Green Tea Vs. Coffee
Century Old Debate Continues...

Green tea vs. coffee - which is better? An objective analysis of the pros and cons of these two most widely consumed beverages.

American poet Gary Snyder once famously said:

There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work.

And those who stay clean, just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night.

There are those who do both, they drink tea.

Tea and coffee are two of the most widely consumed beverages, so they are often the subject of much comparison. Which is better? Here is my objective analysis.

Green Tea Vs. Coffee #1:
Health Benefits

Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink. The potent antioxidants in green tea neutralize free radicals, protecting your body from their harmful effects.

Studies show that green tea has amazing protective effects for people who drink it regularly. For example, green tea may help prevent cancer, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and more.

For a complete list of green tea health benefits, see Green Tea Benefits: 16 Things That Make Miracles Possible.

Some green tea advocates treat coffee like it is the devil's drink. Guess what? Coffee has its own potent antioxidants and its own demonstrated health benefits.

Instead of catechins, coffee contains primarily chlorogenic acids. Some studies have found that coffee actually contains more antioxidants than green tea.

According to the Coffee Science Information Center, when it comes to beneficial phenolic acids, “Coffee, as well as black and green teas were the best source among beverages with coffee containing 97mg/100 g whilst teas contained 30-36 mg/100 g “.

Coffee has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of diabetes, Parkinson's, colon cancer, asthma and depression. However, green tea is also effective in preventing many of the same conditions, and probably more.

Green Tea Vs. Coffee #2:
Caffeine and Side Effects

In fact, many of the benefits of coffee come from caffeine, which green tea also contains, although in smaller amounts.

Too much caffeine can make you nervous and jittery. Green tea allows you to experience the benefits of caffeine, including the energy boost, without the jitters.

How can this be?

Theanine, an amino acid present in green tea but not in coffee, relaxes and soothes even as the caffeine lifts you up. Also, catechins,which act as powerful tea antioxidants, combine with caffeine in hot water to make it less active.

Overuse of coffee can cancel out many of its health benefits, causing irritability, anxiety and interrupting your sleep-a clear case of “too much of a good thing!”

Too much tea can have side effects, too, but since green tea has less caffeine than coffee, you have to drink more of it before these side effects become apparent.

As far as health benefits go, both beverages have benefits, but green tea has fewer side effects.

Green Tea Vs. Coffee #3:
Weight Loss

If you are looking for a weight loss drink, green tea is by far superior.

According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine may act as a moderate appetite suppressant and increase the amount of fat you burn - but not enough to make you lose weight. Also, if you add milk and sugar to your cup of joe, you're adding calories.

Good quality green tea, on the other hand, is naturally sweet, so you don't need sugar.

Also, the potent combination of caffeine, theanine and EGCG is proven to promote weight loss. Green tea stimulates metabolism much more than coffee, since EGCG and caffeine work better together than they do individually.

Green Tea Vs. Coffee #4:
Gourmet Experience

Now, this is the point where people begin getting defensive. Which tastes better, a mug of rich coffee or a mug of fresh green tea? Honestly, it depends on what you like.

When it comes to offering a gourmet experience, both beverages can deliver if they are good quality. Rich, fragrant coffee actually has an aromatherapeutic effect. Researchers have found that simply smelling it reduces stress.

But good green tea has an enticing fragrance all its own, too. Both beverages have their own particular brewing rituals that enhance the gourmet experience. It just depends on which beverage you like best, and you can always drink both.

At least in the US, it may be easier to find gourmet coffee than it is to find gourmet tea. Several popular gourmet coffee shops ply their coffee beans in local grocery stores around the country.

If you go to a grocery store looking for green tea, all you are going to find is teabags.

Bagged green tea is like gas station coffee - it will do in a pinch, but if you have “gourmet” tastes you probably won't enjoy it.

So, if you are a gourmet coffee drinker who would like to start drinking green tea as a healthy addition to your diet, take the time to find some good loose leaf green tea first.

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