Generally speaking, the taste depends on the sensory results of your tongue and nose. In theory, although a stoneware cup does not have the same material as a metal cup, it does not directly affect the taste of your coffee. But the truth is if you drink from a metal travel mug or a commercial paper cup, you will feel a different taste.
But does coffee from a real porcelain cup really taste better than from a paper cup or a metal cup? Even the size of the cup should play a role.
Such as tiny espresso cups, large cappuccino cups, coated paper cups, and bamboo cups. Coffee can be drunk from many different vessels, but finding the right cup choice for coffee is far less arbitrary than many think.
Coffee cup influences the expectation of coffee drinkers
A study published in the magazine “Food Quality and Preference” at the time claims to have discovered a connection between the height and diameter of a coffee cup and the taste of the black pick-me-up. Participants from the UK, Colombia, and China were asked to sort images of cups and estimate what characteristics they associated with the coffee they contained, starting from the aroma, bitterness, caffeine content, temperature, intensity, taste, and sweetness.
The result is that the smaller and narrower a cup was, the more bitter, strong, and intense the study participants rated the coffee in it. On the other hand, In large, wide cups, people think the coffee is milder and sweeter. It is ideal when the expectations that a coffee cup arouses are actually met by the coffee it contains.
The reason why coffee tastes better from a porcelain/stoneware cup than from a paper cup
Based on these study results, one could explain the widespread assumption that coffee tastes better from porcelain cups and stoneware cups than from paper cups: Here “the eye drinks too”. The subconscious and one’s own experience suggest that the coffee served in “real” cups(porcelain/stoneware cups) is of a higher quality. But that’s not all.
The cup, in particular the material and shape, does have an impact on the taste of the coffee. The rule of thumb for the right coffee cup is: the less coffee, the better the container should insulate so that the temperature is maintained for a long time. This is why espresso cups are often very thick-walled and small.
The opening of the cup is also important for the taste of the coffee. A small opening keeps the crema, i.e. the foam, of the coffee longer. This keeps the aroma in the cup. In the case of coffee specialties that are prepared with milk froth, this property is of secondary importance. Here the solid milk froth captures the aroma and the cup opening can be large.
Why do people prefer to put coffee in a stoneware cup rather than in a paper cup?
Through the research above, now it’s easy to explain why straight espresso or black coffee from a paper or plastic cup doesn’t really taste good. Both the heat and the aroma go away too quickly. The taste and smell of cardboard or plastic then do the rest, since the coffee quickly takes on the taste of these materials. It’s not for nothing that ground coffee is kept in cupboards to neutralize bad smells.
The perfect cup for every coffee
- Espresso: small and narrow so that aroma and heat are well retained
- Milk coffee and cappuccino: large and bulbous (preferably preheated) cups so that the milk froth can do any latte artwork
- Latte macchiato: a tall and thick-walled glass so that the individual layers of drink can be seen.
- Black coffee: Porcelain or stoneware, which quickly brings the coffee to “drinking temperature” but then keeps the heat.
Is ceramic safe for coffee?
If ceramics are fired long enough at high enough temperatures, they may still be safe, but if not, lead can leach into food and cause lead poisoning. Acidic foods or drinks are particularly likely to cause lead to leach into ceramics, but porcelain and stoneware cups do not.