Now a study, published in the Scientific Reports journal, has revealed the reason for our choice: it’s all in our genes.
A group of scientists investigated the way our experience of drinking of coffee and tea might be influenced by how our brain perceives bitter tastes. They analysed data from over 400,000 participants.
According to the findings, those who experience a bitter taste when eating Brussels sprouts – which contain a compound called propylthiouracil (PROP) – are more likely to opt for a steaming cup of Joe over an Americano. The opposite is true for those who do not find Brussels sprouts bitter.
Meanwhile, those who enjoyed a strong, bitter taste when consuming caffeine were more likely to be heavy coffee drinkers (more than four cups a day).
The reason for this was not entirely clear to researchers, although they suggested it might be to do with the “learned positive reinforcement”, essentially the stimulant effect, of caffeine which coffee-lovers might become more hooked on.
The average cup of coffee contains 40g of caffeine compared to just 20mg in the same amount of tea, meaning those who enjoy the taste of coffee are more likely to enjoy its superior caffeine content, too.
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