Food for Thought

Coffee, Tea, or BOTH?

December 2, 2015

You’re waking up to your alarm clock…the morning is still a bit of a blur…you drag yourself into the kitchen and which elixir of life do you reach for? Coffee or Tea? It seems like most people are proponents of one or the other when it comes to waking up with a mug of Coffee vs. cup of Tea—and believe me, I get it! I’m a coffee drinker and my wife a tea fanatic! Granted we both can appreciate the latter every now and again, the morning routine is pretty set in stone.

I notice a lot of people choose tea over coffee for “health” reasons, while other’s choose coffee for an extra boost of caffeine, but I wonder…how much “extra” is that boost and what’s to be gained “health-wise ” from a cup of tea vs. coffee?


Photo Credit: Ben Torode

Let’s talk coffee! Taste-wise it can be nutty, even chocolaty—sometimes with floral or citrus notes. Its complex flavor is entirely based on the type and origin of the coffee beans it’s brewed from. And despite popular belief, coffee has a ton of possible health benefits! In fact, coffee’s the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet (black tea close second)! And studies have related reduced risk of heart diseases, insomnia, Alzheimers, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia for people that drink 1-3 cups of coffee a day. But the hands down most important factor that keeps us reaching for more…is caffeine! Coffee contains 2-3x more caffeine than tea. So what do people find so beneficial about tea?


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 Possibly, it’s that tea has 2-3x less caffeine that coffee! Not everyone needs the same morning jolt. That and taste-wise, tea is much more mild. Black tea tastes slightly nutty and earthy, very mild compared the acidic taste of coffee. Green tea is even more mild and earthy, but also has hints of spearmint. Herbal tea, funny enough, isn’t tea at all. It’s actually dried roots, herbs, and flowers. Sometimes it can contain tealeaves, but when it comes to today’s topic of tea, we’re talking black tea or green tea.

Both made from the same leaves of an evergreen plant, just processed differently to determine whether they become black or green tea leaves. Both packed with anti-oxidants, green tea slight more since its leaves are less processed. And believe it or not, BOTH contain similar levels of caffeine! The jig is up; green tea has caffeine—much less than coffee, but caffeine nonetheless! Health-wise, tea also has a bunch of benefits. Studies show consuming tea may reduce cholesterol levels, help prevent blood clotting, lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and even fight inflammation, cancer, and allergies.

 Like anything, all in moderation…but when is comes to which you prefer…who says you can’t have both?

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  • João Correia December 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Coffee, coffee for sure! Not really a fan of tea tho

    • Deepak January 2, 2016 at 9:40 am

      While in Myanmar, we found a drink called Sunday Coffee Tea, a mix of instant coffee, tea, creamer, and sugar. It tastes pretty good actually. Cannot find it in the US but I think ESI Foods exports to India and Singapore.

  • Grace December 2, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I’m definitely a coffee drinker; I have a Columbian blend that’s really delicious! My mom, on the other hand, has always been a tea drinker. Her favorite -and even I have to admit, a favorite in our entire household- is a Russian Czar Nicholas black tea that’s simply delicious with toast or cookies. 🙂

  • Ana December 6, 2015 at 5:03 am

    Definitely tea. Not only because it tastes sooooo good but because I don’t like coffe at all. I think it’s the flavour, too bitter for me.