Thursday, 11 December 2014

Color of coffee mug alters coffee’s perceived taste...............

Your barista will certainly recommend a combination of ingredients to make your morning joe taste better. When she insists on the color of the cup, trust her because she knows something you do not.
The color of your coffee mug may alter the way to coffee tastes, says a new study in Australia. The study explored how three different colored mugs (white, blue, and clear glass) influenced the perceived taste measured on different flavor points. Scientists offered the same cup of coffee to 18 participants in receptacles with identical shape but different color, and then asked them to rate the sweetness, aroma, bitterness, quality, and acceptability.
According to the results of the study, coffee-drinkers have a different experience drinking the same coffee depending on the color of the glassware used to serve it from.
“The colour of the mug really does seem to have an impact,” said Charles Spence, one of the study’s authors and head of the crossmodal research laboratory at Oxford University. “We found a particularly significant difference between the white mug and the clear one.”
The white mug was linked to a more “intense” (bitter) tasting coffee, while the clear glass did not have any connection at all with bitterness. The blue mug was “kind of an intermediate.”
With regard to sweetness, the opposite was found: when drinking from the white mug, the coffee seemed less sweet compared to drinking the coffee from either blue or clear glass mugs. While other features were perceived differently based on the mug’s color, the differences were statistically insignificant because of the small scale of the experiment. Spence plans to extend the experiment to a larger group, expecting to validate current results.
“I have been working for more than a decade studying the impact colours can have on the experience of food,” he said. “It doesn’t just happen in laboratories – it happens in restaurants, too.”
The color of the coffee mug does more than simply change the aesthetics, researchers seem to notice and a growing body of research is dedicated to the importance of color in how we experience food.
A 2002 study unveiled that certain colors were consistently associated with specific tastes.
In a 2010 study on how the color of the food is associated with cross-modal effects (one sense affects another sense such as vision and taste) to give the impression of a different taste even though the food itself has an unchanged technical profile. The color of the plate, according to a research published this year, “had a clear effect on flavor intensity, sweetness and liking scores.” Specifically, color red has been associated with lower levels of consumption.
While the reason color has such an influence on taste and how we eat is unclear, researchers speculate that we never see colors in isolation, but always in reference to other colors.
A red strawberry placed against a white background looks more red compared to being placed against a black background. Increase redness affects the taste, Spence explains. “Red might indicate heightened sweetness, because red fruits tend to be more ripe than green fruits, he said.” And that indication can be enough to trigger a tangible difference in taste.
Another explanation is that colors evoke certain experiences. . “When we see something new, our brain might be predicting what the experience will be like based on past experiences, and thereby altering the experience,” Spence said. “But we can’t say for sure. Not yet.”
When coffee is concerned, scientists assume that the brown color might be associated 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. This may explain why clear glass coffee mugs, which dilute the color, had the opposite effect.