What would you rather have, tea or coffee? You might have been given this choice between coffee and tea before while visiting a friend’s house as a guest, by the flight attendant on a commercial airline, or even while looking up at the menu of a café. These two juggernaut beverages are some of the most consumed drinks on the face of the earth, and either industry is valued well into the billions of dollars.
In terms of popularity alone, coffee takes the cake. Apart from some standout countries like the UK, Ireland, and a few others, where tea is consumed at a greater rate than its significantly more caffeinated counterpart, coffee is consumed much more across the world.
But this isn’t a popularity contest. And while we here at MorningLoveCoffee.com have a clear bias, we also like to bring you, the reader, the facts about the benefits of each.
Let’s dive in.
Tea: An Ancient Classic
Let’s put our biases aside and start by admitting that tea just sounds healthier. It carries its own ethos and is synonymous with mindfulness and meditation. It’s largely rooted in Chinese culture and was discovered literal millennia ago. In 2737 BCE, Shen Nong (the father of Chinese medicine) was boiling water under a tree when leaves from that tree accidentally fell into his water, leading to this discovery.
Nearly five millennia later and people are still drinking tea for its health benefits and medicinal properties:
- Tea has been used to fight cancer and help with heart disease and diabetes according to various studies
- In particular, the antioxidants found in tea are found to help prevent oxidative damage in the body, which is one contributor to cancer.
- Tea has been shown to help circulation as well as lower high blood pressure in those who have it
A Fluid Ounce of Overlap
It’s well known that both Coffee and Tea contain caffeine, which many people use for its energy boosting effects. I myself have some coffee before a workout to ensure I’m at my most awake.
Some proven caffeine benefits:
- Increases memory, concentration, and alertness, especially in instances with low alertness due to lack of sleep
- Similarly, reaction time has been measured to be increased on caffeine
- Detoxes the liver and colon
- Decreases the risk of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Promotes an increase in stamina during a workout, as well as helps in relieve DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) after a workout
While some of the benefits of coffee and tea are shared due to them both containing caffeine, it’s worth noting that coffee generally contains much more caffeine, something we will discuss shortly….
Coffee: The Workplace King
It’s much more common to see workers in an office with mugs of coffee or cups from Starbucks or Dunkin’ in their hands as opposed to a cup of tea. The simple reason is that a cup of tea just doesn’t deliver the same jolt of energy that coffee does. An average cup of coffee contains 90-100 mg of caffeine. And while there are many different type of teas with varying caffeine levels, an average cup would contain roughly 50 mg, which for all intents and purposes is half of a cup of coffee.
Coffee is also used as a preworkout of sorts by much of the fitness industry, myself included. It’s all purpose in that regard. While tea does produce a more relaxed alertness, coffee can be the kick necessary for people who maybe didn’t get enough sleep the night before, or are feeling a little sluggish halfway through the day.
To put it in simple terms: the higher caffeine content in coffee compared to tea makes the aforementioned benefits of caffeine all the more potent. Here is a deep dive on the disease-fighting benefits that a caffeinated drink like coffee possesses.
Some other benefits of coffee:
- A cup of coffee contains 11% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin B
- Compounds such as potassium and manganese are also present in coffee, which build up your immune system
When it comes down to it, Coffee and Tea both have closely related benefits. What you choose to drink may be dependent on the desired effect you want.