General Question

robmandu's avatar

How do you acquire a taste?

Asked by robmandu (21293points) July 29th, 2008

Beer, coffee, bourbon, British humour… they’re all acquired tastes. How did you come by yours?

You see, I’d like to acquire a taste for tea… but so far, no luck. Just nausea about three sips into any cup. What do you recommend?

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41 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

@Rob: win a few, lose a few. I am still trying to control my gag reflex when I try lima beans, liver and whiskey . I loathe beer and avocados in spite of a big effort to overcome distaste.

simone54's avatar

Take a nice sip of it. Let it sit in your mouth. Roll it around to your different taste buds. Think about all the different flavors going on.

tinyfaery's avatar

Someone once told me I’d acquire a taste for vegetables once my body correlated health with the veggies. Bull****. Broccoli and beets are still gross. However, I notice my tastes change from time to time, but I cannot say why. There are so many teas; keep trying until you find one you like. Or just stop trying; you don’t have to drink tea.

trudacia's avatar

l always wonder why I like things now that I hated as a kid. Like blue cheese for example. I hated it for so long but now I love it so much I recently made a Stilton cheesecake.

@tinyfaery I always wondered why people hate beets. They are so sweet and delicious. Yummy with blue cheese too..


trudacia's avatar

huh.. Weird iPhone glitch. I can’t edit my previous response and it seems to have added some extra characters. Off topic, sorry.

kevbo's avatar

Brute force. Gin.

janbb's avatar

You could try some of the herb teas – like mandarin orange spice – that have a flavor of something else. If you get started on them, you may move on to the harder stuff in time.

Jasmine tea might also be a pleasant “starter” tea.

marinelife's avatar

How do you take your coffee, rob, and what kind of coffee do you like? What types of teas have you tried? What other types of things do you like to drink? I can then try to suggest some other possibilities.

happyprincess24's avatar


it takes seven trys all in a row for someone to accept an unfamliar food

also add LOTs of sugar and cream

Poser's avatar

Mix it with something you really like. Beer?

gailcalled's avatar

Rob: 1)Why bother? 2) Have you tried Earl Grey tea? I drink mine with skim milk and unsweetened but the tea itself is aromatic and has both the aromatic hint of jasmine and caffeine.

@Happy; what’s the attribution for the seven tries? I could try liver 1000 times and still gag.

tinyfaery's avatar

Someone once told me red rooibos tea is the “coffee drinkers tea”. You might try that tea.

Sloane2024's avatar

Taking into consideration that one’s tastebuds change every 7 years, it’s not suprising that some people discover they quite enjoy a particular food that they absolutely detested as a child. I hated sushi at the age of 8, but when I tried it again at 15, it instigated a raw fish addiction. I’ve been able to acquire a taste for many vegetables and fruits over the years, but English and black-eyed peas are 2 I just can’t seem to enjoy… Dont keep forcing tea on yourself… Give it a little while and try again in a few years. Good luck!!

Lovelocke's avatar

Some people have poor taste (as far as aprreciation goes). I could try a bit of something and just about give you the recipie, but there’s some who can’t tell the difference between McDonald’s fries and homemade fries.

You don’t have to like everything: Of all things, I can’t stand olives. But, give me a pound of potatoes and a well stocked spice rack and I’ll make you shed a single delicious tear.

gailcalled's avatar

I had lunch today with my 30 month old grand nephew. Apparently at the moment he eats almost nothing but unbuttered popcorn. And he is looking plump and rosy.

And as a kid, I used to run from cooked fruit, as in apple pie. Now I have to be restrained.

And I think that cooled, sliced cooked beets, walnuts and watercress with a nice vinaigrette makes one of the nicest summer salads imaginable.

srtlhill's avatar

@gailcalled Lima beans are crummy. I’m on your side of that one crummy

tinyfaery's avatar

@gail Beets = blech! Avocados = yummy. But, I totally agree with you on the whiskey.

gailcalled's avatar

@tiny; I really really want to like avocados; they are good for you and they require no cooking (which I am hating more and more, having cooked for the multitudes over decades.) But I can’t seem to manage. However, I have finally trained myself not to think of cooked mushrooms as tasting like rubber bands.

And I now love brocolli and cauliflower….loathed them as a kid.

nikipedia's avatar

How long are you steeping your tea? I find if I oversteep mine, it makes me queasy too.

I think the best way to acquire a taste for something is to try a really, really, really good version of it. Isn’t that how everyone starts drinking coffee? (That, or a really brutal final exams week.)

And sometimes it’s hopeless. I’ve spent 10 years trying to acquire a taste for tomatoes. No luck. (If I find them in a sandwich, I’ll eat them anyway and resent them the whole time.)

gailcalled's avatar

@Nik; Life without tomatoes? I believe you but send my deepest sympathies.

robmandu's avatar

Thanks for all the great replies and advice! To answer some of the questions put back to me…

> Mostly have attempted sweet tea… I do want to be a good southern boy after all.

