The Great Coffee Debate Featured image

Coffee & Tea History – Which is Better?

Coffee has been enjoyed for nearly as long as tea, but there is an obvious timeline of when it first appeared as a prepared drink. The exact date is often muddied but most coffee historians will agree that coffee beans were first discovered in Ethiopia. It did increase in popularity through trade and was primarily an Arabic drink that began to become incredibly popular in the 15th century.

Where did coffee and tea originate?

coffee and tea background

Proof of imported coffee comes from the port of Mocha located in Yemen. All throughout Arabia at that time were the first to praise the benefits of drinking coffee. Their coffee houses were commonly known as ‘Schools of the Wise’. It was so popular that it hit a strong chord with Europeans by 1615 when the coffee bean appeared with the help of Venetian merchants. Coffee had such an impact in Europe, that many of the most famous brewing methods were invented.


When it comes to tea, its history is said to date back more than 5000 years, but the only problem is that these were stories that were invented rather than based on actual proof. The best proof is proposed by the People’s Republic of China in 2016 which found proof in the mausoleum of the 6th Emperor of China. This period was roughly the same time that the ancient Greeks and Romans Empire was just beginning 157 to 141 BC.


This is still a mere 2000 years since some substantial proof of tea has been provided, yet it’s harder to give any Communist society any reliable or honest information on the history of tea. Much of the most reliable history of tea begins around the 13th century and began to develop advanced brewing methods in the 15th century. Tea was first imported to Britain in 1650, however, France got it first back in 1639…


In terms of Europe, tea and coffee were new imports that came from two very different places. This is perhaps one of the major reasons why there is such a division between coffee and tea drinkers. It’s caused wars and moved nations as a result of the opposition that typically fell onto these two groups. The best-known example happened in America in 1773 which is called the Boston Tea Party.


It was part of an event that led to the American Revolution to expel the British government and was largely an opposition protest to paying taxes on imported tea from the UK. As a result of this opposition to tea, it was preferred to drink coffee which was commonly enjoyed by European-born colonists who were living within the original 13 colonies. Coffee is considered to be All-American with many of the tea drinkers representing the minority.


Over the years, this has seen a slight change in coffee drinking habits with more and more variants of coffee that are being brewed similar to tea. The cold brew method produces coffee that is less pronounced and is not by mistake. This method starts with coffee beans that are medium to coarse grounds which do not release as much color or flavor into the water when they are brewed.


These newer coffee flavors are said to bring out the fruity and floral flavors in coffee. Yet it seems that this is the same thing that tea drinkers are looking for. It also makes a weak version of coffee that contains less caffeine with a color that is synonymous with the color of tea. Whether this method is an attempt to please tea drinkers or vice-versa, the dumbing-down of coffee has been growing through corporate coffee brands such as Starbucks.

Which is better, coffee or tea?

Couple drinking coffee and tea

Regardless of which side is more popular, the attitude between coffee and tea drinkers is similar to comparing dogs and cats, men and women, and children and adults. These two drinks are essentially apples to oranges in comparison to each other and have very little to do with their benefits. Every year is a flip flop narrative on the dangers and benefits of coffee and tea.


More often, coffee is demonized since its colored dark, while tea is given a pass since the color is lighter and brighter. There seems to be a combination of both coffee and tea brands that are sold in coffee shops but are never seen in tea houses. It might be slightly biased when it comes to tea culture being dismissed back at the beginning of the independence of the US in 1776. The difference is simply a matter of opinion based on personal choice.

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