Why does tea taste wrong out of a plastic cup?

You might imagine that the hot tea is dissolving something out of the plastic of the cup, but it probably isn’t.

17th April 2013
Why does tea taste wrong out of a plastic cup? (Getty)

Asked by: James Cuthbert, Reading

You might imagine that the hot tea is dissolving something out of the plastic of the cup, but it probably isn’t. In reality, the taste you perceive is influenced by a lot more than just the action of your taste buds, or even your nose; all the senses contribute. Crisps feel crunchier when you hear higher frequency sounds as you eat, strawberry mousse tastes sweeter on a white plate than a black one and hot chocolate tastes better in orange cups.

We are conditioned to drink tea from ceramic cups and seeing it in a plastic cup primes us to expect substandard, vending machine tea.

 


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