15 Aug 11 Aromatic coffee lid for coffee drinkers to wake up and smell the coffee
Hong Kong-based Mint Urban Technologies has introduced an aromatic coffee lid for take-away cups which it claims improves the taste of coffee when drinking through the lid. The aroma is not “mint,” as the company’s name suggests, but an aromatic material formulated to enhance the bouquet of the coffee.
“Coffee lids block the aroma coming from the coffee,” says the company’s Marc Miller. “Because taste is 95 percent smell, the lids stop one from experiencing the full taste of the brew.”
The idea behind the Aroma Lid is that original coffee taste and smell can be preserved by adding a second lid element to the common coffee lid design; the second element consisting of aromatic material that can enhance, rather than detract, from the original smell.
“Premium Coffee is judged by its aroma”, says Miller. “Coffee consists of 800 distinct flavours and not unlike fine wine, has a “nose” or “bouquet”. Certain notes are more prized than others and the Aroma Lid only uses these finer notes to enhance the taste.”
Mint Urban firmly believes that coffee doesn’t taste as good when consumed through the typical coffee lid. “Heat from the coffee heats the plastic in a standard lid, and a plastic fragrance is emitted,” according to Mint’s Mike Newcomb. “This odour, however subtle, gives coffee a ‘plastic aftertaste’ that can compromise the taste of an otherwise excellent cup of coffee.”
Furthermore, the heat of the coffee, travelling through the drinking spout, heats up the plastic again, causing a distinct fragrance of plastic.
“The aroma we use is very light” says Miller. “We only need it to be very subtle in order for the brain receptors to recognise the enhanced aroma. The bottom line is that the Aroma Lid will make coffee taste better than any other coffee lid on the market.”
Mint is offering the new aromatic double-lids in two ways – as generic, non-branded lids, and in brand-customisable form for companies wishing to enhance and promote their existing product names without changing anything else.
If the Aroma Lid can indeed enhance the taste of coffee, it could be a significant product – the take-away coffee industry uses 100 billion lids every year.