A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, shows that our preference for coffee and tea can actually be explained by our ability to detect bitterness. Interesting…
The researchers from Northwestern University used a technique called Mendelian andomization to study data from over 400,000 participants, both men and women. The results showed that the more sensitive a person is to the bitter taste of caffeine, the more coffee they actually drink.
So what makes you more or less sensitive to bitterness? Apparently, this has everything to do with genetics. And this trend doesn’t just apply to coffee; it’s also true for tea and wine at varying degrees.
Even more interesting, the researchers explain that we technically shouldn’t like the taste of coffee at all—since our bodies and brains actually interpret bitterness as a warning signal that something might be harmful. That said, people who have the genetic predisposition that allows them to detect bitterness are able to transform their thinking and form positive associations with coffee and tea. If you’re surprised by these results, you’re definitely not alone. It would be easy to assume that being able to detect the bitterness in these beverages would decrease a person’s affinity for them. But as it turns out, it’s exactly the opposite; the positive reinforcement these people receive from caffeine coupled with their ability to detect bitterness is enough to rewire their brain into loving coffee.