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Can coffee art make your coffee taste better?

It’s really not a matter of taste.

When it comes to coffee, there are many factors that can influence the way we perceive the flavour. In general, it goes like this:

  • Smelling your beverage first affects what you taste. If you smell your coffee before drinking, you may notice some changes in the aroma (e.g. cinnamon). This will affect how it tastes later.

  • The temperature of your beverage influences how flavours and aromas express themselves too.

Coffee art comes down to psychology.

Whether you are aware or not, your brain is constantly being influenced by stimuli outside of your awareness. Many of the senses we use in our everyday life like sight, sound, and touch are all used to manipulate our perception without us even knowing it.

The same principle applies to coffee art. As humans, we have an innate need to make sense of the world around us. Since we don’t have time to stop and think about everything we encounter, we rely on heuristics (mental shortcuts) instead. When presented with a cup of coffee art that’s decorated with a heart or tulip (or whatever pattern your barista chose), you will likely proceed through the following chain of thought:

  • “This coffee was made especially for me.”

  • “Someone put extra time and effort into making this coffee.”

  • “This will taste as good as it looks!”

It can affect your brain in a positive way.

Even though your brain doesn’t come into physical contact with the coffee art itself, a beautiful design can stimulate your brain and lift your mood. In this way, coffee art can “improve your experience and increase the satisfaction of coffee”

In addition to various psychological effects on your brain, coffee art has been shown to affect taste perception. Not in the way you might expect. Research found that the cuteness of coffee art can make coffee taste even better than it already does (which is quite good).

The art itself is as much about texture and colour as it is about visual techniques.

You might think coffee art is all about visual techniques—but it’s also about texture and colour. Texture, as you will imagine, is created by the differences in the thickness of the foam (called microfoam), and the colour is achieved with a flavored syrup or coloured powder. The top layer of foam on a latte looks white, but in reality, it has many shades of brown due to how light reflects off the tiny bubbles that make up the microfoam. This reflection creates a variety of colours that are magnified when you’re pouring espresso into your drink.

Coffee art can be extremely beautiful and worthwhile to learn how to do

For those who are still sceptical of the legitimacy and value of coffee art, consider these points. Firstly, it’s a great way to impress your friends and family. Secondly, you can use it as an opportunity to try out a new coffee art design every time you make someone’s coffee. Bring out your ‘coffee art-ista’ as well as your ‘barista’.

Want to give your barista skills a go?

All great coffee art starts with an espresso and we have a delicious range of coffee flavours for you to select from. You will find all our coffee from ground to whole bean, in our ‘Coffee at Home’ section of the website. We also provide tasting notes to make it easier to choose the flavours you prefer – or why not try something totally different!

Don’t forget to sign up to our website on the pop up while you are there. You can claim 10% off your first three orders as well as being the first to hear about news, products and exclusive offers.


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