The American Essential: Coffee or Tea?

Though+the+benefits+of+tea+and+coffee+differ+slightly%2C+they+are+both+considered+to+be+a+favorite+drink+among+many+Americans.+Photo+credit%3A+Katherine

Though the benefits of tea and coffee differ slightly, they are both considered to be a favorite drink among many Americans. Photo credit: Katherine

Though the benefits of tea and coffee differ slightly, they are both considered to be a favorite drink among many Americans. Photo credit: Katherine
Though the benefits of tea and coffee differ slightly, they are both considered to be a favorite drink among many Americans. Photo credit: Katharine Rzepecki

A warm drink like coffee or tea to sooth and relax in the morning or before bed has been a staple in many households.  Coffee seems to be very popular with Americans, as seen through the Starbucks craze, but tea is also a popular drink, and both have different benefits.

“I drink coffee for the caffeine, but I drink tea when I am worried about getting too much caffeine,” said science teacher Mr. Gerry Meloche. “I’ll make tea after dinner so I won’t have trouble sleeping.”

Coffee has 80-185 mg of caffeine per eight ounce cup, and tea has a much lower caffeine content with about 15-70 mg per cup.

Junior Mackenzie Elkow, however, does not seem to get that “extra buzz” from coffee.

“I drink coffee because I like the flavor,” she said.  “The caffeine doesn’t do anything for me anymore because I have been drinking it for so long. I can drink it at night and then just go to bed.”

Among its benefits, tea has the antioxidants tannin and catechin that have been associated with preventing cancer and heart diseases, according to diffen.com.  Antioxidants help rid the body of harmful free radicals that can damage cells over time. CBN online states that tea is the “second most consumed beverage in the world,” after water.

The benefits of coffee are still being researched, and some question whether the high content of caffeine can be harmful to the body and nervous system.  However, researchers have discovered that coffee may lower the risk of liver cancer and colon cancer.

Despite the differences between these two hot drinks, tea and coffee will most likely continue to be a hit beverage for many years to come because of their extreme popularity and benefits.