Sitting with some amazing doughnuts at the North Lime Coffee and Donuts in Lexington Kentucky, I noticed that my to-go cup coffee lid was different–the  ‘vent’ hole was big enough to allow one’s nose to capture the volatiles from the coffee inside the cup! I looked up the maker, FoamAroma, and found out that getting aroma to the nose was one of the main mission goals behind the development of this new lid. The maker, Craig Bailey, also wanted to design a lid that would allow latte foam to enter the mouth along the with the liquid. You can read all about how these lids do other wondrous things for to-go coffee here, but my interest was the attention paid to the olfactory experience of ingestion.

Olfaction is an essential part of eating and drinking. Most people love the smell of coffee but, for some, the affair ends there because the taste is bitter and doesn’t match the promise of the smell. However, the FoamAroma lids may make tentative in-roads into rekindling those fires. For those that drink coffee, the olfactory experience from FoamAroma is an improvement (even if to-go cups are never ideal for full hot bevvie pleasure). This goes for tea drinkers too, maybe moreso because tea may be even more reliant on its aroma for satiation!

Look for the lids in your coffee shop and, if they don’t have them, ask for them. If they don’t get them, maybe get your to-go coffee from a shop that does. And, if in Lexington, try North Lime Coffee and Donuts.


Published by Kara C. Hoover

I am a bioanthropologist living in Alaska studying human olfactory variation and prehistoric human health and diet.

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