Thursday, November 15, 2018

Your DNA Could Determine Whether You Prefer Coffee or Tea

Tea and coffee have very different tastes, and in an article by Tina Hesman Saey, it is discussed that our preference of either drink can be determined by our DNA. Researchers reported that people whose DNA contains "a gene that increases sensitivity to the bitter flavor of caffeine tend to be coffee drinkers", and "tea drinkers tended to be less sensitive to caffeine's bitter taste", but more sensitive to other bitter chemicals (Saey). In the recent study performed, researchers examined genes that detected bitter tastes of different chemicals, such as caffeine, and tested 400,000 people's DNA to look for these genes and compared them to what they said their preferred drink was. The study found that "people who had the highest genetic score for detecting caffeine's bitterness were 20 percent more likely to be heavy coffee drinkers" (Saey). The researchers were surprised because they thought if the people were more sensitive to the bitterness, they would drink less coffee and steer toward tea. It is still interesting that the people who drink more coffee show similarities in their taste genes. The researchers speculate that maybe it's more about caffeine intake and the genes involved in breaking down caffeine. A body's effectiveness of breaking down caffeine may show information about the amount of consumption of caffeine per day, such as if they will they drink more or less caffeine if their body breaks down caffeine slower or faster. It's a kind of funny experiment, but it would be interesting to know if the amount of caffeine you drink has something to do with your DNA.


Saey, Tina Hesman. “Coffee or Tea? Your Preference May Be Written in Your DNA.” Science News, Society for Science & the Public, 15 Nov. 2018,

1 comment:

  1. Being someone who drinks coffee everyday of her life, as soon as I saw this post I had to stop to read it. I find it extremely interesting that depending on your genetics, whether you have a gene that is more or less sensitive to caffeine or how it is broken down, can be the basis on why you like tea or coffee. I agree with you that it is a comical experiment, and I am left wondering what further research can be done with these results.