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Why some love the smell, but hate the taste… we’re of course talking about coffee!

If it isn’t your clingy cat or princess pooch that’s adopted the role of the home’s living alarm clock waking you up and demanding your attention at 6:30 in the morning, it will be that glorious mug of hot liquid, waiting for you by the kettle, that gets you out of bed in the morning.

Even if it isn’t the taste that does it for you, it most certainly could be the alluring aroma of freshly brewed coffee that will waft you down the stairs and draw you out into the British morning.

But the big question that leaves us worshippers of the coffee bean forever stumped, is why some people can only appreciate the smell of coffee but just can’t tolerate the taste?! We need answers!

Let’s talk science…

According to science, it’s because coffee contains molecules for almost every attractive scent, including sweet, spicy, fruity, floral, smoky and apparently even rotten cabbage (for those who are into that).

Believe it or not, one London professor says we actually have two senses of smell. One sense activated when you inhale from the environment into you, and the second being activated when air from us is sent up through the nasal passage and is breathed out through the nose.

The act of swallowing a cup of coffee sends a burst of aroma up the back of the nose from inside the mouth, activating this “second sense of smell”. The phenomenon is down to the fact that, although we have sensors on our tongue, eighty per cent of what we think of as taste actually reaches us through smell receptors in our nose.

We can almost relate this to the smell of some cheeses. Some cheeses can only be described to smell as bad as the inside of a hikers shoe on a sunny day, but yet still taste delicious! This is because their whiff seems more pleasant to us when passing out of the nose as opposed to the whiff passing in through the nose. So the same as coffee… just in reverse!

Fortunately in the case of cheese, you can still revel in the taste but just hold your fingers to your nose to avoid that initial smell. Unfortunately however, I can’t imagine this would work in reverse for coffee and we start to witness a new dawning of drinking coffee through our nose to avoid the taste. That would be ’emmental’.

There are, however, still ways to make the coffee cup more enjoyable for those who struggle with the taste, but still want the caffeine boost! First off, you might find that you’re coming on a bit strong… With your relationship with coffee that is. Things labelled “House Blend” and “Breakfast Blend” will tend to be milder so try and avoid “Dark Roast” and “French Roast” if you aren’t quite ready for the hard stuff yet!

You can also start by trying it cold. Cold brewed coffee doesn’t release the acid in coffee, meaning there is a reduced bitterness in flavour.

Though you’d be a sinner to do so but by also adding milk, sugar, cream and whatever else the fancy coffee shops start impairing your coffee with, help to dilute the strength and counteract the bitterness of coffee.