In the U.S. a large percentage of folks drink both coffee and tea. A lot of them see tea as that beverage for when they are sick (remember that seen in Working Girl where Harrison Ford is offering a passed out Kathy Griffin some tea just because that’s what would sound good to him when he was in a similar condition?). Or they confuse herbals such as Rooibos and chamomile with true tea from the Camellia sinensis plant. But I propose, with a slight bit of prejudice as one who is devoted to tea and avoids coffee, that tea should be the drink of choice even for that morning wake-up cup. Here are a few reasons why:

Which gives the better uplift? (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

Which gives the better uplift? (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved)

1 Coffee is not exactly a beautifier

Ask any dentist, and he/she will tell you that coffee, especially when drunk straight (without milk), is a teeth stainer. Now, in fairness, some teas can stain, too. Those strong black teas (when not drunk with milk) will stain. And I can’t advise you to use spent coffee grounds on your eyes to reduce puffiness the way you can use spent teabags.

2 You’ll spend more time in the…uh…privy

There is some research showing that coffee can cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). So, you could find yourself seeking out facilities with increased frequency. Of course, both tea and coffee are said to be diuretics (but some debate that claim), but add IBS on top of it… plus, the whole diuretic thing is questionable, which leaves just IBS to worry about, which is quite enough.

3 A caffeine seesaw

You get that initial jolt of caffeine with your morning cup. You float along on it awhile and then… CRASH! You suddenly feel down and need another cup. Or a donut. Or both. Anything to get you back “up.” The caffeine has other affects: shakiness, concentration problems, an increased chance of a heart attack. And the caffeine levels in coffee are on average about twice what they are in tea. (Espresso is even higher.)

4 You can experience symptoms when stopping drinking coffee

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration generally considers caffeine to be safe and not truly addictive the way that various controlled substances are, you can still get used to it and experience some physical symptoms when you stop drinking coffee: headaches and a general feeling of irritability.

5 Not nearly as social as tea

There is just something about tea that coffee doesn’t have, at least not for those of us a bit more inclined to such things: the social event. There is Afternoon Tea, High Tea, Elevenses, and so on. There is the Buckingham Palace Garden Tea Party. But you see no such equivalents for coffee. Yes, there’s the coffee klatch, but other than that, coffee is that cup in the morning, the shot of espresso after a gourmet meal, that cappuccino in-between. With tea you steep a cup or a potful and enjoy it either with a good book, your latest knitting project, or while watching a movie, or you enjoy some with friends, often at the nearest tea room.

If that’s not enough to convince you to drop the coffee and stick to tea, then consider that tea has greater longevity, having been consumed by humans for about 1900 years longer than coffee. Enjoy!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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