A love for coffee or tea is all in the genes. Pexels

It’s a question guaranteed to split a group of people down the middle – do you prefer coffee or te

Now research suggests which drink you choose may be down to your genes.

Scientists found coffee lovers are more likely than the average person to taste strongly the bitter caffeine the drink contains. And they tend to drink less tea, which contains lower levels of caffeine.

Researchers said the fact that someone responds to bitter flavours more is written in their genes. Scores of genetic differences affect our taste receptors.

The study, led by the University of Queensland in Australia, looked at more than 400,000 Britons' drinking habits and their taste preferences through the UK Biobank genetic databse.

They found that people less sensitive to caffeine drank more tea – and this was particularly the case for women.

Co-author Professor Deborah Lawlor, from the University of Bristol, said: “‘People who are more sensitive to bitter tastes usually avoid them in tests of foods like kale and sprouts. ‘This result – that people who pick up bitter caffeine tastes are more likely to drink coffee – is unexpected.”

Love bitter caffeine tastes? Then you probably drink more coffee. Pexels
‘But it may be the bitter taste of coffee is more pleasant and edgy. If you notice a taste, you may seek it out more – or being aware of the taste may make people more aware of the buzz they get from coffee at the same time.'

Normally people dislike bitter tastes, which we are programmed by evolution to avoid, because it can mean that food or drink is poisonous.

* Daily Mail