There will always be a debate on what beverage is better: Tea or Coffee? Though it is all about preference, both have pros and cons.
Coffee is a brewed beverage from roasted coffee beans. It’s harvested from the seed of berries from Coffea plants. It’s a popular drink that has a strong stimulant ingredient known as caffeine. One cup of coffee can boost your energy and you can count on it to certainly wake you up.
Tea is cultivated from the cured leaves of Camellia sinensis. It’s an aromatic beverage, which in some parts of the world are considered to have medicinal value. It’s rich in antioxidants called flavonoids which are beneficial for cardiovascular health.
To Caffeine or not to Caffeine—That’s the question
Tea has a lot of variety like oolong, green and white tea just to name a few. But black tea is the closest you can get to a cup of coffee because black tea also contains caffeine.
Caffeine is a stimulant that can either boost your energy or in some cases, give you anxiety and jitters if consumed many in one sitting. Excessive caffeine intake can also cause your blood pressure to rise. Caffeine is also diuretic, which can lead to dehydration if taken in copious amounts.
Coffee has more caffeine and packs more punch compared to black tea, but both have good amounts of antioxidants that are good for your health. A cup of coffee usually contains 200 mg of caffeine while black is just about 60 mg. The higher caffeine content of coffee is the go-to for people who need the extra boost of energy to start the day.
Both coffee and tea have similar health benefits such as anticancer and energy-boosting properties. It’s up to you to decide depending on your sensitivity to caffeine.
And this is where they differ
Coffee can give that immediate boost of energy but the downside is that the caffeine crash is not for everyone. To some, bordering unpleasant. Black tea has low caffeine content but delivers a smoother boost, long-lasting energy. Others however may not like the slow boost on what black tea has to offer.
Black tea has properties that can reduce cavities and prevent the formation of bacteria which can cause bad breath. Coffee is high in polyphenol that fights plaque, however, because of certain compounds, yellow stains in the teeth are more apparent with coffee than black tea.
The taste profile is also different between Black tea and Coffee. Because Coffee is roasted and brewed, its taste is naturally more bold and bitter. Black tea’s taste is expressed on how long it’s steeped. Over steeping leads to a more robust yet bitter taste. Coffee has a chocolatey or caramel flavor and leaves a fruity aftertaste. Black tea’s traits however are often described as earthy bitterness and have a smokey overtone.
Both Black tea and Coffee also share negative effects if consumed without moderation. Black tea contains Tannins(polyphenols) which inhibits your body’s absorption of iron. You may want to consult your doctor if you have an iron deficiency.
Coffee on the other hand is more acidic compared to tea variants. Excess acid intake may cause discomfort and digestive concerns to some when drinking coffee.
Not one is over the other
Even though Coffee in large amounts can trigger blood pressure, both Coffee and Black tea have antioxidants that can protect against cancers and heart conditions. Black tea and Coffee have energy-boosting properties. It’s up to you whether you need an immediate power boost or a smooth gradual long-lasting energy.
Black tea and Coffee may also contribute to weight loss. Studies show that both have different compounds that help your metabolism to shed fat.
The caffeine in the coffee and Tea helps burn calories. Coffee has more caffeine and it can burn up to about 15% calories in a span of 3hrs after intake. Black tea has theaflavin which inhibits enzymes that are key roles in your metabolism.
Other kinds of coffee and tea you may want to try
Decaffeinated coffees or decaf, are coffee that has significantly less caffeine compared to regular coffee and even black or green tea. People who limit their caffeine intake opt to choose decaf coffee because it’s just like regular coffee without caffeine.
The taste and smell of a decaffeinated coffee are a little milder and the color is sometimes different depending on how the coffee is processed. Caffeine in coffee beans can be removed by washing with solvent or removed through charcoal filtration also known as the Swiss Water Process.
The benefits of decaffeinated coffee are almost similar to regular coffee. Both are loaded with antioxidants, reduce type 2 diabetes, and protect against age-related mental decline.
Green tea is an alternative to Black tea. Both are made from Camellia sinensis plants but differ in the cultivation process. Black tea is oxidized while green tea is not. Green tea has much lighter color. Green tea and black tea share the same benefits to your health.
Both contain caffeine(green tea has less) that boost alertness and focus. Green tea is an excellent source of epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG which protects your brain and liver from bacterial cells. EGCG is also known to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and reduce the risk of cancer. If you want less caffeine tea with potent antioxidants, choose Green Tea.
Preparation for Coffee involves 3 steps:
- Coffee beans must be roasted
- The roasted coffee beans must then be ground
- The ground coffee must be mixed with hot water to brew
Tea preparation might sound simple, but did you know that in Japanese culture, tea preparation is a ceremony called Cha-no-yu. It’s refined and the ritual involved sometimes takes 4 hours to perform. For normal daily consumption though, the steps are:
- Boiling of water
- Steeping the tea bag
Sometimes, you put the tea on a teapot before serving. The duration of the steep is critical to the taste. Longer steep may produce a bitter yet robust taste. Short steeping of tea bags or leaves will give a milder taste.
Though Coffee and Black tea are two distinct kinds of beverages, both have their benefits. If you need a fast energy boost to get you going, a jolt of coffee will do the trick. If you prefer a more relaxed soothing build of energy, black tea may be the better option. You may want to try which best suits your mood or lifestyle.
Both must be taken in moderation and can be enjoyed in proper amounts daily. There are also variations to both such as green tea or white tea. And Decaf for Coffee.
Tea lover or an avid coffee drinker, the choice is yours.