10 Reasons Why Tea is Better Than Coffee

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tea_cup_smallThinking of switching from coffee to tea?  Here's a list of advantages you may not have thought about before that may help you decide!

- Economic: Tea and coffee both vary in price depending on your source, but many teas (whites, greens and oolongs, and some pu'ers) can be resteeped multiple times using the same leaves, thereby costing less per cup overall than coffee. The spent-leaves can also be used as an excellent mulch/fertilizer for your flower/vegetable garden (though to be fair - so can coffee!)

- Simplicity: To get the best possible flavor out of coffee you must grind your own beans (grinder: $20+) just before brewing and use a coffee machine ($20+) with single-use filters ($5+, recurring). Tea leaves require no preparation, wasteful filters or expensive gizmos in order to extract the best possible flavor - simply drop them in hot water, strain and pour.

- Environmental: Coffee filters can be used only once and are then thrown away. None are needed for tea. Tea companies are also, on the whole, much more involved with eco-friendly, fair-trade and organic projects and processes. The coffee-roasting process also emits particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, organic acids and many gaseous pollutants into the atmosphere. Many types of tea processing involve little more than human labor and sun- or wind-wilting. Baking processes used to complete the drying cycle can emit greenhouse gasses but do so to a far lesser degree than coffee processing, due to the lower temperatures and length of time used in tea processing. Finally, tea weighs much less than coffee, requiring less fossil fuel (on a cup-to-cup basis) to ship and export it around the world.

- Variety: While coffee can be made from multiple types of beans, tea is generally derived only from a single plant. That said, the various methods of preparing and oxidizing tea results in a much wider variety of tastes than you'll find between different blends of coffee.

- Cultural: Almost every culture in the world has a tea tradition of one sort or another, and these traditions are often central to the act of meeting and greeting friends and newcomers. Having an appreciation of tea and tea rituals can often get you past many language or cultural barriers when traveling overseas. After water, tea is the most widely-consumed beverage in the world. (Take that, coffee!)

- Historical: Tea has been widely used since around 2700 B.C.. Coffee, in its present form, has probably only been used since around 800 A.D.. Four thousand years of tea-drinking has to account for something. :)

- Cosmetic: Most teas (greens, whites and many oolongs) won't stain your teeth - black tea will still cause stains, but to a lesser degree than coffee. Some teas have antioxidants and natural fluorides that protect your teeth from cavities - the tannins in black teas hav a bactericide effect that will kill many of the bacteria that can cause cavities (and bad breath!).

- Dietetic: Many coffee-drinkers can't stand the taste on its own, and must add milk, cream, and/or sugar in order to make it palatable. Tea on the other hand is much less harsh/bitter on its own, and is widely enjoyed without additives of any kind. Tea may also help boost metabolism, which can help dieters lose weight faster.

- Novelty: Tea consumption is on the rise in America, but in many places it is still considered a relative "novelty" (at least outside of iced tea and the usual "Lipton" mass-market offerings). Be the first on your block to introduce your friends and family to the wonderfully wide and varied world of tea!

- Health: Coffee has been linked to a handful of health benefits, but it can also lead to hypertension, caffeine-related problems and heart disease. Tea has dozens of proven and widely-suggested health benefits. The following is just a sampling:

- Tea has much less caffeine than coffee - between 25-50% as much.
- Tea contains tannins and catechins which have been associated with cancer and heart disease prevention
- Tea has been shown to act as a stress-reliever.
- Tea contains the polyphenol quercetin, which may interrupt the oxidation of LDL or "bad cholesterol". It may also lower blood pressure and blood sugar, suppress aging, prevent food poisoning and skin disease and act as an anti-viral. Quercetin can also act as a natural COX-2 inhibitor, providing pain-relief similar to pharmeceutical versions like Vioxx and Celebrex.
- Tea decreases triglycerides and free fatty acids in your bloodstream, while coffee contains cafestol, a fat-like chemical that actually can increase your cholesterol levels.
- Tea contains EGCG and theaflavins which can suppress the enzymes required for cancer-cell growth, thereby slowing the progression of some cancers. (Some research suggests that the antioxidants in tea may neutralize this effect, however).
- Tea is a digestive aid, it flushes the digestive system.
- Unlike coffee, tea has almost no carbohydrates, fats or proteins.
- Tea contains L-theanine, which has been shown to boost mental alertness and help the body's immune system.
- Oxalates found in tea can bind with free iron in the bloodstream, which can help the body fight HIV.
- Polyphenols in green tea can reduce intestinal inflammation related to IBD.
- Tea can help prevent diseases like Alzheimer's
- Tea may also be a significant factor in strengthening bones against oseoporosis
- Tea lowers your blood pressure
- Tea can help prevent kidney stones
- Some anti-venom serums have actually been extracted from black tea!

