Tea is without a doubt the superior beverage when it comes to this debate. As much as I love a good iced coffee every once in a while, the health benefits and range of teas that are available in the world make it a much healthier, and yummier, option.
While coffee is arguably healthy in some ways, and there are some recent surveys which attempt to prove so, there are many reasons why it is not so healthy. The first of these is the amount of caffeine which coffee contains. While a small amount can be beneficial, if drank in excess, caffeine causes the body to become stressed, and forces the body to begin pumping out the stress hormone cortisol. Besides feeling jittery or anxious, these "overdoses" on caffeine can even cause the heart to speed up to unsafe levels, inducing panic attacks.
As many people find coffee to be bitter, this means that coffee drinks often put in lots of sugar, flavouring, or other unhealthy options to make it tastier. While admittedly this is the kind of coffee I like best, it truly is an unhealthy lifestyle for people having multiple coffees per day.
For example, a large latte can contain up to 350 calories, meaning having two a day can add up to the cost a full meal. A Starbucks Strawberry Frappuccino with whipped cream can be up to 459 caolories, while a Double Chocolate Frapp from Caffe Nero has up to 483 calories. Even something as simple as putting a shot of delicious vanilla in the coffee means an extra 70 calories. While obviously calorie counting is not a healthy lifestyle itself, it is easy to see how multiple coffees a day (especially if you're not drinking it black) can quickly become unhealthy.
For regular coffee drinks, the cost can also add up quickly if one isn't making it themselves at home. Coffee in Australia from a cafe averages at least $4.00, meaning if someone buys only one coffee per day for the whole year, they are spending up to $1,000 a year on coffee. This does not include those who get more than one coffee per day, or purchase coffee on weekdays.
Tea, on the other hand, has many well known health benefits, contributing to its place as the second most frequently drunken liquid, behind only water.
Regular English Breakfast tea was found to help the immune system by a study at Harvard University. They found that the immune cells of regular tea drinks responded five times faster to germs than those of coffee drinkers. Unlike coffee, tea also reduces stress levels, rather than raising them. A study published by the scientific journal Nutrition Bulletin also found that drinking tea regularly can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Tea is also a natural source of fluoride, which protects against tooth decay and gum disease.
Unlike coffee, tea also counts towards your daily liquid intake, keeping you hydrated, instead of dehydrating you. While it still contains caffeine, English Breakfast tea contains half the amount of that in coffee, making it a much healthier alternative to coffee if one needs to give themselves a boost.
Other types of teas also contain many health benefits. Green tea contains immunity boosting antioxidants and helps speed up the metabolism. Herbal teas improve digestion, clear up skin problems, and help with sleep. Ginger tea is great if you're feeling run down, as it has a warming effect. Fennel tea is recommendation for digestion issues, as it works on the internal muscles that aid in digestion, and is also a diuretic, helping the kidney flush out any impurities in the body. Peppermint tea reduces bloating, so it is a great after dinner tea. Nettle tea is a source of iron, which boosts energy without the use of excessive caffeine. Tea can even be consumed right before bed (unlike coffee), with chamomile tea containing tryptophan, which promotes sleepiness. Fruit tea is the least helpful of teas, but the worst consequence from it is still only the chance of too much acidity on one's teeth.
With so many flavors and varieties, it is impossible to get tired of drinking tea. With everything from white to green to black to fruit teas, there is always something new to be tried. And unlike with different flavored coffees, the calorie count on tea is basically non-existent if you're not using lots of sugar: black tea with milk only adds up to around 8 calories, while herbal teas are closer to 2 calories.
Based on all of this evidence, I can clearly state that tea is better for you, both mentally and physically, than coffee. Source I