If you love a warm mug of hot chocolate after stepping inside from a crisp winter day, then you may be interested in some recent research, published in the Journal of Sensory Studies.
Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Oxford have found that the physical attributes of the containers we eat or drink from—including a mug of hot chocolate—may influence our perception of the food or drink, as well as the overall consumption experience.
“The colour of the container where food and drink are served can enhance some attributes like taste and aroma,” said Betina Piqueras-Fiszman, a researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia who was involved in the study.
Participants in the study tasted four samples of hot chocolate, each served in a different coloured cup. Half of the people were provided with sweetened hot chocolate, while the other half were given unsweetened. For both groups, the intensity of the chocolate flavor was rated as being significantly more intense (and well-liked) when it was served in an orange cup.
While the studies’ sample size was relatively small, this isn’t the first study for researchers to conclude that certain colours can enhance the properties of food, which may make you think twice the next time you reach into the cupboard for some hot cocoa.
For more ways to boost the taste of your hot chocolate, read 5 tasty hot chocolate upgrades.