Coffee is an essential part of life. Specially if you stayed up late the previous night watching the entire third season of The Walking Dead in preparation for the new season even though you need to clock in the office by eight the next day. The night after, you still can’t sleep after a full day because flashbacks of creepy, smelly zombies attacking you in the middle of sleep scares you to death. By the third day, you’d need to summon the magical powers of caffeine to defog the haze that is your brain in order to be able to juggle multiple work things at once (or you know, just put one foot in front of the other).
It would be the time when a steaming cup of strong coffee would be a picker upper, a life saver, and breakfast all at once. But if not for necessity, would you actually drink the stuff? Do you actually like how it tastes like? When you order your “coffee” drinks from your favorite coffee shop, is it the coffee that you’re after? Or all the other elements that help mask (or at least dilute) its actual taste? Without all the frills, coffee straight out of the pot is bitter brown liquid that leaves a distinct unpleasant flavor (and sometimes, even texture) in your mouth long after the cup is finished. You know, like when you haven’t brushed your teeth in days.
Ever wonder why coffee tastes horrible when it’s room temperature? Hot coffee is heaven sent, while iced coffee is a sweet treat but room temperature coffee is crap. Why? Live Science theorizes that since our taste receptors are less sensitive at extreme temperatures, our brains are probably distracted from the actual coffee flavor. When drinking coffee at room temperature, we get to taste its full flavor. This brings us back to the fact that coffee doesn’t actually taste pleasant.
There are a number of coffee beans from many different sources and all you coffee connoisseurs can look down on me and say that not all beans are created alike, but the general consensus is that coffee is bitter. Humans were created to naturally dislike bitter flavors to avoid ingesting potentially poisonous nature stuff (although it can be argued that coffee is some sort of a poison). In line with this, it seems that we are predisposed to dislike the taste of coffee but for one reason or another, we have acquired the taste for this bitter brew.
It may be for clearing your head in the morning or because the cool kids seem to be on the bandwagon or to help with digestion after a full meal, but evolution has it that we keep on drinking this curious drink.
P.S. Here’s an interesting read from Lifehacker about what caffeine actually does to your brain. It’s all science-y and stuff.
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