Are you a tea or coffee person? Entire relationships have dissolved over the answer to this question. First dates the world over have failed to take off due to one person insisting on taking a coffee drinker to a tea house or vise versa. If you have a stake in this debate you probably think that your preference is all about personal taste. After all, you learned to drink tea in your mother’s kitchen, or coffee when you started to go to university. Coffee and tea are often described as an acquired taste, so this is understandable that you may think this way. But recent studies are suggesting that it may not be an acquired taste, so much as a genetic predisposition.
How you choose coffee or tea -Researchers have discovered that our genes determine our ability to perceive bitter tastes. This ability tends to nudge us towards one substance over the other. People with a greater disposition towards picking up bitter flavors tend to love coffee more than tea. And people who pick up the taste of bitters less are more likely to be tea drinkers. This is probably due to the caffeine content in coffee. Caffeine is notoriously bitter, and coffee has significantly more of it than your average tea drink.
It is a bit strange that people who can taste bitters more effectively are so interested in drinking coffee because evolutionarily speaking humans tend to associate bitterness with potentially lethal plants. The reason we may be attracted to coffee over tea when we can taste more bitter is because we have a cultural association with caffeine being bitter. So, the more bitter the drink, the more caffeine we expect from it. More research is going to have to take place to determine why people prefer decaf or lots of sugar in their coffee. Now you know why you love sipping coffee from an insulated tumbler first thing in the morning.