Coffee or Tea: Health Benefit Comparisons

We all have our favorites whether it's coffee or tea, but to many, it’s a big battle as to which choice is better for you.

Each of us can feel good about our choice since in terms of health benefits both are considered healthy and full of antioxidants.

Is one better than the other? It is difficult to separate out two complex beverages and the role their ingredients play on our diet or effects on each different individual body type.

History of Coffee and Tea

As in anything, there are pros and cons for coffee or tea; both differ in flavor, preparation, and taste.

Tea has been around the longest and is the most widely consumed worldwide. It is a legendary drink consumed by priests and scholars in China and Japan. They drank tea to calm, study, meditate and of course, for health.

Coffee appeared much later, perhaps from Ethiopia, and was used to keep the shepherds and monks alert and awake. Coffee has appeared to be more like an addiction to your body.

Both coffee and tea remained as Eastern Europe and Asian beverages until the 17th century, before being introduced to the rest of Europe and then the world.


Comparisons of Coffee and Tea

  1. One of the biggest differences is the amounts of caffeine: coffee is higher about 96 mg/cup. Caffeine in tea is about 47 mg/cup.
  2. Both are high in anti-oxidants, but tea seems to have a higher advantage with more polyphenols like Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) that are superior for disease prevention.
  3. Research studies have found that coffee reduces the incidence of dementia, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer’s. Tea helps with heart disease, is an anti-inflammatory, great immune booster, and may help with weight loss.
  4. If you have asthma or migraines, coffee helps by relaxing the lungs' airways and relaxes the blood vessels in the brain. Tea is good for the bones and potential cancer fighter.
  5. Tea is good for hydration and replenishing fluid, whereas coffee takes away by dehydrating.
  6. Coffee gives you more of an energy kick but tea is more relaxing and calming.
  7. Tea does have more natural fluoride, a negative side, but it is in small amounts. Coffee is more acidic which for some will affect their stomach, possibly causing gastric reflux.


Coffee or Tea in Summary

In the end, I think if you like the flavor of both, then mix it up, coffee one day, and tea the next. Tea is a good alternative to coffee. Your body will benefit from drinking either one but in different ways.  If you have a preference or dislike, you can enjoy the drink of your choice.




Cindy Burrows, B.S., M.T., Herbalist and is a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant helping individuals with health programs to improve life and happiness. She is a writer, speaker and owner of several businesses.


Written by Cynthia Burrows