Just In: Hot Chocolate Tastes Better In an Orange Mug

(Image credit: Megan Gordon)

If you really want to experience hot chocolate in all its sweet, warming, chocolatey goodness, don’t add more sugar or milk or spices. Just drink it out of an orange mug. What? Yup. Apparently drinking hot chocolate out of an orange or cream cup makes people think it tastes better. Our eyes are playing tricks with our taste buds again!

Scientists at the Polytechnic University of Valencia and Oxford University tested this theory by having 57 participants taste the same type of hot chocolate out of four different cups: white, creme, red and orange. All of the participants claimed the hot chocolate in the orange and creme cups tasted better than the others, with some even going so far as to say the chocolate in the creme cups was sweeter and more aromatic.

This underscores the long-held idea that the color of food affects our perception of taste. Betina Piqueras-Fiszman, one of the study’s authors, said this about it in the study’s official press release:

The color of the container where you serve food and drinks can enhance some of its attributes, like flavor and aroma. There’s no fixed rule to tell which color enhances what food. This varies depending on the type of food but the truth is that the effect is there. Companies should pay more attention to the container because it has a lot more potential than what you imagine.

(Image: Megan Gordon)