Coffee is so bitter, why do so many people still love it?

Coffee is so bitter, why do so many people still love it?

According to media reports, a new study found that people who are particularly sensitive to the bitter taste of coffee actually drink more coffee. This may sound counter-intuitive, but the researchers pointed out in a paper published online in the journal Scientific Reports on November 5 that this sensitivity is not only a matter of taste, but also affected by a person’s genes. The influence of composition.

“You might think that people who are particularly sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine drink less,” said the study author Marilyn Cornelis, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. The statement said, “Our research results are exactly the opposite, which shows that coffee consumers have acquired a caffeine-specific taste, or the ability to perceive (bitterness) through the positive enhancement of caffeine-induced acquisition.”

In other words, those who can taste the bitterness of coffee, especially the unique bitterness of caffeine, have learned to associate this taste with “good things”, and therefore prefer coffee. The researchers said that this finding was surprising, because bitterness is often used as a warning mechanism to persuade people to spit out harmful substances.

The study was led by Jue Sheng Ong, a PhD student in the Department of Genetics and Computational Biology at QIMR Bergauver Institute of Medical Research in Australia. He said the purpose of the study is to understand how genetic factors affect a person’s consumption of tea, coffee and alcohol. These beverages tend to have a bitter taste.

“Although all the bitterness seems to be indistinguishable, we can clearly distinguish the bitterness of Brussels sprouts, tonic water, and caffeine,” said Jue Sheng Ong. “We found that the degree of perception of these bitterness depends in part on your genes. .”

In order to study the decisive genes, the researchers analyzed the genetic makeup and daily consumption of bitter beverages of more than 400,000 British people. “Using genes related to the ability to taste bitterness, we evaluated whether people who are genetically more sensitive to bitterness tend to drink tea rather than coffee,” said Jue Sheng Ong.

The analysis results show that people with genes that are sensitive to the bitter taste of green vegetables (such as Brussels sprouts) or quinine water are more inclined to drink tea than coffee. In other words, people who are more sensitive to the bitter taste of quinine and green vegetables tend to avoid coffee. The study also found that people who are genetically more sensitive to the bitter taste of Brussels sprouts do not like to drink, especially red wine. This discovery may help scientists study the problem of alcohol addiction.

Jue Sheng Ong pointed out that they did not analyze the flavoring agents that people often pour into coffee, such as milk and sugar. “As you can imagine, on a personal level, there are too many factors that determine how much coffee a person drinks — socioeconomic status, the ability to metabolize caffeine, and smoking, etc.,” he said. “The most important thing is that people will Drink a variety of coffees-black coffee, Fuli white, cappuccino, etc.” Therefore, the researchers chose to look for the general trend of how genes are associated with bitter beverage consumption.

“These results indicate that perhaps most coffee types still have very similar bitterness characteristics,” Jue Sheng Ong concluded.

Ten things you should know about coffee

Ten things you should know about coffee

Caffeine can be deadly

Despite the well-known benefits, coffee can also be fatal. However, health experts say that the fatal premise is that you drink 80 to 100 cups of coffee in a hurry. We suggest not to try. In September 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned of the hazards of caffeine powder, a powerful refreshing product that has become popular in recent years.

Benefits of coffee

A large number of independent studies conducted in 2014, 2015 and 2016 showed that coffee is beneficial to the human liver, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and lower the risk of colon cancer, and as the paper in the journal Circulation claims , Drinking 1 to 5 cups of coffee a day may generally reduce the risk of premature death. A study published in March 2016 found that coffee can reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Caffeine may stimulate women’s libido

At least it is effective in mice. However, researchers say that in humans, coffee may only enhance the sexual experience of non-habitual drinkers.

Caffeine may relieve pain

A small study found that the right amount of caffeine-equivalent to twice the content of coffee-can relieve muscle soreness after fitness. However, this study was conducted on people who do not drink coffee regularly. A 2012 study found that those who drank coffee before working at the desk had less neck and shoulder pain. However, in a study with a sufficiently large sample, no definite conclusions can be drawn on this possibility.

Caffeine will keep you awake at night

Health experts recommend that you avoid drinking coffee within 6 hours before going to bed because the effect of caffeine can last for several hours. A 2015 study found that caffeine may disturb your body’s biological clock and confuse sleep time signals. Another study found that coffee that night shift workers drink during working hours may affect their sleep during the day.

Decaffeinated coffee also has coffee

That’s right! A study found that if you drink 5 to 10 cups of decaf coffee, your final caffeine intake is equivalent to 1 to 2 cups of regular coffee.

Chemicals are used when decaffeinating

Steam the coffee beans in water for about 30 minutes to allow the dissolved caffeine to float to the surface. At this time, use organic solvents such as methylene chloride to rinse off the caffeine.

Caffeine is not the main source of bitterness

Caffeine is not the main bitter substance in coffee. On the contrary, the “culprit” causing bitterness is antioxidants.

Good coffee depends on roasting and brewing

When it comes to taste issues, the chemistry of coffee can be boiled down to two aspects: roasting and brewing. During the roasting process, the fat locked in the coffee beans oozes out at about 200 degrees Celsius. The more fat, the stronger the flavor. The longer the time the water is in contact with coffee grounds, the caffeine content will increase, so the caffeine content of regular coffee is usually higher than that of espresso and cappuccino. Deep roasting can also produce more caffeine.

Coffee was discovered by goats

Legend has it that a thousand years ago, on a hillside in Africa, a group of goats became so excited after eating red coffee berries that they did not sleep all night. The shepherd told some monks about the goat’s discovery, and then prayed for a long time. In any case, this is a good story.

A study showed that most of the antioxidants that Americans get come from coffee they drink every day. Drinking one or two cups of coffee a day seems very beneficial. If you don’t like coffee, you can also try black tea, which is the second largest source of antioxidants. Other foods rich in antioxidants include bananas, dried beans and corn.


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