Posts tagged ‘tea’

Some People are Genetically Predisposed to Dislike Broccoli

By Chad Upton | Editor

Broccoli and brussels sprouts are popular vegetables for kids to feed the dog under the table.

My brother and I had a really smart dog growing up, which must be why he didn’t like broccoli either. Although, he always liked to do what we did, so I don’t know if he actually disliked it or if he just liked to make the same face when he ate broccoli too. You know the face, when you squeeze your eyes shut and use your tongue to scrap any residual taste off the roof of your mouth.

Getting kids to eat their vegetables can be a tough task, but there are plenty of adults who don’t like vegetables either. So why do some people like vegetables such as broccoli and other people passionately dislike them?

There are many reasons why people dislike vegetables. My brother and I always said it was the texture, not the taste. But, it was the taste and it’s scientifically proven.

There is an organic compound called phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) that tastes very bitter. Well, it’s very bitter to some people, it’s tasteless to others.  About 70% of people have genetic traits that make them sensitive to the bitter taste of PTC, the rest of the population does not taste it.

While PTC itself is not found in food, there are a number of similar compounds which are. Many vegetables from the cabbage family (broccoli, cauliflower, horseradish, wasabi, mustard, brussels sprouts) contain these compounds.

Additionally, people who do not smoke and do not drink coffee or tea, taste PTC more than those who do consume coffee, tea and cigarettes. One big group of the population who doesn’t consume coffee, tea and cigarettes is children.

So, when you see kids who passionately dislike some vegetables, they may actually taste something that you do not.

Broken Secrets

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Photo: Jules: Stonesoup (cc)

Sources: Indiana Public Media, Science Daily, Wikipedia (Broccoli, Brassica, Brassicaceae, Cruciferous, Kale, Phenylthiocarbamide)

October 1, 2010 at 4:00 am 17 comments

Tea Contains Less Caffeine Than Coffee

By Chad Upton

This is one of those things that a lot of people know and a lot people get wrong.

Most coffee has 60-100 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Here’s a list of the most popular coffees and their caffeine content:

Coffee (16oz) Caffeine (mg)
Starbucks 330
Caffè Americano (Espresso) 225
Tim Hortons 160
McDonald’s 145
Store Brand (Drip) 145
Dunkin Donuts 143
Store Brand (Brewed) 108
Decaf 2-5

As you can see, Starbucks coffee is the strongest with 330 mg of caffeine in a 16oz serving. It is followed by Starbucks Caffè Americano, which has three shots of espresso in it and more than 100 mg less caffeine in the same size serving. Most of the other brands have about 110-160 mg in a 16oz serving..

So, how does that compare to tea? Let’s have a look:

Tea (16oz) Caffeine (mg)
Starbucks Tazo Chai 94
Black 90
Green 40
White 30
Starbucks Tazo Red 0

As we can see, Tea generally has much less caffeine than coffee.

Of course, there are always exceptions. There are some coffees that have less caffeine than most teas, particularly decaf coffee. That might be an unfair comparison since decaf is a man-made product. Although, it might not be that way forever. Caffeine free coffee beans have been discovered, although they’re too bitter for most people’s taste buds.

There are also some black teas that have up to 140 mg of caffeine per 16 oz, which is more than the same size coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts (or Dunkin’ Coffee as they call it in Spain).

Dunkin Donuts - Barcelona, Spain

There are many other caffeinated beverages that are popular, how do those stack up?

Product Serving (oz) Caffeine (mg)
Jolt Energy 24 280
Red Bull 8 80
Mountain Dew 12 55
Mountain Dew Code Red 12 54
Diet Coke 12 45
Coca-Cola Classic 12 35
Sprite 12 0
7-Up 12 0

Caffeine is found in many other foods, such as chocolate. It is also found in guarana beans, which are very similar to coffee beans according to Brett’s Energy Drinks. So, be careful of those guarana filled energy drinks, caffeine is a hell of a drug.

Thanks to Kristen for suggesting this one and Ian for adding front lines insight.

Broken Secrets

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Sources: Mayo Clinic, Brett’s Energy Drinks, Energy Fiend,

July 13, 2010 at 5:00 am 16 comments


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