OK. You’ll probably think I’m crazy. But we’ve had this thing at work in the coffee room where we try to match people’s coffee preferences with their personalities.
And then someone said they’d done some research on this online and that its true. And that people who add more milk and sugar and more “sweet” in their character. And that people who drink their coffee black are probably more aggressive.
Is this just nonsense stuff? Or is there any truth in it?
I have to admit, my finger was poised to delete your question as soon as I read it. I mean... it does sound kind of silly, right?
And then I realized that I do actually associate different personality types with black coffee and coffee with milk.
In my mind’s eye I see drinkers of black coffee as being maybe more intense and/or serious. And I imagine people who add sugar, cream and other sweet goodies to their coffee as being somehow more friendly and smiley.
So I decided to do the Coffee Detective thing and start digging.
What I found was kind of shocking... Definitely unexpected.
I found a scientific study that wasn’t specifically about coffee, but it was about how some personality types like things that taste bitter.
And yes, I think we can bundle in black coffee with things that taste bitter.
Here’s a short quote from the abstract of that study:
“The results of both studies confirmed the hypothesis that bitter taste preferences are positively associated with malevolent personality traits, with the most robust relation to everyday sadism and psychopathy.”
So there you have it, fresh from the pages of Appetite magazine, an “international research journal specializing in cultural, social, psychological, sensory and physiological influences on the selection and intake of foods and drinks.”
How much should we take from this one study? Hard to say.
But if nothing else, I think you can liven up your coffee room conversation.
Watch how people make their coffee and you can draw up a comprehensive list of everyone in the office with “malevolent personality traits”, including “sadism and psychopathy”.
Or maybe you’d then be accused of “coffee shaming”!
Thanks for the question!
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