Some of us prefer coffee. Others like tea. The latter, of course, is clearly the obvious choice and the superior drink by far, but this is neither the time nor the place to engage in that debate. Why do some people like coffee while others prefer tea? Like any matter involving taste and preferences the answer is undoubtedly not going to be a simple one. But that didn’t stop a group of Australian researchers from suggesting that a preference for coffee or tea might be due, at least in part, to one’s genetic makeup and environmental influences.
Said researchers released the results of their study in the journal Addiction a few years back. The title of the study – The Genetics Of Tea And Coffee Drinking And Preference For Source Of Caffeine In A Large Community Sample Of Australian Twins – doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it uncovered some interesting information nonetheless.
The test subjects for this study were a group of Australian twins. Of the group, 1796 were identical twins and 2013 were non-identical. The ages of study participants ranged from 16 to 87 and about three-fifths of the group were female. Among the findings of the study, “Age was positively associated with tea consumption but negatively associated with coffee preference; women consumed more beverages than men, but showed a lower preference for coffee.”
Researchers ultimately concluded, “As the patterns of genetic and environmental variation were shown to differ for tea and coffee consumption it may be more informative to retain them as separate measures of caffeine intake in future studies of stimulant use and taste perception.”
For more details on the study and information on ordering the full (rather technical) results, check out this abstract. For some decidedly unbiased notions on Why Tea Is Superior to Coffee, check out this Epicurious article or Coffee Vs Tea, which appeared on The Taste of English Tea Blog earlier in 2009.
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