What Does Your Coffee Mug Say About Your Coffee?

Each morning I reach into my cabinet for the perfect coffee mug to start my day. I have a selection of mugs that have changed and shifted over the years to reflect my preferences. Little did I know that my preferences for certain mugs say something about my expectations of my coffee.

A cross-cultural survey (an online survey from Columbia, China and the UK) reveals the shared expectations coffee-drinkers have of narrow-mouthed, wide-mouthed mugs and short mugs. In addition, the color of your cup can significantly impact your perception of taste. This may very well revolutionize how you think about and drink your morning cup of coffee.

Shape & Size

Narrow diameter mugs

Got a skinny mug? You’re more likely to perceive your coffee to be more aromatic. Imagine your skinny mug funneling the earthy, chocolate scents straight to your nose as you slowly sip your java. It makes sense (no pun intended). The visual cue tells you that you’re going experience a great smell with your drink. And from a practical and physical perspective, you most likely experience great aroma and scents compared to the mug’s wide-mouthed brethren.

Wide-mouthed mugs

A wide mouth doesn’t make for good funneling. All the good scents escape the edges before reaching your nostrils. But the survey found folks to expect a sweeter taste from their beverage. Go wide if you want to go sweet – even if you’ve nixed the sugar.

Short mugs

Avid coffee connoisseurs often sip espresso with a fondness for bold, intense flavors that coat the palate. And espresso can most often be found served in short shot glasses of sorts. Does this have something to do with the association between short mugs and coffee being bitter and more intense? It could.

Color

In the studies conducted, not many colors were tested. So there’s not much to work with here but the findings are interesting anyways and could influence your next mug of choice.

One study found that a white coffee mug (either fully white or a glass mug with a white sleeve) led participants to perceive the coffee as more intense and bitter. It could be the contrast between the two that made the brown coffee seem browner and therefore more intense. But when participants perceived the same coffee in a transparent or blue mug, it was perceived that the coffee was sweeter. There wasn’t much difference between the transparent and the blue mugs, as they showed similar results with leanings to the perception of sweeter coffee.

Although not an experiment with coffee, there was a study that found similar results using white plates and food. The food was deemed more intense. Again, the contrast can very likely be the primary factor in viewing the contents as more intense.

Choose your color, shape, and size wisely. What experience are you going for today? If you’re the hostess with the mostess or a blooming barista, then take into careful consideration the mug you’re serve your steamy beverage in. It can shape the experience for your java drinker.

 

Photo Credit: Unsplash - Bluebel

52 comments

John B
John B4 months ago

Thanks Paula for sharing the interesting information.

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Glennis W
Glennis W4 months ago

Love mugs with pictures of cats Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W4 months ago

Very informative Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W4 months ago

Great information and advice Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W4 months ago

Very interesting article Thank you for caring and sharing

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Vincent T
Vincent T4 months ago

thaks for sharing

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O4 months ago

all good if it's coffee

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O4 months ago

th

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O4 months ago

I like a mug with colour and maybe a picture.

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KS G
KS Goh4 months ago

Thanks

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