Control the Colour of Tea, Coffee and Hot Chocolate


Although hot beverages are especially suited for the winter months, they are consumed all year round. From strong, dark Coffee in the morning, to cleansing golden Rooibos Tea to the sweetly satisfying hot chocolate, hot beverages come in all forms and this can cause inconsistencies in controlling colour.

The colour of any beverage influences a consumers perception about the product and affects their decision to purchase. Consumers are always looking at the consistency, reliability and quality of their purchases; this is especially true for Beverages including Coffee, Tea and Hot Chocolate. Consumers eat with their eyes and it’s important to ensure that they are purchasing goods that appear appetizing.

The colour of a hot beverage changes at the consumer level. When warm water is added, light brown instant coffee granules change to an almost black liquid. Tea changes colour as it is left in the warm water to brew. It is therefore important to manage the colour of warm beverages at a number of stages. Problems arise in measuring the Colour of raw materials like coffee beans, tea leaves and cocoa powder as well as the final product in liquid form.

Producers can measure the colour of warm beverages before and after water is added. This allows companies to ensure that the colour of their products is consistent and reliable. Using a colour measurement device you can manage colour at a number of stages during production. Measure raw materials like coffee beans and rooibos tea leaves to ensure consistent supply. Measure the colour of the final product to compare against the customers previous expectations or specifications.

An application example from one of our customers:

Rooibos tea goes through a pre-boiling process before it gets to the shelves. Our customers use colour to measure the amount of time Rooibos needs to be pre-boiled so that the Rooibos leaves start to release their Colour and Flavour. Measuring colour at this stage is critical because over boiling not only wastes time but also decreases the strength and flavour of the tea and under boiling causes the tea to hold its colour and flavour and requires the customers to boil the tea themselves.

Colour measurement can assist tea and coffee producers in the following ways:

  • Measure the colour of coffee beans, tea leaves and cocoa powder
  • Measure the change in colour from a raw material to final product
  • Grade and sort beans and leaves based on colour
  • Control production to ensure quality and consistency
  • Eliminate debates about colour between customers and suppliers
  • Identify adulteration and contamination

Our instruments cover a wide number of applications and we are always looking to learn about new applications. If you would like to alter an application for the better or do not see the details of your application listed clearly here then please Contact us.