Photo Courtesy of Little Letters Linked
By Chris Carey
Spilling tea is a recipe for a fun evening. Spilling coffee is a problem. For ages, the debate on the superior hot drink has stumped scholars and wise guys alike, but wonder no more – this article will outline why tea is the greater of the two.
Let me start with my experience of these libations. I drink coffee. I drink tea. In all honesty, I probably drink more coffee than tea; however, my coffee consumption is one of utility and not of pleasure. If you believe that utility is a measure of superiority, then I hope you will keep an open mind through the rest of this article which strongly debates otherwise.
The cultural fascination with coffee is grounded (pun intended) in coffee’s place as a worker’s drink, a parent’s defense for the day, and a college student’s elixir. These and many more enjoy their cup of coffee because of the slight reprieve from spreadsheets and worldly demands it provides. In that sense, the coffee break and the coffee run are valued more than the coffee itself.
Caffeine is far more active in coffee and much more potent than in tea. Caffeine’s active properties and potential dangers lead to its classification as a drug. Although everything is fine in moderation (The Tower does not endorse drug consumption of any kind), the physical and mental strain that coffee can have on an individual’s anxiety level often outweigh the added benefit of focus or attentiveness it brings.
The average coffee lover’s beverage of choice is so watered down by caramel swirls, spoonfuls of sugar, and oat milk that to even consider it more than a distant cousin of coffee is laughable. Those that rely on a classic cup o’ joe often do so more because of the desperate need for caffeine or a Stockholm Syndrome belief that coffee is a fundamental aspect of a daily routine than any true enjoyment of the drink.
Tea, on the other hand, is consumed in cute shops with inviting and warm decor, places to drink tea and be at peace, not to leech off the wifi and write a memoir. A nice cup of sleepytime herb tea can lull you off to bed and a steaming pot of Irish breakfast gives you just enough caffeine to survive without the existential paranoia that happily accompanies even a small cup of coffee.
Likewise, the wide variety of flavors and types, and the differences from one tea to another allow for customized tastes. The nearly 20,000 types of tea blow coffee’s 4 main beans out of the water. Without adding copious artificial flavoring to a cup of tea, even a casual consumer can find dozens of distinct options in most grocery stores.
Furthermore, those who drink tea do so with a desire to savor and enjoy the drink, not out of necessity or addiction, but out of leisure and pleasure alone. If you have a cold, you are not turning to Folgers but to Twinings for comforting relief.
In conclusion, I must admit that coffee has its place. I will not stop consuming it after some eureka moment while writing this article. Starbucks won’t close down after my arguments. I simply hope that having seen how blindly we all accept coffee as king, that maybe next time you’re hankering for a warm drink, you’ll order a chai and not a caramel swirl macchiato.