A new Australian-led report suggests you were born with a predisposition to the taste of coffee or tea.
Yes, your genetics may have more to do with your cuppa preferences than you realise. Could this be the key to ending feuds between coffee vs tea lovers? After all, as Lady Gaga puts it, who is to blame if “baby you were born this way!”?
(I’m a hot chocolate drinker… am I even qualified to write this?)
The researchers found that how you perceive bitter substances has everything to do with your genes, and therefore directly impacts whether tea, coffee or even alcohol is your poison of choice.
By using data from the UK Biobank – which evaluated over 400,000 participants – researchers analysed genetic variants associated with how you perceive three bitter substances in particular: propylthiouracil (PROP), quinine, and caffeine.
They found that those with a certain group of genes had a higher sensitivity to caffeine and therefore consumed more of it. On the other hand, those who experienced a higher sensitivity to PROP and quinine drank less.
So, the higher your sensitivity to caffeine, the more chance you have of being a heavy coffee drinker. The opposite is true for tea intake – the higher your sensitivities to quinine and PROP, the more greedy-for-tea you’ll be.
For alcohol, the findings showed that a more intense PROP perception generally resulted in lower consumption. As for the other two variants? No influence was detected.
You may now go forth and be kinder to those whose drinking habits have confounded you for years.