Your taste buds can be trained. The typical cuisine of your country, your region or your family has an influence on your preferences. The more often we eat an ingredient in childhood, the more likely we are to accept its taste. But even if in childhood a certain taste is not tolerated, this can change with time. For example: some children don't like olives, but by trying them again and again, they can literally learn to love the taste. This familiarisation effect is called "mere exposure". Bitter drinks such as coffee, black tea and beer are usually popular with adults, whereas babies and toddlers are very reluctant to consume bitter substances. This is an evolutionary measure of protection essential to survival, because most poisonous plants have a bitter taste. Certain tastes can even give us an instant sense of well-being, security and belonging. The feelings we associate with a taste can to a large extent be ascribed to scent. In the brain, scent acts on the limbic system – that part in which emotions are processed and linked to experiences. As soon as our nose detects a familiar scent, we remember the emotion that we experienced in a particular situation. We are often unaware of the enormous impact that scent has on our lives and how strongly it affects our everyday existence. Every time you try something new, you store emotions in your brain. This is yet another reason to be open-minded: when we come into contact with other cultures, it offers us an opportunity to bring exotic ingredients to our table, our plate and our cup. For those keen on experimenting, there lies a wealth of discoveries in the carefully composed Avoury range too – with out-of-the-ordinary teas making it easy for you to try new taste combinations. ROOTS OF INDIA by Avoury, for example, combines ginger root with the spicy, slightly bitter turmeric root and fresh lemongrass, thereby evoking many facets of its country of origin. And if you want to stretch the experiment, why not drink extraordinary teas as an accompaniment to extraordinary meals: in so-called tea pairing, the flavours of a tea and a meal are deliberately combined in order to guide our taste buds onto new journeys. By confronting the unknown, we can combine a well-loved taste with new, exciting notes – and the result might just be your new favourite taste!