Coffee or tea? What is healthier?

Coffee or tea? What is healthier?

Fortunately, it is not yet time for people to start clustering into groups that are separated by a preference for coffee or tea. Not to mention hooligans… although in our office things can get tough when a ‘coffee drinker’ decides to cut back and walks into a room with a cup of tea in his hands. It is clear that drinking coffee and tea is deeply rooted in many cultures, but which of the two is the healthiest?

I mainly drink coffee, but I also drink a number of cups of green tea every day. While reading the umpteenth research on ‘how healthy coffee is’ I read, I wondered if coffee is also healthier than tea. Because I have read at least as many studies about the positive effects of (green) tea on our health. I decided to list all the research results.

But first briefly about coffee and tea

Let’s start with the layman’s approach… both of which you buy at a supermarket, both of which you heat with hot water. So much for my consumer knowledge of coffee and tea. But I also went into the matter of organic origin, processing and origin. Just for fun… and let’s face it… with facts about coffee or tea you always do well on a birthday 😉

About coffee

Coffee is made from coffee beans, as everyone knows. But what not everyone knows is that the coffee bean is actually a fruit and the seed is actually a pit.

The coffee we often buy in the shop is composed of two different beans, namely Arabica or Robusta. Arabica has a milder taste and contains 70% less caffeine than Robusta.

Coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian shepherd who saw that his sheep became more cheerful when they ate the coffee beans. He had it drawn into the water, so he drank the first cup of coffee in history. It gave the shepherd a sense of clarity and satisfaction and soon the traders noticed this as well.

Since the 17th century, coffee has been widely distributed throughout the world, with the Netherlands being the first to bring coffee to Europe on a large scale. It was only in the 18th century that drinking coffee was really adopted in the Netherlands.

The health effects of coffee

The discussion about coffee does keep us busy. Many consumers have different opinions. I myself am also regularly warned about the dangers of coffee, but is that really justified? We start with the positive health effects of coffee, which have been more or less demonstrated by science.

Increased resistance due to the antioxidants
Improved athletic performance
Increases the level of alertness
Increases your metabolism, helping you lose weight
It contains essential vitamins and nutrients
Coffee reduces the risk of diabetes
Coffee reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
It lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Coffee protects the liver (especially if you have drunk alcohol)
Coffee can reduce the risk of depression
Coffee reduces the risk of certain types of cancer
Coffee does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but lowers it correctly!
People who drink coffee seem to live longer
Coffee contains the largest amount of antioxidants in the Western diet


And now the truth… can coffee be bad for you?

Yes and no… crap! Still no convincing answer. Still, on the basis of my research, I can clarify something. Coffee can cause insomnia and fears in some people. There are also people who are not very good at processing coffee, and this group of people are also better at leaving coffee standing.

But overall, coffee is perhaps the healthiest food in the western diet. In our diet we do not find any food source that contains as many antioxidants as coffee.

So is it unhealthy? No! It’s similar to nuts… for 99% of the population it’s very healthy and for 1% it can damage their health.

About tea

Tea, on the other hand, is made from the dry leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Originally tea comes from China. Thousands of years ago tea was already being drunk there. According to a Chinese legend, Shennong discovered tea in a forest 5000 years BC. Leaves of a tea bush swirled in a pan of hot water, after which the whole thing started to spread a pleasant scent.

Around 1610, the first small quantity of tea was imported into the Netherlands and only a century later did tea take refuge in the Netherlands. In the 18th century, just like coffee, tea became really popular.

Does it still matter which brand?

No, the brand itself doesn’t matter much. However, it is best to go for organic coffee or bean coffee, because these types of coffee are usually less processed. This increases the chance that most of the antioxidants are still in it.

The health effects of tea

All teas are associated in more or less different sizes with a number of important health effects. In particular, the antioxidants in tea are praised by science. For example, according to various studies, tea has the following effects on our bodies:

Increased resistance due to the antioxidants
Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
Less chance of certain cancers
You could fall off it (even if the question is whether it’s because of the water or the tea).
It could have a positive and preventive effect on some types of diabetes
It’s good for our eyes and could prevent and inhibit vision loss.
It would lower cholesterol
It lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s
There are many more (smaller) studies that have observed other health effects in people who drink a lot of tea. So you can say that tea is a healthy drink… or are there any disadvantages or even dangers?

Potential disadvantages/hazards of tea

Tea in its pure form is safe and healthy. You can drink it all day long with peace of mind. However, there are teas that can be unhealthy. In general, these are the teas that have additives to promote weight loss, for example.

Does it still matter which brand?

The brand itself does not matter, but in general the commercial teas have been processed in such a way that a large part of the antioxidants have been lost. So do you want to take full advantage of the health benefits of tea? Then use organic tea!

Conclusion: What is healthier? Tea or coffee?

The answer is that this shouldn’t have been a battle against each other, but a battle against all the other drinks! Both tea and coffee are an important source of antioxidants for our body and reduce the risk of a lot of diseases and ailments. Because of the caffeine in most coffees and teas, it is advisable not to drink both after 20:00. The exception to this is white tea, which contains only 15mg of caffeine per cup.

Decaf is better left to stand. It’s nice that it doesn’t contain caffeine anymore, but the disadvantage is that during that chemical process the antioxidants are also lost for a large part.

Then it only remains for me to write one thing… coffee drinkers and tea drinkers… get your hands in one! (sorry a little nerdy ;))