> Have also tried the black, green, and herbal teas. Don’t make ‘em myself, but rely on “experts” to do so on my behalf. Of those, green tea is least likely to nauseate me, and the taste is, um, blah… but not exactly bad.

> I like my coffee medium light and pretty sweet. That said, I don’t know if I’ve ever really tried a superb, fresh, not-stale coffee…

marinelife's avatar

@gc It really is chacun a son gout. You boke my heart with your talk about the noble fungus, mushrooms, which I adore in almost any form.

janbb's avatar

It sounds like tea is probably not your thing. Why do you want to like it?

flameboi's avatar

You just get used to it (wine, cigarretes/cigars, scotch, champagne, coffee, sashimi, vodka, gin, I love all of this now) You need to train yourself and understand why you like it, after you know everything you can about what you are going to try, you can decide if you are ready for such experience…

marinelife's avatar

@rob I will take you tea tasting any time. If you are having Lipton in a bag, you are not experiencing tea. Also, many people do not know how to brew tea properly, as niki pointed out, which can make it awful.

But you may just not like tea. Me? I have tried Vegemite a lot, and I hate it. Then there is scrapple. Yuck. Haggis. Ugh. My husband feels that way about grits, which he says taste like wallpaper paste.

Lovelocke's avatar

OH hey! I totally forgot to include this in my original reply, but go out to a Starbucks or something and order yourself a Spiced Chai (“shy”) Tea Latte. Say yes when they ask if you want milk in it.

Very good tea, and I’ll often order it when I’m there. If you can’t make it happen with Chai Tea, then it’s time to move it along :)

gailcalled's avatar

Rob: have you tried fresh loose tea that has been brewed? It’s the difference between starting with the whole coffee bean, grinder, coffee maker vs. coffee from a vending machine.

@marina; what, pray tell, is Vegemite? (And the classic Phllly desert was orange sherbet with chocolate sauce. Not a good idea – like mashed potatoes w. catsup.)

Knotmyday's avatar

@Marina- I’ve had Vegemite, and I concur. If you want a similar taste, chew a beef bouillon cube.
Still not a fan of chickpeas, despite the many times I’ve tried; but now I can choke a lima bean or two down.

Lovelocke's avatar

I think Lima Beans are pretty fab. Hell, I don’t know why: I guess it really does depend on what you’ve collectively eaten or what you like/dislike. Like I said earlier, people think I’m nuts for not liking Olives, but even the smell gags me.

If there’s one tiny chopped piece of olive hiding in my supreme pizza (with lots of junk on top, basically) my whole mouth becomes polarized once it comes in contact with olive, and I’ll basically choke down whatever I’m eating and have to wait a few moments for the nightmare to subside before continuing.

marinelife's avatar

@Lovelocke I love olives, but I have always wondered how they decided to put them in vats of lye to render them edible.

gailcalled's avatar

Marina: say again? Lye?

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m now glad I have always hated olives. No lye for me please!

marinelife's avatar

“Use olives that are mature but still green. Purchase Iye in the “cleanser” section of your grocery store.* Rinse the olives with water and place them in large glass or porcelain jars; then determine how much lye solution you need to cover the amount of olives you have. Add a solution that has been mixed at the ratio of 1 quart water (at 65 to 70 degrees F.) to 1 tablespoon Iye. Soak 12 hours.
Drain olives; then soak 12 more hours in fresh Iye solution. Drain and rinse. Cut into the largest olive; if the Iye has reached the pit, the Iye cure is complete. Rinse again and soak in cold water. (Usually two Iye baths are enough for the small Mission olives seen in specialty produce stores.) If one more bath is necessary, soak in fresh lye solution for 12 more hours; then drain and rinse with cold water. Soak the olives in fresh, cold water, changing the water three (or more) times a day for the next three days. At the end of three days, taste an olive to make sure that there is no trace of lye flavor remaining.
Next, soak the olives for at least one day in a brine solution mixed at the ratio of 6 tablespoons salt to 1 gallon water. The olives are now ready for eating. Store the rest in the brine solution in a cool, dark place, preferably the refrigerator, or marinate and store in the refrigerator. Use within two months.
* WARNING: Lye can cause serious burns. Keep lemon or vinegar handy to neutralize any lye that splashes onto the skin. If lye gets into your eyes, bathe them with running water and call your doctor. If lye is swallowed, call your doctor, drink milk or egg white, and do not induce vomiting.” Source

gailcalled's avatar

Lye is also used (or was) as a dip for stripping paint off furniture. Jeez louise.

Lovelocke's avatar

Ha… those nutty Italians. Take that, Space coyote!

tinyfaery's avatar

Don’t swallow lye, but taste the olive to make sure it has no lye taste? That seems like a bad idea.

Knotmyday's avatar

Ask me no question, I’ll tell you no lye.

marinelife's avatar

@Knot Yes, but we don’t eat that.

Knotmyday's avatar

hopefully not furniture either. I have seen people chew their hair, though…

marinelife's avatar

@Knot (Me raising my hand.) From my third grade report card: Marina has a tendency to chew paper and her hair.

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