This Could Be The Reason Some People Prefer Black Coffee

If you're a die-hard coffee drinker, you've likely had your standard order down pat for years. Maybe you're a flat white fan, a latte type, or an Americano aficionado and would never stray from your favorite drink. Some caffeine sippers even go beyond these basic options, seeking out frothy creations like Dalgona coffee or a Frappuccino. However, there are always people who prefer to drink the stuff straight, ordering the beverage black without milk or sugar as their morning pick-me-up. In fact, 35% of Americans prefer their cup of joe served this way (via E-Imports).

For those not used to it, it can taste bitter because the big, bold flavor of the beans is untamed by any dairy or sweetness. People who prefer black coffee seem to embrace or even crave that bitterness — and, according to The Washington Post, their DNA might be the reason behind their java preference.

Caffeine metabolism affects black coffee cravings

A person's DNA might provide insight into why they enjoy black coffee, according to a study in Scientific Reports that compared genetic analysis of participants to their self-reported flavor preferences. Participants whose genes indicated a rapid metabolism of caffeine tended to favor the strong, bitter flavors of black coffee and dark chocolate. This could indicate that people who only feel the effects of caffeine for a little while — as they metabolize, or process, it very quickly — might seek out java beverages they perceive as very strong in order to get a more impactful whammy of energy-boosting effects (via Washington Post).

"These people equate caffeine's natural bitterness with a psycho-stimulation effect," said Marilyn Cornelis, the study's lead author. "They learn to associate bitterness with caffeine and the boost they feel ... When they think of caffeine, they think of a bitter taste, so they enjoy dark coffee and, likewise, dark chocolate."

Meanwhile, the responses of study participants whose genes demonstrate higher sensitivity to caffeine indicated less of a preference for the beverage, no matter how it was served. So the next time you're at your favorite café, you can acknowledge your DNA's possible role in the drink you order.