We all know that I’m a coffee fiend. Recently, I asked readers to tell me their favorite hot beverage. You know. The one they curl up with when they’re reading a great book. Because I always have a drink nearby, and I figured my readers do, too.
Turns out that was a good guess. More than 80% of the readers who responded to my question said their favorite beverage was black coffee. (Which, incidentally, is my favorite, too.) The remaining 20% enjoyed coffee with cream or sugar or both, tea, hot chocolate, and a variety of other beverages (some with alcohol and some without). (I talked about reader preferences here: https://dianecapri.com/2022/01/coffee-how-do-you-love-it/ )
Which made me wonder…Is there a particular reason some of us love coffee so much? And of course, science has looked at this and the answer seems to be YES! It’s all about our genes. We sort of saw that one coming, didn’t we?
A recent article in The Washington Post reports “People with a genetic marker associated with higher sensitivity to caffeine’s effects reported less liking for the flavor of both sweetened and unsweetened coffee.”
The underlying science is fascinating. Basically, it boils down to two things. We love coffee first because of how caffeine affects us, and second because of how it tastes. The more sensitive we are to caffeine, the more we enjoy coffee. Adding sugar and milk to the coffee doesn’t reduce the caffeine buzz. But it does change the taste. (You can read the research if you’d like, here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-03153-7 )
So there you have it. Kim Otto, Jack Reacher, Me, and about 80% of you seem to have a genetic predisposition to black coffee and dark chocolate. Pretty soon, I suspect we’ll see another one of my favorite things added to this list. Red wine.
But for my characters like Carlos Gaspar and Judge Willa Carson, the buzz he gets from caffeine is enhanced by the amazing flavor of Cafe Con Leche! (There’s an easy recipe, if you’d like to try it, here: https://barefeetinthekitchen.com/how-to-make-spanish-cafe-con-leche/ )
If you’d like to try my Hunt for Jack Reacher Series, you can find a list of those book with convenient links to buy here: https://dianecapri.com/books/hunt-jack-reacher-series/
If you’d like to try my Hunt for Justice Series featuring Judge Willa Carson you can find a list of those book with convenient links to buy here: https://dianecapri.com/books/hunt-jack-reacher-series/