Did I miss any major tea vs. coffee advantages?  Let me know via the form below and we'll add it to the list!
Teaviews Member: Stephen Stephen
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20 Responses to “10 Reasons Why Tea is Better Than Coffee”

  1. STeaP TV » links for 2009-03-24 Says:

    [...] 10 Reasons Why Tea is Better Than Coffee | Teaviews.com [...]

  2. foodbitch Says:

    great to hear more reasons. i tend to do both but like tea because i can drink it more often.

  3. Reasons to switch from tea to coffee | Bohemian Revolution Says:

    [...] has a number of proven health benefits (scroll down on that page). Coffee does, too, but overall tea has more benefits and less [...]

  4. Kevin Currie-Knight Says:

    I have recently switched from coffee to tea because the caffeine boost in tea is much more “natural” feeling and steady than coffee’s abrupt spike-and-crash feeling. The research I’ve seen suggests that this is because the caffeine in tea bonds to the tannins and is slower to metabolize than the caffeine in coffee. Whatever the reason, it has been well demonstrated that those who drink tea report a slower, steadier energy than drinking coffee (even when drinking teas that have as much caffeine as coffee).

  5. Carmen Says:

    Thanks, this has really helped me a lot. I’ve recently started to drink tea and I’m doing my persuasive essay on Tea is better than Coffee. Thanks again!

  6. Bright and shiny mornings « Follow Your Gnose Says:

    [...] addition to turning off the television, I’m also considering switching from coffee to tea. This Chantal singing teakettle. would make the switch easier. Wouldn’t you love to be sung [...]

  7. 7 Reasons to Switch from Coffee to Tea | NakedHealth Says:

    [...] processing of coffee is definitely less environmentally sound than tea, which pretty much just requires drying. Coffee roasting emits particulates and polluting [...]

  8. Donella Says:

    I’m just starting to drink green tea because I know it’s good for you, but some reason I can’t get my tea to taste good. It tastes thin. I’ve been drinking coffee for years.

  9. Shaiha Says:

    I also don’t care for a plain green tea but some of the flavored ones are really great.

  10. Musings on Coffee and Meat « A Path To Be Travelled Says:

    [...] be sad to see coffee go. I don’t drink much of it myself, and we all know tea, even black tea, is healthier than coffee. But coffee’s not quite the anti-Christ. It does have health benefits if you enjoy it rarely. (By [...]

  11. Tea is the New Coffee « Green Organic Devotion Says:

    [...] Tea Views: http://www.teaviews.com/2009/03/24/10-reasons-why-tea-is-better-than-coffee/ Share this:EmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  12. Prisca Says:

    Please I will like to know more on the benefits of tea especially on the aging people. And whether it helps people to look younge r.thanks

  13. Jim Says:

    I knew it, luckily I switched to tea 2-3 months ago. And I feel amazing! It’s just like Kevin Currie-Knight wrote, it’s more of a natural energization with tea, coffee is more of a spike-then-drop, and it’s not good for your mood. If you get cranky a lot, switch for a week or two, just to try it. Thanks for a great article!

  14. Switch Up Your Morning Ritual With Tea Instead of Coffee « Charging LIFE Says:

    [...] you use loose leaf teas, they can be re-steeped multiple times, costing less per cup than coffee, with which you only get one use out of the coffee grounds. Hitting up Starbucks before [...]

  15. Eugenia Says:

    Is it safe to drink both green tea and oolong tea? Is it healthy for your body to drink five cups of green tea a day?

  16. tony Says:

    I, too, have recently made the switch (coffee has started giving me headaches, and tea does not). I’ve become quite the avid tea drinker, in fact.

    Interesting, the facts about cholesterol and blood pressure. I didn’t know.

    But can not some of the things said here of tea also be said of coffee, such as boosting the metabolism, and preventing Alzheimer’s and kidney stones?

  17. CJ Says:

    I found recently that getting deeply into tea is much cheaper than striving for great coffee. All you need for tea is some boiling water, a good vessel, and the leaves. If I want REALLY good coffee, (read, “strong” with “crema” foam on top,) I have to buy a machine that costs about $1,000 bucks. No thanks. Tea is it for me!

  18. Tyler Vipperman Says:

    Eugenia,

    It is safe to drink both Green and Oolong Tea as long as you are not on a diet. It is best to drink only one tea if on a diet, since each type have different benefits and effects. It is very healthy to drink five cups of green tea or more a day. I would say you should drink 10 or more cups of tea a day :) .

  19. Lisa Says:

    I too have been a heavy coffe drinker for years and I switched to tea for all of these reasons and it is amazing just how much better you fell doing it.

  20. Emira Anderson Says:

    I am Latin I love coffee but have heard tea has anti-oxidants:hey I will go half/half: sometimes tea sometimes coffee:I’m Latin I cannot quit. My coffee totally

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