Paris, France – In a new study investigating how genetic factors determine taste, scientists now believe they know why some people prefer coffee, while others prefer tea.
An article published this week in Nature Scientific Reports found that people who are genetically predisposed to loving lesser taste usually choose coffee because of the higher caffeine content.
But important for tea drinks everywhere, this does not make them right.
As people evolved, we developed the ability to detect bitterness as a natural warning system to protect the body from harmful substances.
Extremely speaking, we have to spit that Americano directly under the sink.
However, participants in the test who were more genetically sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine were more likely to prefer coffee than tea and probably drink more than that.
"You would expect people who are particularly sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine will drink less coffee," said Marilyn Cornelis, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.
"The opposite results of our study show that coffee consumers get a taste or the ability to detect caffeine because of the inspiration of positive caffeine-boosting."
So people genetically pre-programmed to eat the bitterness of coffee learn to link "good things to it," said Cornelis.
In the study for more than 400,000 men and women in the UK, researchers also found that people who are sensitive to the bitter taste of quinine and a flavor associated with plant compounds were more likely to avoid coffee in favor of their sweet tea .
Liang-Dar Hwang of the Queensland University Diamantina Institute, who wrote the study, told AFP that the fact that some people prefer coffee has shown how daily experiences can overcome genetic tendencies when it comes to flavor.
"A strong sense of taste is shaped not only by genetics but also by environmental factors," he said.
"Although people naturally do not want bitterness, we can learn to like them or enjoy food with a bitter taste, being exposed to environmental factors."
Although coffee enthusiasts are basically resisting evolution, there is another potential benefit for you to like latte.
Hwang said coffee drinkers were genetically less sensitive to bitterness than tea drinkers, making them "less likely to hate other bitter foods" like green vegetables. / cbb
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