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Hack my experiment results...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM

I took two weeks to experiment wit caffeine and my taste buds. I had been drinking fully caffeinated coffee with cream everyday for years. I did not really enjoy the taste of plain black tea. It didn't offend but it just wasn't appealing.

So I switched to decaf coffee and kept a jug of strong ice tea (black) in the fridge and I'd have a bit everyday. Over the course of the two weeks I found that the perceived level of bitterness in coffee increased and the perceived bitterness in black tea decreased. At this point I can't say I'm really enjoying coffee, but I really am enjoying black tea.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Anyone feel like trying the experiment out to see if they get comparable results?

EDIT - I'm suggesting that our preferences in beverage is based at least in part of a reward value. Part of why people like coffee is how it makes them feel. If you remove the added reward you don't perceive it as palatable. If you show your body a new source of the stumuli (caffeine) you will develop a taste for that source, even if you didn't really like it to start.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 25, 2012
at 01:39 AM

My wife works at starbucks so the same roast Vs it's decaf. It isn't that decaf is more bitter than caffeinated. I tried caffeinated today and since my body wasn't expecting the caffeine reward it didn't register as tasty. (My supposition)

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:35 AM

whoah that went right over my head. Thanks for spelling it out. for some reason I was thinking black tea was not caffeinated. That is a really sweet experiment though.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:23 AM

You got it Josh.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:00 AM

I'm almost certain he's referring to "retraining" his taste buds to appreciate tea and depreciate coffee, and that the caffeine was the reason why he enjoyed coffee, so once that mind/mouth link was severed (by drinking decaf) he appreciated tea more (as it was not decaf, even though it wasn't his preferred caffeine delivery system).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 24, 2012
at 10:25 PM

I'm confused. Are you suggesting that caffeine increases tolerance to bitterness?

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1 Answers

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A31b063c5866c08aa9968a8f2f1e9949

(1721)

on April 25, 2012
at 12:13 AM

Was it the same type of coffee, just decaf (e.g., I switched from Peet's Major Dickason's Blend Regular to Peet's Major Dickason's Blend decaf and it seems more bitter), or did the brand/blend switch as well? Maybe the changes are due to brand/blend switches and not the change in caffeine?

I don't know what would have made the appeal change in the black tea over the two week period, unless you had never before attempted drinking tea daily?

I kind of tried this experiment for several months. I gave up coffee entirely in favor of black (hot, not iced) tea in the mornings. I got to the point where my body was fine without the coffee, but tea never seemed a fully acceptable substitute. It's fine to drink at night, or just because I feel like it, but it's just missing something that coffee gives me... I enjoy being a coffee drinker. I've never really been able to say I enjoy being a tea drinker (though I have thoroughly enjoyed some cups of tea from time to time).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 25, 2012
at 01:39 AM

My wife works at starbucks so the same roast Vs it's decaf. It isn't that decaf is more bitter than caffeinated. I tried caffeinated today and since my body wasn't expecting the caffeine reward it didn't register as tasty. (My supposition)

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