Tastes and taste buds

January 14, 2012

Tastes and taste buds


I posted the other day about how I was sick and could not drink coffee and then how I was a little better and the coffee tasted so good, so I was curious how coffee would taste today when I was 90 percent better.  


I like all (reasonable) roasts of coffee from light to dark, but I usually lean to medium to light roasts as opposed to super light roasts or dark to super dark roasts.  Today I pulled a light roast coffee that is usually one of my favorites (Hairbender) and it just was not hitting the spot.  It usually has tons of flavors with interesting layers and subtleties, but today I was just getting a fine tasting shot, but none of the interesting layers.  Instead I found myself much more pleased with the dark roasts I had in the house.  


It got me to wondering – if the fact that I was recently sick was altering my tastes.  Almost certainly the answer was yes.  Foods were not tasting the same for the last few days either.  I think I am just not getting as much flavor and so I needed a more potent, less subtle brew because the subtleties were lost on me.  


There are people called “supertasters” who are able to detect tastes better than the rest of us.  I am certainly not one of them.  I read once that they usually do not like spicy food because they are too sensitive to the pain.  (More proof I am no super taster).  It did make me wonder though if we all have sensitivities to taste on some continuum and if our taste in coffee would be dictated by where we fell on that spectrum.  Supertasters might want subtle coffees with nuance, but no overpowering flavor and at the opposite end might be people who wanted the power and nuance was lost.


On the other hand perhaps this is all fiction based on a day where my mood for and taste in coffee was just different for no good reason.

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