Why Do Many People Like Coffee Even though It Is Bitter?


KOMPAS.com – People who are very sensitive to the bitter taste of coffee can actually consume more coffee.

Thus the conclusions in the study published in the journal Scientific ReportsOn Thursday (11/15/2018). The penchant and sensitivity to the bitter taste of coffee is not just a matter of taste. However, genetic makeup also plays a major role.

"You might think people who are very sensitive with bitter taste will drink less coffee," said senior researcher Marilyn Cornelis, assistant professor of drug prevention from Northwestern University School of Medicine, Chicago.

"It turns out that the results we found are contrary to that opinion. Coffee consumers who have the ability to detect bitter caffeine can actually explore the positive side of caffeine and tend to become fans of coffee," he added.

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In other words, people who have a high ability to feel the bitterness of coffee, especially the bitter taste that is different from every caffeine, learn to associate various kinds of taste to positive things.

This finding is surprising, given that bitter taste often functions as a warning mechanism for the body to spit out substances that are considered dangerous.

In a study led by Jue Sheng Ong, from the Berghofer QIMR Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia, this study aims to understand how genetics affect tea, coffee, and alcohol consumption, where the taste tends to be bitter.

"All the bitter taste may taste the same, but we feel a different bitter taste from Brussels sprouts, tonic water (quinine), and caffeine," Ong told Live Science, was launched on Thursday (11/15/2018).

"The extent to which we feel bitter is partly determined by genes," he continued.

To investigate this, Ong and his team looked at the genetic makeup and daily consumption of bitter drinks in more than 400,000 Britons.

"We use genes that are related to the ability to feel bitter to assess whether they have a higher genetic tendency to taste bitter taste in tea and coffee than others," Ong said.

Also read: The Effects of Drinking Coffee Different from Each Person, Here's the Explanation

His study found that people who have a bitter taste-sensitive gene tend to prefer coffee or tea compared to eating Brussels broth or bitter taste.

In addition, people who are more sensitive to the bitter taste of quinine or in green vegetables, tend to avoid coffee.

Meanwhile, people with genes more tolerant of bitter taste in Brussels sprouts tend to choose to drink alcohol, especially red wine.

"This can help experts learn about addiction," said Ong.

Coffee enthusiasts can drink all types of coffee, black, white, and capuuccino coffee. Therefore, experts chose to look for trends in how genes relate to the consumption of bitter drinks.

"We suspect that perhaps most types of coffee actually have the same bitter taste profile," he said.


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