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Roast Central to test whether music can change the taste of coffee

Scottish coffee company Roast Central aim to experiment with music and coffee at the Edinburgh Coffee Festival

Published: September 17, 2015

At Edinburgh’s first coffee festival on 3rd October, Roast Central want to try an experiment of a different kind – can the taste of your coffee change depending on the music playing?

The festival, taking place at Mansfield Traquir, and will have coffees from around Scotland, as well as the rest of the world.

Mansfield Traquir. Picture: Contributed

Mansfield Traquir. Picture: Contributed

The experiment will be hosted by Roast Central, a Scottish coffee roasting company, who said that the idea was influenced by an experiment to see if the taste of wine was altered depending on the light it was exposed to. Attendees will be invited to try a choice of two very different coffees, at the Roast Central stall, and will be asked to pick a song to listen to while drinking. They will then be asked to answer a short list of questions regarding the taste of the coffee.

Iain Birse, the co-owner of Roast Central said: "After reading and researching the theory that our senses might not be as separate as we first thought, I was interested to see whether an experiment using sound could reveal more about the way we perceive the taste of coffee.

"Depending on the outcome of this trial, we’re potentially going to be working with a University professor to come up with an official outcome about how music and sound can influence taste and flavour.”

Once the results have been gathered and analysed, the theory is that it should be possible to determine if the music played in a coffee shop can affect the way a customer tastes their coffee.

The event will also host the final of the coffee grind competition. The live finale will consist of competitors using their own unique blend of espresso to create three categories of drinks: an espresso shot, a cappuccino and their own free choice signature drink.

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Megan Watson is a pupil at North Berwick High School and occasional contributor to She lives in East Lothian and loves horse riding and her dogs.

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