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The Ultimate Debate: Tea vs. Coffee

~Article by Luci Terrazas~


I’m a tea lover who also used to adore a good cup of hot coffee. The more I started caring about my wellness and the amount of caffeine I was consuming, the more I became aware of the health impacts coffee can have on our bodies and minds. That is when I started looking for an alternative caffeine source and how I was converted to tea over coffee. As it turns out, I am not alone, and 87% of millennials drink tea (see the stats here).


I, as well as many people, had always thought of tea as a warm and pleasant source of relaxation or even an herbal remedy to soothe a scratchy throat, while coffee was the busy & productive worker type of drink.


That was my idea of tea until I got to expand my taste beyond my so loved colorful and aromatic herbal infusions. Known as the real teas (the ones that come from the camellia sinensis plant), there are 6 different types that can be chosen to replace coffee as a caffeine source (note that the caffeine level in each tea will be relative to type, oxidation, brewing or steeping process, tea grades and growing methods):


  • pu’erh tea (40-70 mg/8oz)
  • black tea (40-60 mg/8oz)
  • oolong tea (30-50 mg/8oz)
  • yellow tea (30-35 mg/8oz)
  • green tea (30-35 mg/8oz)
  • white tea (10-15 mg/8oz)


Although a cup of coffee contains more caffeine levels than a cup of tea, it’s no news that caffeine consumed in excess is not beneficial and can actually cause more harm than good, reducing levels of concentration and even causing panic attacks instead.


For those who, like me, love to go through the day sipping a warm drink, tea should be your best friend. Average adults are allowed to have several cups of tea before reaching the daily 300-400 mg of caffeine recommended by experts (you can also easily find a caffeine calculator online - based on your body weight - or talk to your primary care doctor).


Besides that, there are other advantages to switching from coffee to tea:

  • Studies have been revealing plenty of health benefits associated with regular tea consumption for bodies and minds, such as immune system boost, reduced blood pressure, healthier heart, stronger bones, antioxidants that inhibit free radicals associated with human diseases, and so on.
  • Tea and coffee prices vary a lot among types and brands. While it’s not recommended to brew coffee grounds twice because of their degraded taste, it is recommended to brew multiple infusions of loose leaf tea. It’s pretty fun to play with the new tastes that an additional infusion may bring, and all you need is one new ingredient: water. On top of it, besides being more practical than coffee, in most cases, the cost of a cup of coffee made at home or bought at a shop will be more expensive than infusing your own tea (even if you drink several cups a day).
  • Last but not least: there are many creative ways of preparing your tea. You can add spices (like ginger or cinnamon), mix it with fruits, make it iced, blend it with your favorite type of milk, make a foamy matcha latte or even create your own homemade boba tea with tapioca pearls. The possibilities are endless :)


While the US is still catching up as a tea-consuming nation (0.50 lb of tea per capita[1] versus 9.25 lb of coffee per capita[2]), the “tea army” has been growing around the world each year and leaving coffee in its shadow.


If you also ditched coffee over tea in the last few years and are also part of this growth statistic just like me, please share your enthusiasm with friends, family, and me, and let’s have a tea party!


[1] 2016 "Annual per capita tea consumption worldwide as of 2016, by leading countries(in pounds)". Statista. 23 January 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020.

[2] 2018



~About Luci, the author~


My name is Luci and I'm a Brazilian learning to live in San Francisco. I studied Education & Linguistics back in Brazil and that's how I ended up learning new languages and falling in love with a French-American guy. I'm quite into sports, but my perfect day is reading a book on a sunny beach with ice cream for lunch. My favorite tea changes according to the weather or my mood, but currently I'm all about the Tropical Rooibos. I'm also a sucker for iced & boba tea, I won't hide it. 


~Image from Global Dubai Tea Forum of 2018~

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