Are you a tea or coffee person? The answer may lie in your genetic predisposition towards bitter tastes, say researchers.
It could be because bitterness acts as a natural warning system to protect us from harmful substances.
The study, led by researchers from US-based Northwestern University, and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia, explored reactions to three bitter substances -- caffeine, quinine and propylthiouracil (PROP) -- to understand how they affect people's preference for drinking tea, coffee and alcohol.
The findings showed that people who were more sensitive to caffeine and were drinking a lot of coffee consumed low amounts of tea.
In other words, people who have a heightened ability to taste coffee's bitterness -- and particularly the distinct bitter flavour of caffeine -- learn to associate "good things with it".