The perfect cup of coffee? It’s easier than you think

The perfect cup of coffee, contrary to popular opinion, is not served in a trendy coffee shop by a handsome barista

Instead, the perfect cup is served at home sitting on a quality leather chair, listening to the silky tones of saxophone based jazz, surrounded by the deep colour purple, with the coffee served in a porcelain mug and accompanied by a simple but satisfying Victoria Sponge.

The research, commissioned to mark the launch of Carte Noire’s new Wholebean Instant coffee, Carte Noire Instinct, and conducted by MMR Research Worldwide, set out to establish what factors enhance the enjoyment of coffee and how those factors can combine to create the perfect coffee moment. Two extensive qualitative and quantitative sessions revealed that a relaxing break is the key to the perfect cup of coffee and the best place to enjoy it is at home.

So forget the fancy croissants, flapjacks and finger cakes of today’s coffee shops, a good old-fashioned Victoria Sponge is what really sets off a cup of coffee.

Plus there is no need for fiddly cups and saucers or long-necked glasses, a standard white porcelain mug is the ideal, a cup of coffee three quarters full.

The surrounding environment proved equally important, with people favouring a homely leather armchair, furnishings of deep purple and the silky tones of saxophone based jazz, to the heavy wooden furniture, bright lighting and popular modern music that is favoured in modern coffee shops.

James Gater, who took part in the research, says, ‘Because coffee has such a full flavour, the best accompaniment is something simple and light like a Victoria sponge, rather than cakes with a very rich taste or heavy texture.’

Taste expert Tristan Stephenson says, ‘The way the brain untangles and identifies flavour is a complicated thing and many more factors come into play than just our taste buds. Different environments, with different sounds, smells and temperatures all affect the way we perceive the flavour of the liquids we drink and the foods we eat. A cup of coffee has a bold taste and a strong smell, so the multi-sensory elements of flavour – such as colour, sound, smell and texture – are all vital to our enjoyment and appreciation of the product.’

By Lauren King

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