Coffee vs Tea: Which is Better

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The battle of coffee vs tea has been raging for centuries, but there are some distinct differences that may help your decision next time you’re looking for a brew.

Coffee vs Tea

There are many similarities between coffee and tea, but there are also critical differences in terms of nutritional value and the health effects these beverages can have.

Coffee

  • Coffee is a hot beverage made by steeping ground coffee beans in hot water. A cup of coffee is packed with caffeine and nutrients.
  • Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, with an estimated 400 billion cups of it consumed each year.
  • This beverage is perhaps most well known as a morning stimulant, as a single cup of coffee contains nearly 100 milligrams of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant chemical that can increase heart rate and blood pressure, as well as boost metabolism. This can have positive effects on both weight loss efforts and energy levels, making a shot of black coffee a preferred beverage.
  • Regular black coffee often has a bitter taste, so it is commonly mixed with small amounts of cream and sugar. This can offset some of the health benefits of this beverage.
  • Coffee has been linked to reducing the risk of liver disease and liver cancer. A report published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease states that caffeine may help stimulate cognition and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Tea

  • Tea can come in many forms, but the most commonly consumed varieties are made from the same plant.
  • Brewed from the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis, traditional tea is a comparable beverage to coffee in terms of its uses; many people start their day with a cup of tea, although it does contain a smaller amount of caffeine than coffee.
  • Even normal tea comes in different varieties, such as white, green, black, red, and oolong. These can have varying levels of caffeine, depending on how highly oxidized the leaves are. Even the most caffeinated teas, though, do not contain as much caffeine as coffee.
  • Tea has a milder flavor than coffee, although black tea can be slightly astringent; tea can also be consumed with milk and sugar.
  • Tea, particularly green tea, is rich in polyphenolic compounds and antioxidants, including catechins. Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate, a powerful chemical that has been linked to everything from a lower risk of cancer to the prevention of diabetes. However, studies need to verify these health claims.
  • Tea drinkers also enjoy slower rates of bone loss and tend to age at a slower rate than coffee drinkers. Drinking excessive amounts of tea is connected to low iron absorption, but other than that, negative side effects are rare.

Generally speaking, both tea and coffee can be beneficial for your overall health, but as a drink that you can enjoy for your entire life with a minimum of side effects, tea tends to be favored.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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