For Here, or To Go?


For Here, or to Go?

Does Coffee Taste Better In A Mug?

The, by now, age old question of ‘for here or to go?’, is surely known by most of you having answered these questions many times yourselves. 

The answers being ‘for here’, ‘to go’, or the newer but all already very familiar ‘for here, but in a go cup’. Some customers only want their drink in a paper or plastic cup, usually due to the heat/cold retention, but some will only drink it out of a mug, claiming it tastes better.

What’s going on here exactly?

True Or False?

Does coffee taste better in a mug?

Simply put, yes. 

However, it’s not really that simple of an answer. There are many factors at play in determining if a mug or glass accentuates a coffee properly, or to your preference. 

Things like surface area, width of brim, overall thickness of material, what material is used, how short or tall — all of these will effect the way a coffee is perceived. 

There’s a lot that could be said, and much attention payed to detail, but I think covering some of the basics will be more than enough to pique some interest in noticing your coffee and its vessel differently. 

Some Slightly Science-y Stuff

I don’t think it’s too hard for someone to figure out that the thicker the mug, the more heat retention there is, and vice versa. Some materials of the same thickness will also retain heat better or worse. 

If your mug or glass is very tall, there are usually more aromatics than in a shorter one, lending themselves wonderfully to lighter more delicate coffee; the latter of which seems to encourage a more bitter but intense experience, however, well suited to a natural processed Brazilian, or a Sumatran. 

Studies have also found that sweetness was perceived to be higher in a round surfaced mug, but an angular one seemed to accentuate bitterness. 

One Step Further

Most humans are obsessed with beauty in some way, which is why we have such a rich culture of art in many, many, different forms. 

Coffee is no exception. Studies have also shown us that your coffee tastes better when it’s in a mug or vessel you find pleasing to the eye. Latte art, then, pays a big role in this.

If you’ve been keeping up with The Brew Dog Blog then you’d know latte art is simply a by-product of well steamed milk. However, regardless of whether a latte with no art was better made than one with art, if you didn’t already know that fact, chances are you would perceive the prettier latte to taste better. 


Taking these few facts with you on your tasting experience will not only add depth, but perhaps a little bit more thought and experimentation to your coffee ritual, which sounds like grand time to me. 

We at Black Dog do our best to consider this, which is why we choose to use Not Neutral for our espresso based drinks. Their focus on delivering a pure, amazing coffee tasting experience, paired with a clean and elegant design makes it a no brainer for us. 

We also keep this in mind when we choose our travel mugs. The Frank Green mugs we have in store are incredible for many reasons, like heat retention, aromatics, environmental awareness, and easy cleaning, all wrapped up in a great look and intuitive design. 

On top of all that, if you prefer the way paper tastes and feels, subjectively I would assume that it tastes better to you than a mug, and no amount of science could discount that.

Does It Make That Big Of A Difference?

Well, that’s most likely up to you. I feel like with a bit of experimentation perhaps some of what you read above might become apparent. Perhaps not, but it’s worth a shot I think. 

Regardless, taste is king in the end. If you like a paper cup then you like a paper cup. If you like a short skinny mug with a wide brim, then who’s to say that’s wrong?