Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tea Vs. Coffee

I'm a big fan of staying at a coffee shop for hours while curled up with a book, sipping a pot of perfectly brewed coffee. My only complaint is that coffee is sometimes too strong and I end up with bags under my eyes the next morning.

Tea, on the other hand, happens to be a fact of my life. I have at least two cups of it everyday. My only complaint is that tea sometimes isn't strong enough for those accidental items of procrastination.

Oh, the conflict.

I think that I must debate each of the pro's and con's of each drink to fully understand which is superior. This might take a while...

Coffee (Pro's):
  • In 2004, coffee was the top agricultural export for 12 countries (tons of business:))
  • Reduces the risk of various diseases such as: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, cirrhonsis of the liver and gout (check wikipedia for more info on that)
  • Coffee has tons of anti-oxidants
  • Low calorie unless additions are made to the liquid.
  • High in Caffeine leading to the best sleepovers and 2am assignments possible.
  • Making it is a matter of pouring water and coffee into a machine and pressing a button. It is impossible to overcook it. And improbable to make it wrong.
  • There's something comforting in drinking a nice cup of coffee while chatting with friends.
Tea (Pro's)
  • There are more than a hundred different kinds of teas. (If you count each kind of herbal tea)
  • Tea has been around since around 2737 BC (crazy long ago)
  • Tea leaves contain around 200 chemicals and healthy things like flavanoides, amino acids, vitamins (C, E and K), caffeine and polysaccharides. (check wikipedia)
  • Tea has been proven as a great digestive aid. (drink a cup of tea after dinner!)
  • The role of tea is well established in normalizing blood pressure, lipid depressing activity, prevention of coronary heart diseases and diabetes by reducing the blood-glucose activity. (taken straight from wikipedia)
  • Tea has virtually no calories and tastes great without sugar/milk.
  • Green tea has only 10-20% of the caffeine in coffee. This allows you to drink it after dinner and still be able to sleep.
  • There's something comforting about drinking a flavourful cup of tea and reading.
  • I'm drinking a cup of green tea as I write this.
Coffee (Con's)
  • Because of its high caffeine content, coffee has lead some researchers to the realization that it may cause the temporary clogging of arterial walls.
  • Excess coffee consumption may lead to a magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesaemia, and may be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
  • Coffee is addictive because of caffeine and "coffee junkies" have the same symptoms of drug abusers.
  • One scientist theorizes that the smell of coffee beans/coffee restores appetite.
  • Coffee usually tastes better when flavoured with sugary and fatty ingredients.
  • Coffee is usually much more expense than tea is.
  • Coffee leaves stains, tea removes them.
  • Coffee should not be consumed after 8pm because of its excess caffeine. Believe me, it will be very hard for you to fall asleep.
Tea (Con's)
  • Tea has a tendency of becoming predictable. Coffee is different every time.
  • Because it does not contain as much caffeine, tea won't allow you to stay up for as long or with the same sense of being awake.
  • Because of its lack of calories, tea won't fill you up.
  • Sometimes, when time is of the essence, the tea bag is forgotten and hot bitter water is created. (Yuck.)
  • Likewise to the previous point, the kettle is sometimes neglected, leaving screaming boiling water in the kitchen.
  • Throwing the tea bag into the trash (or compost) is sometimes a nuisance.
  • You must wait for at least 2-3 minutes before the tea bag has soaked through the water and creates the true mixture. Weak tea is never happy tea.

Please, correct me if I'm wrong... but based on these points, tea has clearly won. What do you think, should tea have won? Are there more pro points for coffee that I have neglected? Please comment your thoughts and/or feelings.

The Beverage War must continue. Tea has won this battle... but will it win the war?


Anonymous said...
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Hannah said...

Hmm, you make some good points. I have to agree with your outcome. Personally, I prefer tea.

Some pros/cons:
If tea comes in hundreds of flavors, how can it be predictable? And doesn't coffee stunt growth? Being short, that's a big reason for why I avoid coffee.

Hannah said...

And for me, the overall beverage war will always be won by hot cocoa =]

Chris Lehmann said...

For me, coffee is my first thing in the morning drink. Tea is my mid-afternoon drink, and decaf tea is my night drink. :)