Shape of drinking vessel seems to impact Soylent taste

I’d love it if some people could experiment a bit and report their findings, to see if they match mine.

If any of you are wine enthusiasts (I am not but have a friend who is, so am familiar with this phenomenon) then you know that the shape of the glass itself can drastically alter the taste of what’s in it, even for example with water. This is due to the way the liquid will hit your tongue, triggering different tastebud responses, etc.

So I was asked the other day by a forum member if the shape of the glass might affect the taste, and I said I didn’t know. But I remembered how much sweeter Soylent seemed to me after my first few days. Then I realized that was when I got my new Contigo insulated bottle, and began drinking exclusively from it.

This morning my Contigo was in the sink so I used a normal drinking glass. Holy cow, the difference!! It was still tasty, but totally different. Not nearly as sweet, and much more I guess what I would call “refreshing”. Like the difference between a cool glass of water and a cream soda.

I’m considering trying other containers I have around the house now to see what it does to the taste. Anyone else want to try?


interesting… I will keep watching this thread.

I also got the Contigo bottle after you recommended it, I’ve noticed a taste difference as well between the glass and the bottle. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that in a glass the Soylent warms up much faster than in the insulated container. Also, if you are putting an ice cube in your Soylent (as I am) the ice cube melts faster in the glass and waters down the taste more whereas in the Contigo it doesn’t melt as quickly so the flavor of Soylent gets preserved a bit longer.

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Though I guess technically, the Contigo bottle does deliver the Soylent right tip of my tongue so it COULD be impacting the flavor a bit?

Oh neat. I thought I noticed a taste difference, but just thought it was my taste buds adjusting. I’ll pay attention over the next few days and see.

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This is a great avenue of inquiry, keep it up!


Don’t think it was a temperature thing, as the Soylent in the glass was icy cold and I drank it immediately. I’m gonna go experimenting with different kinds of vessels here shortly, will report on my findings! =)

For science!!

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im not very sensitive to taste…but i do notice that I enjoy soylent (diy) A lot more out of my 25oz ThinkSport thermos bottle which I use at work…versus my 45oz EcoVessel thermos bottle which I use when im out and about on weekends…figured it was just some crazy mental attachment to the bottle i use more often. The openings are pretty similar…ill measure width when i get a chance…also maybe the larger size means more force pushing the liquid out and hitting different parts of the tongue…idk…but yes…i have notcied SOMETHING inline with what you are talking about.

For what it’s worth, the various “areas” of your tongue which are supposedly sensitive to different things is a myth. If there really is a difference, it might have more to do with changes in temperature or consistency/flow as you pour it gown your gullet.

People have said that soda/beer/etc. can taste different from a can, a glass, or a bottle. For me, whenever I drink milk from a individually-sized plastic bottle, it seems just a little different somehow.

In truth, I think a lot of it it psychosomatic, and has more to do with the other sensations you feel when you drink, rather than any change in the drink itself or which parts of your tongue it hits.

It can also be one of those memory tricks. When you do something for a while you get used to it, but if you are able to experience the same thing in a different way, a certain number of its novelties, which have always been there but have receded from your memory, seem to return.


Well, I’m not sure it’s going to be possible for anyone to reasonably test this on their own. I just tried a bunch of different containers, but now I’m second guessing my own taste. I think this would have to be tested in some sort of random/controlled way, but I don’t see how that could really be done either.

Do you think it could be due to the size of the opening? Perhaps the normal drinking glass allowed you to smell the Soylent more, which could affect the taste.


I suppose it’s definitely a possibility! I just don’t know how to test this sort of thing in a controlled, unbiased fashion. Open to suggestions if anyone has any, now I’m really curious… :smiley:

I don’t know about the shape of the container, but I have been able to tell the difference in tastes between containers when a different material is used.

I probably notice it most with water. Metal, glass, styrofoam and various plastics all make a difference from what I can tell.

What is your Contigo made from?

I’ve noticed a strikingly different flavor from a solo cup vs Reidel wine glass. I didn’t expect this, I actually thought it was all hogwash, but had the pleasure of sharing the glass with about 15 people who, after having been underwhelmed with a particular wine, all noticed a marked difference with the flavor of the wine from the custom glass.

This has to be a real phenomenon to some degree, although I think it plays more on beverages with marked smells (a bowl shape, for example, would allow more air to be exposed to the beverage and would potentially concentrate the smell through the smaller mouth).

The insulated Contigos are made from stainless steel.

It more likely you have adjusted. There is an empirical test for this, but I warn you it will freak you out.

Go and eat a chocolate cookie you think you know the taste of.
Or have a sip from a can of soda you are familiar with, but have not had for the few weeks since adopting soylent.

Just make sure you are sitting down when you do it.

Heh… I’ve already noticed that just about everything tastes different (mostly better) since Soylent, no question there. The question at large here is about Soylent itself tasting different in different vessels. The problem is, I think there are too many potentially confounding factors involved, and I’m not sure how to get a reasonably empirical test out of it. Factors include but not limited to:

  1. material of containers
  2. time of day
  3. my own biases since I know what is going on with the test
  4. temperature of containers
    … and undoubtedly others. So is there any way I can get the equivalent of a blind test out of this?? I’m really way too curious about this now. LOL
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Is it possible to get a friend that you haven’t told yet about Soylent and just say they are just samples of shakes/nutrition supplements you’d like to try out and then just have him/her rate them for you? Or conversely, if you’ve already told all your friends about Soylent you could just say you wanted to try your hand at make some of the DIY recipes and you can’t figure out which one tastes better.


That’s a great idea @krehem!

As stated, all parts of your tongue can taste all flavors… BUT there is a minor difference for detecting sour flavors. Sweet, salty, and bitter taste sensitivity is about equal across the tongue.

The other factors I can think of include smell, the vessel material (glass vs different kinds of plastics vs ceramic), thickness of vessel material at lip (how much touches your tongue), the drink temperature (also affected by the vessel’s insulating properties), what you ate/drank before, and the speed and volume (due to vessel shape) at which the beverage enters your mouth.