bitter than when drunk from a clear, glass mug instead."
该研究的第一作者澳大利亚联邦大学的George Van Doorn说这个实验的灵感来源于一次和咖啡师的对话，那位咖啡师“说用白色陶瓷杯装的咖啡尝起来比透明玻璃杯里的咖啡更苦。”
Van Doorn decided to find out whether there was any truth to the barista's claim—and in the paper, shows that there is.
The group tested three colors of mug: White, blue, and clear.
They gave participants—the study had a small sample size of 36 drinkers—a café latté served in each color of cup, and asked them to rate it based on everything from intensity and sweetness to aroma, bitterness, and quality.
The color of the cup ended up changing their perceptions of only two of those metrics: Intensity and sweetness.
When subjects drank their latté from a white cup, they rated it significantly more intense than the latté in a clear cup.
Why? Well, Van Doorn gives us a few hypotheses. For example, he points to other flavor studies that show how contrast is a crucial determining factor in how we perceive taste.
One prior study found that red strawberry mousse served on a white plate tasted 15 percent more intense than mousse served on a black plate, for example.
So for brown coffee, a white cup ups the contrast and thus ups our perceived intensity levels, too.