Here is Audun's explanation of how why fat content plays a role in the way we perceive a cup of cappuccino or other milk-based coffee drink. He couldn't fit in a comment to my last post.
"Fat doesn't have any of the usual taste characteristics -sweet, sour, bitter and salty, but yet it is important for the taste of food and drinks. This is because the taste buds can react to chemicals that is in solution. Some chemicals are soluble in aquous solutions and other chemicals are soluble in fat. When there's more fat in, for example, the milk in a cappucino, it makes more of the chemicals available for the taste buds. We taste MORE. Coffee contains hundreds of aromatic chemicals. Another thing about espresso: Regular drip coffee is an aquous solution, while the crema of an espresso contains lipids (fat) which makes us taste more of the aromatic chemicals. Fat also contributes a lot to the general mouth feel we have when we taste something. Taken to the extreme, the mouthfeel can be too dominating; otherwise we would make cappucinos with cream, if we just considered the theory of fat and solubility :-). Audun". 4/20/2004 08:04:00 PM