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I know that as much of our perception of flavour is down to smell as actual taste. When I get a take-out coffee with a lid, am I losing all of the smell that I would get if I drank it out of an open-topped vessel, and does this affect the taste?

To get the full taste should I remove the lid before drinking it?

  • Your question is unclear. You've asked three questions here: * When I get a take-out coffee with a lid, am I losing all of the smell that I would get otherwise? * To get the full effect should I remove the lid before drinking it? * When drinking a takeaway coffee, am I losing half the flavour? And it's quite confusing. – therewillbecoffee Feb 9 '15 at 11:55
  • @therewillbecoffee I've tried to clear it up a bit, is that better? – fredley Feb 9 '15 at 12:40
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Yes. You should remove the lid for maximum effect. Somewhere around three quarters of our perception of taste comes from smell. There are varying figures out there, but most are fairly high.

However, much of that comes from the olfactory sense when the molecules pass from our mouth to our sinuses. So, having a stuffy nose is more likely to reduce the taste of your coffee than drinking it with the lid on. That being said, the aroma from brewed coffee tends to dissipate fairly quickly, so you might only need to leave the lid off your cup for the first few minutes of your "coffee experience".

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