This might be one for you biochemists and doctors out there.
I’ve noticed that iced coffee tastes more bitter than warm-hot coffee, with no, or the same amount of sugar added. I was thinking “why is this?”
and what came to me was that it’s the same thing as people drinking vodka on ice to lessen or deaden the taste of the alcohol.
Now, I know that one is cooler and one is warmer when the taste is less palatable. This makes me think that maybe the different tastebuds or types of taste are affected differently by temperature.
My next theory is that the iced vodka deadens the tastebuds, but the coffee isn’t cold enough for that effect, maybe? But that doesn’t make so much sense because their temperatures aren’t that different, and coffee with no sugar tastes much more bitter cold than warm, although maybe I’m so used to drinking spirits (not vodka, not really my drink, but other spirits) on ice that I don’t notice the burning tasteas much as I do the bitterness with coffee.
This led me to another idea, and I like this one much better. My thinking is that it takes more sugar to sweeten colder coffee than it does warm coffee because the effectiveness of the sugar in sweetening is related to its solubility, which decreases as the temperature is lowered. The weakness I see with this idea is that, as long as there’s not so much suger as to create a supersaturated solution (and begin precipitating out) when the temperature is lowered, the solubility shouldn’t decrease enough for the amount of sugar dissolved in the coffee to change enough to be perceptible.
So, unless the sweetening effect of sugar decreases (or the taste buds more readily register bitterness) as temperature is lowered, I don’t understand why I need to add more (quite a bit more) sugar to my iced coffee than it my regular coffee, given I tend to drink both black.
Help, or suggestions, anyone?