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What does your coffee say about you?

Study shows links between preferred coffee drinks and personality

(Samantha Reichman/CNN)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Java, coffee, cup o' joe, no matter what you call it, it's a big part of the morning routine for most people.

But it's not how much you drink, but rather how you drink it, that's the focus of a study that examined the patterns between coffee choices and personality.

[WEB EXTRA: Behind-The-Scenes With Morning Team | Coffee-Personality Chart

Psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula, who conducted the study, said what you're drinking says a lot about who you are.

"It gives us a lot of insight into sort of how a person goes through the world, how they may respond to stress," said Durvasula. "The quality of some of their relationships, and frankly, some of their choices."

Durvasula said while it's not the most scientific of studies, having been based on her research and studying 1,000 coffee drinkers and a list of personality traits, there is some truth to the findings.

"Whatever choice we make has some meaning to us," said Durvasula. "We're not going to just throw $5 away on something that we don't want."

For example, she said those who prefer to drink their coffee black tend to be more matter-of-fact, abrupt, and set in their ways. If lattes are your thing, you may tend to be more neurotic and like to please other people. When it comes to frozen or blended coffee drinks, those people tend to be more youthful and spontaneous, and may not make the healthiest choices. Those who drink instant coffee on a regular basis may be prone to procrastination, may be too laid-back, but also are traditional and take life as it comes.

"We did find that when you're sort of getting a little fussy with your order, sort of half-caf super soy, you know, this, that and the other, only-when-the-moon-is-full kind of orders, there did tend to be sort of a slightly more selfish and controlling bent to those coffee drinkers," said Durvasula. "People just want things the way they want them and that's going to extend to other parts of their lives. They also may not care that there may be 20 people in line behind them, they want what they want when they want it. Someone may just say, 'Give me my black coffee and I'm out of here', while someone else is still willing to spend the six minutes it may take them to give this very specific coffee order."

We asked Durvasula what it meant if you don't drink coffee at all, and she said most people choose not to either because they're particularly health-conscious, or they simply don't like it.

So how do Central Florida coffee drinkers measure up?

First up, a latte drinker. We told her those who like lattes tend to be neurotic, they like to please people and are often indecisive when making decisions.

"I could, at times, say I have a neurosis or two," said Elizabeth Hughes. "I would not say I am indecisive. Yes, I do engage in happiness at times pleasing other people, yes, I do. So it's split."

We asked another latte drinker the same question, and if she thought the assessment was accurate about her.

"Two out of three. I won't tell you which ones," said Rhonda Beale.

Tony Nguyen told Local 6 his standard order is a Java Chip Frappuccino. Then-- we told him the study said Frappuccino drinkers typically will try anything once, are trendsetters, are adventurous and courageous and do not often make healthy choices.

"Yeah, that's me, that's me," said Nguyen.

But not everyone agreed with the findings.

Greg Galloway, who usually orders a nonfat iced latte with vanilla, said while he likes to please people, no one has ever called him indecisive or neurotic.

"I think it's kind of silly, if you ask me," said Galloway. "But I don't know, if you're consistent and get the same thing every day, maybe they can do some sort of match on that."

Durvasula said the study won't describe everyone exactly, it's more of an indicator similar to an astrological sign. However, she said there's the potential for the coffee analysis to be a little more accurate, only because people choose how they drink their coffee, while they cannot choose when they are born.

"The idea that a latte is a little bit more of a tarot card than just a beverage, that's sort of fun," said Durvasula. "It could become kind of a dating tool, like if you know what kind of coffee someone drinks, on that first coffee date, you could say, 'Hmmm, I don't think there's going to be a second date, due to the fact that you ordered that black coffee.' So there you go, maybe there's all kinds of real-world applications."
 


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