Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
February 17, 2024 ·  2 min read

Research Shows that Psychopaths Might Prefer To Drink Their Coffee Black

How do you take your coffee? If you skip the cream and sugar, your preference may align with psychopathic with sadistic tendencies.

A 2015 study from the University of Innsbruck in Austria found that a preference for black coffee and other bitter tastes is a common trait and trend for both sadistic and psychopathic personality traits [1].

In this study, almost 1,000 adults were surveyed for their coffee preferences. They also were asked to take four different personality tests which would assess their Machiavellian traits, such as narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, and aggression. This study was published in the journal of Appetite.

This research found that those who enjoy a more sugary coffee with cream or milk, tend to have personality traits such as sympathy, cooperation, and kindness. These people tend to be more agreeable in general. Whereas those who enjoy bitter tastes are associated with more malevolent personality traits with relation to everyday sadism and psychopathy.  

There are also other reasons why someone would choose black coffee, they’re not all psychopaths. Typically those who are more health conscious, lactose intolerant, or even vegan would any avoid added sugars and/or dairy. Our taste preferences are also majorly influenced by our culture and personal experiences. Tastes change over time, as we acquire many with age. That’s why most people don’t like coffee the first time they try it.

While the term “bitter” is subjective, these findings do present an association between a taste for bitter things and the Machiavellian traits. We should, of course, interpret these findings with caution. You don’t need to run out from your next coffee date if they skip the milk and sugar. There are probably better ways to identify personality traits.


  1. Individual differences in bitter taste preferences are associated with antisocial personality traits
  2. Bad News, Coffee Drinkers: You Might Be a Psychopath if You Like Your Coffee Black
  3. Validation that people who drink black coffee are psychopaths