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How to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee

20th April 2012 Print

New research released from Carte Noire Instinct shows Brits just how to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee. And it doesn't take place in a trendy coffee shop with a handsome barista as you might expect, but 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, three quarters full with hot coffee. 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.

The research was carried out by sensory experts MMR and researcher James Gater 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. The smooth mouthfeel of coffee, is best complemented by furnishings made of quality leather that have a silky feeling against the body, as opposed to something that is rough like wooden chairs or cold like marble tables. And in terms of sound, the seductive sound of saxaphone jazz best enhances the intense aromas of coffee. Ultimately the research found that people consider the coffee moment as a relaxing daily ritual, so an uncomplicated but sophisticated porcelain mug is the perfect way to serve coffee, as opposed to the traditional cup and saucer."

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. 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."

Now Carte Noire Instinct will bring to life the research findings in an exclusive London event. The Silk Rooms will be the world's first optimised Wholebean Instant coffee tasting experience and will take guests on a multi-sensory journey, which will culminate in the ultimate coffee moment. To find out more about the event, the research, or new Carte Noire Instinct, visit