The bitter taste of the coffee should not be a place of sale. But a genetic variation explains why so many people love the pier, suggests a new study.
Bitterness was developed as a natural warning system to protect people against harmful substances. That means they would like to eject coffee, the researchers said.
But their survey of more than 400,000 people in the United Kingdom found that the more sensitive people are the bitter taste of caffeine, the more coffee they drink.
The sensitivity is caused by a genetic variant.
"One can expect people who are particularly sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine would drink less coffee," says study author Marilyn Cornelis, a deputy professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.
But people with increased sensitivity to the bitterness of coffee / caffeine have learned to associate "good things with it" – which would be the stimulus of caffeine, Cornelis said in a university perspective.
"Taste has been studied for a long time, but we do not know the full mechanics," she added. "We want to understand it from a biological point of view."
The study will be published on November 15th in the journal Scientific reports.