There’s a reason you’re hard-pressed to enjoy a hot cup of coffee without an accompanying bear claw, donut, or a cinnamon bun (drooling yet?).
In the study, the scientists gave one group of people decaffeinated coffee with 200mg of caffeine added (strong cup o’ Joe) and another group straight decaf. Both brews had identical amounts of added sugar. Those who drank the caffeinated cup rated it as less sweet than did the straight decaf folks.
In the second phase of the study, participants were asked to rank how alert they felt, and guess how much caffeine was in their coffee.
Interestingly enough, men and women reported the same boost in alertness.
“When you drink caffeinated coffee, it will change how you perceive taste—for however long that effect lasts,” lead study author Robin Dando, Ph.D., said in a press release. “So if you eat food directly after drinking a caffeinated coffee or other caffeinated drinks, you will likely perceive food differently.”