Coffee vs. Tea – The Similarities, Differences and Health Benefits of Each Beverage
Coffee and tea are amongst the most widely consumed beverages across the globe. Both the beverages contain caffeine and antioxidants that make you feel energized and make it difficult for you to decide which to skip. Along with that, both these beverages are pretty different from each other in terms of several factors.
Generally, tea has been known to induce relaxation, while coffee boosts energy and brainpower. The boiling question is that is one beverage better than the other? Can you replace a cup of coffee with a cup of tea to kick-start your day? Let's find out.
Consumers of both beverages are highly passionate regarding their choice and defend their favorite choice. They will keep on doing so until their death.
Here in this article, we will compare the similarities and differences between black tea and coffee and determine which one you should consume depending on your particular taste requirements.
Coffee VS Tea – What to Drink?
Choosing the best beverage among the two is quite challenging. Most people dislike coffee because of its chemical composition. In addition to that, coffee contains significant quantities of caffeine which is known to cause various ailments such as migraines and nausea.
On the flip side, tea is an integral part of traditional medicine, making it a top choice for treating many ailments. Let's discuss the chemical composition, flavor, and health benefits of these beverages, which will make the selection process easier for you.
- Caffeine Content
The first factor considered while choosing the best beverage among tea and coffee is the caffeine content. The caffeine content in coffee is much higher than in tea.
Why is Caffeine Important?
Caffeine acts as an energy booster, enhances your focus, and helps in staying alert. So, if you want to kick start your day with something refreshing that acts as a mind booster, you must prefer coffee. Coffee can also help in powering through your lazy afternoon.
There is nearly 90-100 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup of coffee, whereas true teas contain varying amounts of caffeine. The strongest tea contains about 70 to 90 mg of caffeine.
Although caffeine content is higher in coffee, however, tea leaves contain more naturally occurring caffeine. The difference between the two is that coffee is a strongly brewed beverage and tea is a slightly weaker infusion.
Yes, coffee has more caffeine content, but it does not mean tea does not boost your energy levels. True teas contain L-theanine, which is an important amino acid. It helps in enhancing alertness. L-theanine delivers energy more smoothly than coffee, which means the drinker gets an additional boost of energy without the blood sugar spikes you experience while enjoying a coffee cup.
Another significant difference between the two beverages is that coffee is generally brewed at a higher temperature which causes more caffeine molecules to release from the beans and reach your cup. On the flip side, tea is brewed at slightly low temperatures, during which the entire caffeine doesn't extract from the leaves.
Based on caffeine content, we can summarize that, although coffee contains higher caffeine, tea provides an energy boost that is more relaxed and comes up with fewer side effects.
Taste can be treated as a relative term. Some people might say that coffee offers a unique taste, while others claim that tea tastes better than coffee. In general, coffee is comparatively bitter and strong-flavored as compared to tea. Also, coffee is acidic, which means it offers bold and astringent flavors. These factors mean that coffee might be slightly harsh on your stomach, especially when you consume them in excessive amounts.
On the contrary, tea offers unique flavors depending on where it is grown. Black and oolong tea depict the strongest flavors with ranging from earthy and nutty to fruity and citrusy. On the flip side, green tea offers a taste similar to roasted vegetables, and white tea offers a floral taste.
So, depending on your likings and taste preferences, you can choose any of the two.
Health Benefits of Coffee and Tea
Both coffee and tea offer unique health benefits. Let’s find out what are the different types of health benefits that each beverage offers.
Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee
Following are some of the unique health benefits of drinking coffee.
- Helps in Preventing Diabetes
Drinking coffee is strongly linked to preventing type-2 diabetes. Studies claim that caffeine content in coffee helps in inhibiting insulin resistance which plays a vital role in preventing type-2 diabetes.
- Improves Physical Performance
Caffeine present in coffee raises the levels of epinephrine or adrenaline present in your blood. These chemicals help raise your energy levels and improve your response times when it comes to physical activity. This benefit becomes quite evident in endurance exercise, where adrenaline levels are needed to continue long periods of sustained activity.
- Lowers the Risk of Depression and Anxiety
Coffee is known to contain certain energy-boosting compounds that help in relieving the symptoms of depression and anxiety. That's how drinking coffee can play a crucial role in improving the quality of your life.
A study claimed that people who drank four or more cups of coffee in a day had 20% reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
Following are some of the unique health benefits of drinking tea.
- Aids in Weight Loss
Drinking tea is strongly linked to weight loss. In particular, if we talk about green tea, it functions to boost metabolism and fat loss. That's how drinking green tea reduces waist circumference and plays a crucial role in weight loss.
- Helps Preventing Cancer
The most significant advantage of drinking tea is its ability to prevent and kill certain types of cancer cells. Studies claim that drinking tea is strongly linked to the prevention of oxidative damage that leads to cancer.
In addition to that, tea is incredibly rich in antioxidants that function to eliminate free radicals and prevent oxidative stress that can lead to liver and breast cancer.
- Improves Cardiovascular Health
Studies claim that drinking tea plays a crucial role in improving cardiovascular health. It helps in lowering LDL cholesterol levels which would otherwise lead to severe heart diseases. In addition to that, drinking tea can also improve blood circulation, reducing blood clots and heart attacks. Doctors suggest that drinking three to six cups of tea a day can play a vital role in regulating blood pressure and prevent heart complications.
Coffee and tea both are healthy beverages that offer unique health benefits. Choosing which to drink and which to skip is quite a challenging task. In one aspect, one is better, while in another aspect, the other wins the race. So, depending on your taste preference and health requirements, you can choose a beverage that you like the most.