Just wondered why my black moccomaster filter coffee from bean tastes so good with sugary foods like donuts and ice cream.

  • A scholarly article on taste bud physiology would be nice. We know caffeine works on the brain, but many decaf-coffee consumers prefer black too. I suspect the magic is at the tongue, not in the brain.
    – lbf
    May 25, 2019 at 22:32

1 Answer 1


I recently visited a coffee festival in Amsterdam and there were some discussion on this topic, or more generally about the effects of caffeine on our perception of taste. Apparently, research has shown that caffeine makes it harder for us to taste sweetness. After a bit of googling i founds the study I think they were referring to here. The abstract gives you pretty good idea about the study so I won't paraphrase here.

This perception of sweet food as less sweet apparently makes us crave and enjoy sweets more, which might explain what you have experienced.

Another explanation I've heard is that sweet food compensates for the bitterness of coffee but I couldn't find any scientific evidence for that :)

  • nice ... but it does not explain the specific effect of black coffee
    – lbf
    May 25, 2019 at 15:52
  • @lbf you mean that it doesn't show this effect for coffee specifically and potentially any caffeinated drink/caffeine tabs could have the same effect?
    – schvaba
    May 27, 2019 at 9:36

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