Moms, Genes and Coffee Beans

April 27, 2011

With Mother’s Day approaching on Sunday, we might pause to consider how our mothers affected us in terms of our important interests in life. There’s no question that for most of us, our moms, or other mother figures such as stepmoms and adoptive moms, affected us in many ways.

There is a recent study (http://www.roaste.com/CafeRoaste/News/2011/04/11/Do-Your-Genes-Make-You-... ) that seemed to say to the researchers that that our parents passed down genes in our DNA which would determine how much we would enjoy coffee. There were some shortcomings to that study, and the ever elusive nature verses nurture issue arises from the focus of the study. Do our parents, and in the case of mothers especially, determine how much we will drink coffee? Do they influence us through their example, their words, or their genes?

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This writer did a little original research in the form of an informal survey to find out if there is a strong indication that mothers influence our coffee drinking. The sample was small – about forty subjects, through an email survey. The clearest conclusion from the responses was an overwhelming preference for caffeine by both the respondents and both sets of parents. Very few from either generation preferred decaf. As to whether coffee consumption was self-defined as a little or a lot, there was an insignificant preponderance of replies pointing to Dad as the main influence. Again, this study was informal but the difference in this question was not significant.


It appears that mothers may be about as likely as dads to influence our coffee habits, and in some cases, there has been no influence at all.

One respondent said  “Frankly, the older generation saw coffee, possibly even tea, & also alcohol & tobacco as vices so that’s a difference too.  Instant coffee was something my grams used often because it was easier than brewing a pot for just one person.  That might have been why my dad also didn’t drink it at home, plus the fact that my mom didn’t drink it.  He might have gotten some of the swill that they provided at the hospital when he went for meetings.  He was no connoisseur.  I drank instant for years until I was out here [in Seattle] & started to learn about the “gourmet” coffee that became accessible thru spots like Starbucks.”

Here’s a new wrinkle – Starbucks had more influence than genes or modeling of parents! Most of us probably credit this popular café, or a similar one, as an influence on our coffee drinking, at least in relation to how gourmet our coffee drinking has become. We didn’t have online marketplaces such as ROASTe to help us learn the ins and outs of coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, espresso, pour-overs, and so on.

So maybe our moms didn’t teach us everything we need to know about coffee. If your mom enjoys coffee of any kind, have you introduced her to ROASTe as not only a great place to buy specialty coffee, but as a place to learn everything that’s important to know about coffee?

We hope all you moms out there enjoy your special day. If your coffee-loving mom doesn’t know about ROASTe, it might be a good time to make that introduction. 


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