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"Why we shouldn't like coffee, but we do" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP01 Mar 2019 8:13 p.m. PST

"But, it turns out, the more sensitive people are to the bitter taste of caffeine, the more coffee they drink, reports a new study from Northwestern Medicine and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia. The sensitivity is caused by a genetic variant.

"You'd expect that people who are particularly sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine would drink less coffee," said Marilyn Cornelis, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "The opposite results of our study suggest coffee consumers acquire a taste or an ability to detect caffeine due to the learned positive reinforcement (i.e. stimulation) elicited by caffeine."…."
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Bowman02 Mar 2019 5:33 a.m. PST

I think it's even more complicated than simply the ability to taste and tolerate the bitter taste of the caffeine.

Most people don't drink their coffee black, and prefer it with cream and/or sugar. A study implies that sugar doesn't just sweeten the coffee, but changes the flavour by affecting the caffeine molecules in solution.


And there is more. The coffee bean is roasted to extract the flavour. I prefer a fully roasted or dark roasted coffee. However, the more you roast the bean the more you slightly alter the caffeine content (by weight and density as the beans shrink during the roasting). So the fuller flavour I like is not just due to the caffeine content, which the original study implies.

From an article: "So, what does this mean? You should only buy dark roasts because you get more beans for your buck?

No, because volume is not everything. During the roasting process, a bean loses its mass. The density of the bean changes; beans that are roasted longer are less dense. That's why you have more beans by mass of dark roasts. When coffee is roasted the beans lose roughly 90% of their water content.

So, how does this change a pot of coffee?

If you measure your coffee by scoops, light roasted coffee will have more caffeine. Since the beans are denser than a darker roast. However if you weigh out your scoops, darker roasts will have more caffeine, because there is less mass. What should also be noted is that Arabica beans vary in levels of caffeine depending on the plant species."


And for a humorous derail, another study has shown that those who like the bitter flavour of black coffee "….are positively associated with malevolent personality traits, with the most robust relation to everyday sadism and psychopathy."

PDF link

Make of that what you will.

Mithmee02 Mar 2019 10:32 a.m. PST

Well I found that coffee is acquired taste.

Tried it back when I was 15 and quickly learn that while coffee smells great it taste was not for me.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2019 2:41 p.m. PST



Bowman03 Mar 2019 5:19 a.m. PST

Well I found that coffee is acquired taste.

Acquired is the accurate word, as it is probably your genetic makeup. From the OP:

The study also found people sensitive to the bitter flavors of quinine and of PROP, a synthetic taste related to the compounds in cruciferous vegetables, avoided coffee.

So, according to that, you probably dislike gin and tonics due to the quinine. Or perhaps you are not a fan of very hoppy beers like high IBU IPAs. And perhaps you don't like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

Or maybe you just don't like coffee.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2019 8:08 a.m. PST

I don't like coffee, but have no major aversion to bitter stuff like G&T.
But my wife can't stand bitter taste, so coffee, black tea, tonic water and the horror over all horrors grapefruit.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2019 10:30 a.m. PST

I love drinking coffee, usually black, been drinking for 50 years. First cup & I was hooked.

CeruLucifus03 Mar 2019 12:11 p.m. PST

Coffee was certainly an acquired taste for me. My preferred beverage is a latte. Conversely, for regular coffee, I find the better the coffee the less cream I use. Trained myself not to use sugar.

When "energy drinks" came out (Monster, Rock Star, etc), I scoffed. Why would anyone drink caffeine that way when they can just have coffee, or colas? But it turns out some people don't acquire the taste for coffee, don't drink sodas in large quantity, and that is the market for these.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Mar 2019 8:58 p.m. PST

I loved it!.


dapeters04 Mar 2019 8:04 a.m. PST

That would also explain the whole over-hopped, unbalance IPA craze that's been going on with craft beer for the last 20 years

Bowman04 Mar 2019 5:18 p.m. PST

I like hoppy beers, but your point is well taken.

"There are concerns that as some IPAs have topped 100 IBUs, they're too hoppy for human taste buds to know the difference. "Hops are a quick way for beginning brewers to disguise flaws in their beer," warned beer writer Adrienne So in Slate last year. "


A nice article here from 12years ago, called "A Bitter Divide":


Old Wolfman05 Mar 2019 6:47 a.m. PST

Not a coffee drinker myself;the wife is,however.

dapeters06 Mar 2019 12:46 p.m. PST

Full discloser I prefer Craft brew German and Belgium styles but you hand me a beer and I'll drink it. In fact at a local brewery, their best beer is an IPA, IMHO.

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