What's your type?
By Mandy DelVecchio
Ever wondered why your mate can slam down 6 double espressos after 3pm and still sleep at night, but you barely even skim the top off a weak latte at 6am and you’re up for 27 days?
It’s not a trick. There is a scientific explanation.
A recent report for the Institution For Scientific Information On Coffee suggests most coffee drinkers can be divided into 3 ‘types’.
The 3 ‘coffee drinking types’ recognised in the June report titled, “Genetics, Metabolism and Individual Responses to Caffeine", are based on genetics, distinguishable by each individual’s response to caffeine.
Quite a breakthrough. Especially for anyone whose ever been involved in the forever ambiguous arguments over, “When’s the best time of day to stop drinking coffee”, “How many cups should I have?” “I can drink an espresso after dinner and fall asleep like a baby, how come you can’t?”
According to lead author of the report, Dr J.W.Langer,
“The answer is that we are all unique coffee drinkers.”
It turns out, just as eye-colour and hair-colour and disposition to anchovies are determined by genes, so too are your reactions to caffeine.
The genetic factors that determine these effects are liver (metabolisation) and the nervous system – and a combination of the both. According to the report, the 3 types of drinkers are:
1. High sensitivity to caffeine
A highly sensitive nervous system combined with a slow metabolism causes this drinker stimulation triggered by even small doses of caffeine.
2. Regular sensitivity to caffeine
Lucky enough to have struck a balance between caffeine inactivation in the liver and binding in the central nervous system. Generally able to consume two to five cups of coffee a day without sleep problems.
3. Low sensitivity to caffeine
Mass intake of caffeine and drinking coffee during the latter half of the day does not cause any sleep disturbances for this speedy crew of metabolisers. (Perhaps a career roaster’s dream type).
All very sound discoveries, thanks science. However, I challenge there are only 3 types of coffee drinkers.
I think we should be aware of a few other ‘types’ out there if we want to understand the entire spectrum of coffee consumption.
4. If it’s not Geisha I can’t even.
A type not based on genetics at all, rather determined by factors such as how long they’ve worked in the coffee industry; how big their coffee budget is; and an occupationally-spoiled palette for liquid gold.
5. ‘Spro and go.
Espresso drinkers are busy, dark, and intense. Don’t bother asking them to wait longer than 30-60 seconds for their caffeine hit let alone the few minutes it takes to extract a V60. They want the coffee now, and they want it black, and they want it served in a tiny little cup that makes them feel big and important.
6. Cappuccino - not all fluff, but sort of all fluff.
Probably the most approachable and whimsical of the coffee types (and a tad too talkative, TBH). Cappuccino drinkers like life with a sprinkle of sweetness. You’ll find they spend a lot of time at the espresso machine, well after they’ve received their coffee. Compliment them often, fluff out every conversation, and baristas, if you can silk the milk like a pro, expect a friend for life in this type.
7. Hashtag all the filters.
Filter coffee drinkers are calm, patient and have a deep appreciation for the finer details in life. I’d go so far as to say filter coffee types rank the highest in the group. They are also kinda high-maintenance. Believing you can’t rush perfection, filter coffee drinkers not only spend hours of their day preparing a brew, but they will often spend another couple of hours editing photos (of said brew) until the other perfect filter has helped them reach peak ‘Gram engagement.
Have we missed one? Can you think of any other types?