Two very much loved beverages, but usually people prefer one or the other. One is supposed to be super healthy, whereas the other one hasn’t had such excellent health fame until just recently.
I have been working in coffee for the past 6 years in R&D and in Quality Control, and have obtained the Arabica Q grader certification some years ago, which is an international certification stating that I can give a quality scoring for arabica coffees.
I have been studying coffee also quite a lot on its health benefits, that have been quite controversial for the past years. Still there are many who would say coffee is not healthy, you should choose tea instead. If you are sensitive to caffeine, drink tea, but I’ll tell you a secret – all tea has caffeine too, it’s just called theine, but it is also an alkaloid found in some other plants as well.
Caffeine is something that the plant produces to protect itself from pests, it also gives some bitter taste to the beverages. While it is true that various people can’t digest caffeine as well as others, and it gives them a bit of tachycardia and an agitated state, most people are safe to consume caffeine in coffee. EFSA (European Food Security Authority) has actually released a statement a few years ago, that it is even safe to drink up to 6 cups of coffee per day and that caffeine can increase sports performance and maintain cognitive functions of elderly thus lowering chances of Alzheimer’s, which I would say is absolutely spectacular news!
But coffee is so much more that just caffeine. It has double the volatile compounds than what you can find in wine, so it is a very complex and rich beverage, that still has to be explored. During the roasting process melanoidins are created from the green bean precursors, that are polyphenols giving a great antioxidant potential to coffee.
The antioxidants contained in coffee have shown in various researches to improve cardiovascular health, lower the incidence of kidney and colon cancer, lower type 2 diabetes incidence and much more.
Some years ago the California court had implied the roasters to put information on all coffee as a carcinogenous product (that might lead to cancer), but this decision had to be cancelled quite fast. Why? Because there were no scientific researches found that directly connected coffee consumption to cancer, the studies actually showed the opposite, that coffee had great health benefits!
Of course, you should choose the best quality coffee, and, of course, I advocate drinking specialty coffee as it has it’s traceability up to the washing station of even up to the farmer, so we can know how the coffee was grown and processed, and we know that the farmer was paid a fair price to live a descent life.
But speaking about tea, I just recently had the pleasure to put my foot in the tea world and it is absolutely fascinating! I’ll be going to London soon for my first serious tea course at the UK Tea Academy, so I’m very much looking forward to it and I’ll be happy to share knowledge with all of you!
Tea and coffee are very special beverages that require a good quality raw material, respect to producers, good water at the correct temperature and time to enjoy and savor them!