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Sweet Nutrition



What role does nutrition play in sensory perception of coffee or any food?

After reading a September 2012 article on 10 surprising dangers of vitamins and supplements, I stopped taking my usual daily calcium and multi-vitamin supplements only to notice a drastic change in my perception of coffee.

The Ecuador Organic Espindola that I’d roasted up and been enjoying suddenly tasted unripe with notes of unripe apricot where before the coffee had been sweet and balanced. Concerned, I stopped at a coffee shop to test my senses. The shot of espresso (Verve Sermon, I believe) tasted fine, but the V60 prep of the Verve Colombia Reserve El Faldon also tasted unripe.

This was confounding, where was the sweetness. My perception of salt, sour, and bitter seemed unaffected. I wasn’t sure if I were getting sick, possibly affected by allergies, or what was going on. In the back of my mind, I knew I’d quit vitamins a day or two before, but didn’t think it would make that much difference. At work, I noticed that a clementine I’d brought into work with me tasted sour, but I couldn’t be sure if it was unripe or just my perception of it so I sampled chocolate and Jolly Rancher candy and could get a sensation of sweetness, but the subtle sweetness of coffee eluded me.

This pattern continued another day or two until I resumed my vitamins, and the sweetness in the Ecuador coffee returned.  I’m curious if other’s have noticed this with their own taste perception?


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