That White Coffee Mug Is Ruining Your Coffee

Science says white coffee mugs make coffee taste more bitter
Wikimedia/JonSullivan

A new study indicates that white coffee cups make people perceive coffee as more bitter. 

First thing in the morning, most people just care about getting the coffee into their faces and don’t stop to worry about what color their mugs are, but a new study indicates that could be making all the coffee taste very slightly less delicious.

According to Foodbeast, a new study compared people’s thoughts about coffee flavors in different mugs, and it looks like mug color makes a big difference in how people perceive the flavor and quality of their coffee.

Study participants tried coffee in white mugs, blue mugs, and clear glass mugs and rated them according to intensity, bitterness, aroma, quality, and acceptability to drink. In the end, they overwhelmingly reported that the coffee in white mugs tasted more bitter and said it was the least acceptable to drink, while the coffee in blue mugs got good grades for flavor, quality, and acceptability to drink. The participants were ambivalent about the coffee in the glass mugs, and thought they were better than the white mugs but still not as good as the blue.

If mug color makes this big of a difference in perceived coffee flavor, all our favorite coffee chains might want to consider swapping their white cups for blue. It sounds like a fast way to make everyone think the coffee suddenly got a lot better without actually changing the beans at all.