If you like your coffee black, you may be someone who prefers strong flavours, takes good care of their health, or just wants to drink their coffee the way it’s supposed to be drunk.
Or, you may be a psychopath.
At least, that’s according to a new study published in the journal Appetite, which found a correlation between a love of black coffee and sadist or psychopathic tendencies.
The research surveyed more than 1,000 adults, asking them to give their food and flavour preferences. The participants then took a series of personality tests assessing antisocial personality traits, such as sadism, narcissism and psychopathy.
The study, carried out by researchers at the University of Innsbruck, found that a preference for bitter flavours was linked to psychopathic behaviour.
The closest association was between bitter foods and “everyday sadism” – that is to say, enjoyment of inflicting moderate levels of pain on others.
And it isn’t just black coffee that should ring alarm bells – the study also found participants who reported a fondness for radishes, celery and tonic water were also more likely to exhibit antisocial traits.
This is not the first time research has found a link between taste and personality.
Previous studies have shown sweet taste experiences increase “agreeableness” and eagerness to help, while bitter taste experiences increase hostility and elicit harsher moral judgments.
The researchers Christina Sagioglou and Tobias Greitemeyer believe this association may “become chronic” in people who have a strong liking for bitter flavours, and lead them to have more hostile personalities.
So if your next Tinder date orders strong, black coffee at the end of a meal, or reaches over for a stick of celery, you have been warned.