In the world of herbal teas, with the exception of rooibos, coffee and tea clearly have the upper hand. A huge share of the market is shared between these two beverages that are known on all five continents, and the polarity is such that many people are hardcore consumers of one or the other (as if they were two opposing camps).
Hence the eternal question of which is better, coffee or tea.
Fortunately, there are still many consumers who, leaving their preferences aside, have no qualms about consuming both tea and coffee when the occasion arises.
In order to know whether coffee or tea is better, there are several initial considerations:
One is the type of tea we are going to consider because each has different properties (there are also differences between the various coffee beans, but perhaps less so). In some cases, green tea may be more interesting, but for other needs, black or red tea may be more suitable.
The second is the objective we are pursuing or the criteria we put on the table when comparing which is better, coffee or tea: for weight loss, for breakfast, for children? Each of the sections in this article will be based on these issues.
Which is better for breakfast, tea or coffee?
Well, of course, here, a very important component of personal tastes and preferences comes into play. In this sense, we can’t debate much: whether you like coffee or tea is up to you.
We can, however, discuss the common need at breakfast to have a strong, energetic drink to help us wake up or face the day with energy.
And in that sense, coffee is better for breakfast than tea because if we prepare it under normal conditions, it will always have a higher concentration of caffeine than tea.
It should be stressed at this point that the variety of tea that is usually drunk for breakfast is always black tea (Darjeeling, Earl Grey or English Breakfast), which is the only one that has really high caffeine content. And yet, it still falls short of the caffeine content of coffee.
Which is better, coffee or green tea?
Well, it depends. Coffee has a number of very specific properties (you can review them here: benefits and properties of coffee), while green tea is characterised above all by its mildness and its concentration of antioxidants.
The choice between the two will therefore depend on what you are looking for. Even in terms of taste, because green tea is quite mild compared to coffee.
For people with hypertension or who need to limit their intake of stimulants, green tea is better than coffee because it is a very low oxidised tea with a really low concentration of theine/caffeine.
On the other hand, if you are looking to improve your concentration, or you are facing an intense study period, coffee is much better than green tea, as it is a much stronger and more energetic drink.
Which is better, coffee or black tea?
Black tea is not a single, specific type of tea, but rather various blends with a common denominator: they come from tea leaves with a high concentration of theine, which stand out for their intensity and strong flavour. In this respect, it is the kind of tea that most closely resembles the traditional coffee we know.
But which is better, coffee or black tea? Well, as in all other cases, it depends. If you are looking for energy, a full-bodied coffee will have more caffeine than the most concentrated tea you can find in the shop.
But on the other hand, the diuretic and circulation-enhancing qualities of black tea are not present to the same extent in coffee.
Which is better for weight loss, coffee or green tea?
This has always been a sensitive issue. Deciding whether tea or coffee is better for weight loss is a question we should leave to doctors and nutritionists. But it is clear that there are certain types of coffee and tea that are better than the rest when it comes to complementing a slimming diet. These are coffee and green tea.
The best teas for weight loss are both red and green tea, mainly because of their thermogenic qualities: they increase body temperature, speed up metabolism, and therefore help us burn fat more quickly.
In the case of coffee, when we talk about weight loss, we will inevitably refer to green coffee, which is not exactly the same type of coffee we imagine when we think of a cup of our favourite drink. In this case, it is usually pills or capsules containing green coffee extract, which are taken as a dietary supplement.
Which is better for children – coffee or tea?
Neither drink is really suitable for children (of course), nor is it advisable for teenagers because of their high caffeine content.
It is always best to start with tea, as it has a lower concentration of theine/caffeine than coffee. If it is a detox tea or a fruit infusion, so much the better.
Rooibos (which is not really a tea, although it is often mistakenly referred to as such) is another tea that does not have theine and whose mild, the fruity flavour can be pleasant for younger people.