Tea and coffee generally taste bitter because they contain bitter-tasting substances such as caffeine. Quinine is another substance that contributes to the bitterness of coffee, and is also found in tonic water.
We knew from previous research that inherited factors play a role in the amount of coffee and tea a person drinks a day, and that the ability to digest caffeine plays an important role in the people’s consumption of caffeinated beverages.
In recent study found that genes for bitter taste perception are linked with the amount of coffee and tea we drink.
We’re interested to see if this finding could lead to future studies investigating whether “super-tasters” of bitter molecules are more or less prone to drink high and perhaps even unhealthy amounts of coffee and tea, or other drinks containing bitter molecules.
But we can’t blame everything on your genes. Even if as a child or right now you dislike the bitterness of coffee or tea, you may have noticed that your taste and dietary behavior change over time as you grow.