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Why does temperature effect the taste of beverages?

Specifically, how does the temperature for example mask certain tastes ie filtered vs unfiltered water taste very similar at colder temp and Is easily distinguishable at room temp?

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This question is surely better suited to a different SE... Generally speaking though, taste is often affected through temperature by changes in volatiles (i.e. things that evaporate). Ice cream, for example, generally tastes better when you let it warm up a bit. –  AdamRedwine Jul 29 '12 at 20:43
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closed as off topic by Qmechanic, David Z Jul 30 '12 at 22:39

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I think the question is too general to give any terribly useful answer.

Most of what we consider taste is actually smell i.e. it's the detection of volatile chemicals from the food in the nose. The volatility of many chemicals found in food changes a lot over the 0C to body temperature range, and this would have a big effect on taste.

Many foods contain fat and this melts over the zero to body temp range. This probably affects texture more than taste, but it may also affect volatiles dissolved in the fat. A good example is to try and eat pasta sauce straight from the fridge. If the sauce contains any appreciable amount of fat it usually tastes disgusting :-)

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Specifically, how does the temperature for example mask certain tastes ie filtered vs unfiltered water taste very similar at colder temp and Is easily distinguishable at room temp? –  Argus Jul 30 '12 at 14:00
    
Speculatively, it might also be salt receptors on the tongue activated more at higher temperature. –  Ron Maimon Jul 30 '12 at 14:20
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