Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Black coffee lovers, science says you all share this unusual personality trait

black coffee.png

Ah, black coffee: there’s just something so impossibly glamorous about taking your morning cuppa as “black as night” (and “sweet as sin”, to quote Neil Gaiman).

When you ditch the dairy, all of those gloriously bitter, roasted, smooth flavours are amplified to the max – and the caffeine hits your system just that extra bit quicker, making it the bevvy of choice for any dedicated night owl.

But, as it turns out, there’s an even darker side to our dark drink than we realised.

Yup, you guessed it: people who take their coffee black are far more likely to be psychopaths.

Read more: Here’s how to sample this year’s hottest (and hippest) coffee trends

study published in the journal Appetite, has found a genuine correlation between your average cuppa joe and “everyday sadism” (aka a desire to see or inflict pain upon others).

To come up with these results, researchers asked more than 1,000 adults to give their food and flavour preferences.

They were then asked to complete four separate personality questionnaires, which measured their levels of aggression, Machiavellianism, emotional stability and tendency towards ‘everyday sadism’.

This involved rating on a scale how much they agreed or disagreed with statements such as “When making fun of someone, it is especially amusing if they realise what I'm doing” and “I enjoy tormenting people”.

Read more: This infographic teaches you how to perfectly make 38 types of coffee

Somewhat worryingly, people who enjoy black coffee tend to be far more likely to display “malevolent personality traits”.

And it’s not just espresso addicts that fall under this umbrella: this is also true of folks who enjoy gin and tonics, radishes, dark chocolate, celery and citrus fruits.

Do you take your coffee black?

Do you take your coffee black?

It’s not the first experiment that’s proven a correlation between taste and personality: in 2011, researchers revealed that people who enjoy all things sweet tend to be more agreeable, friendly and compassionate than those who don’t.

“Our results suggest there is a robust link between sweet tastes and pro-social behavior,” study researcher Michael D. Robinson, of North Dakota State University, said at the time.

“Such findings reveal that metaphors can lead to unique and provocative predictions about people’s behaviours and personality traits.”

All in all, it seems as if we really are what we eat (and drink) – although it’s worth remembering that being a psychopath ain’t all bad.

Read more: 13 unusual coffee orders for serious caffeine nerds

Oxford research psychologist Kevin Dutton has found that their bold temperaments makes psychopaths more likely to be intelligent, assertive, cool under pressure, and far less likely to procrastinate – which naturally makes them strong leaders.

That’s certainly given us food for thought. We’re off to nibble on a chocolate bar, if you need us…

Images: iStock


sleep heatwave.jpg

Why a hot drink before bed is the key to sleeping in a heatwave

lisa judrow phoebe buffay.jpg

Friends creator finally responds to dark theory about Phoebe Buffay

life pleasures.jpg

These 30 little everyday things are guaranteed to lift your spirits


This gin is one of the best in the world – and costs under £10

It keeps topping the polls in industry taste tests, but leaves you change from a tenner

by Amy Swales
27 Jul 2017

These are the UK's best bars for indulging your love of gin

G&T, anyone...?

by Jenny Tregoning
27 Jul 2017

Pink gin has arrived to make our summer 100% better

Our go-to tipple, infused with strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants

by Anna Brech
27 Jul 2017

An espresso martini festival is coming to the UK this summer

All aboard for an homage to the suave and punchy concoction

by Anna Brech
26 Jul 2017

How a 'coffee nap' can supercharge your work day

Brew up the caffeine and then hit snooze

by Anna Brech
26 Jul 2017

The world’s best cocktail bar is officially in London

Boasting botany-inspired cocktails, dreamy interiors and stunning views

by Moya Crockett
25 Jul 2017

Feed your inner Morticia Addams at these gothic London eateries

And not a unicorn in sight

by The Stylist web team
20 Jul 2017

Designer lattes are the new coffee trend taking over Instagram

Meet the new drink du jour

by The Stylist web team
20 Jul 2017

Bon Appétit! 15 of the best French eateries across the UK

Think quick croissants, boozy brunches and hearty Gallic meals

by Nicola Colyer
14 Jul 2017

Haagen-Dazs has launched a boozy ice-cream collection

Vodka key lime pie ice cream, anyone?

by Jasmine Andersson
14 Jul 2017