When it’s raining outside and you are sitting comfortably on your balcony watching how beautifully the raindrops, creating that musical sound along with that lovely petrichor, you go on appreciating the beauty of nature.
You’ve your favourite novel in your hand and suddenly you feel that you are missing something. What’s that?
That’s your cup of tea without which your life seems really incomplete. For some, it’s tea and for some, it’s coffee. But definitely, these drinks are an inseparable part of our life.
Some prefer green tea, some prefer black tea; some prefer cappuccino, some prefer black coffee. Out of all these, black tea and black coffee are very popular among people all over the world. Have you ever wondered what makes them so special?
So, let’s first discuss what exactly is Black coffee and Black tea
When the green leaves from a bush named Camellia Sinesis are exposed to moist air rich in oxygen, they turn from green to a dark brownish-black colour. This process is known as Oxidation and this results in a fully oxidized tea known as “Black tea”.
Our friend Coffee is made from roasted coffee beans which are actually the seeds of berries from the Coffea plant. Black coffee is just coffee without any whiteners or milk in to change the colour. Hence the name "black" coffee as it is coffee with just water. This type of coffee is usually stronger, and you can use any type of coffee to have a cup of black coffee.
When we talk about tea or coffee, the major terms that we do get to read are – ‘Anti-oxidants’ and ‘caffeine’.
For sure, both of these elements have a major role to play for both tea and coffee.
Let’s learn about them.
What exactly are antioxidants and why are they supposed to be good for the body?
Antioxidants are phytochemicals which are chemicals found in plant foods. These phytochemicals are big heroes as they protect the healthy tissues from the villainous free radicals. Free radicles develop when the body absorbs oxygen and as a result, thanks to these free radicles, the cell oxidation process get initiated which might result in some degenerative diseases associated with ageing, cancer or Alzheimer’s disease.
Let’s learn more about these antioxidants that make our beverages healthy!
All varieties of teas consist of a group of antioxidants known as ‘Flavonoids’ that is also present in Apples. Black tea, specifically, has a relatively larger number of antioxidants, which aid our immune system to defend against the seasonal allergies, inflammations, fight against many chronic diseases, and lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Black tea also contains catechins and TF-2, a theaflavin antioxidant that kills cancer-causing cells.
With its high oxygen radical absorbance capacity, black teas are proven to decrease the risk of heart disease, and cardiovascular diseases.
Black coffee consists of disease-fighting antioxidants such as hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols that neutralize the free radicles as well. As a result, regular intake of coffee may lower the risk of liver cancer, colon cancer, Parkinson's disease, type II diabetes, and gout. The thing to be noted down is that a cup of black coffee has more antioxidants than a cup of black tea. But, as it is not recommended to have more than 2 cups of coffee a day, it is better to keep sipping more tea than coffee to get the benefits of antioxidants.
We may say that both of these beverages have plenty of antioxidants which are extremely beneficial for a number of health benefits as mentioned.
What about caffeine — The so-called Bad guy?
It is the caffeine that kick starts your day and that’s why people prefer to have either coffee or tea early in the morning!
Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants and works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system, helping you to stay alert and preventing the onset of tiredness. Caffeine's main effect is on the brain. It stimulates the brain by blocking the effects of the neurotransmitter adenosine.
Yes, there is caffeine in tea too! As a matter of fact, tea leaves have more caffeine than coffee beans. But, after brewing the coffee wins. The percentage of caffeine in a cup of tea depends on how long the tea or tea bag is put into the water. Also, a cup of tea is diluter than a cup of coffee.
With tea one still gets the benefits of caffeine—like an increase in energy and alertness—without the crash.
As already discussed, the caffeine content of coffee and tea vary depending on the size of your cup, what kind of tea or coffee is used, and the method of its preparation. An 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee has about 85 mg of caffeine, as compared to 40 mg in a cup of hot tea. Roughly speaking, the brewed cup of coffee has double caffeine than a brewed cup of tea.
We just need to keep in mind that caffeine is a drug and should be taken in a limited quantity, to avoid overload symptoms. The excess intake of caffeine has been linked with heart problems, miscarriages in pregnant women, anxiety, and sleeplessness. If caffeine is helpful to keep you up at night, you might try switching to decaf the next day. So moderation is the key.
Maintenance of a healthy weight
As black tea is devoid of any calories from sugar or cholesterol, drinking the black tea in large amounts can decrease obesity, by regulating your blood sugar. This leads to lesser food cravings. The antioxidants in black tea also contribute to weight management as they boost up the body’s metabolism.
Coffee, on the other hand, suppresses your appetite, thereby reducing the hunger for a short time, not long enough to help in an effective weight loss. Coffee also can contribute to weight loss by burning your calories using ‘Thermogenesis’— a process that generates body heat that helps in burning calories. However, suppressing the appetite an unhealthy and unnatural way to maintain fitness.
So, for maintaining a healthy weight and body, black tea is more favourable than a black coffee.
Cardio Vascular functioning
Let me first brief you about the functioning of the heart that beats around 100,000 times every day, pumping about 23 thousand litres of blood around your body. Why? As it is through this blood, the oxygen and the essential nutrients are delivered to various body parts. Not only this, while going back to the heart, it also carries away the unwanted carbon dioxide and other waste products. So it is very important for the heart to function in a healthy manner. Let’s see how our beverages help our cardio system
Research shows that people who drink black tea several times a day have lower cholesterol, which eventually reduces the risk of having heart diseases. Thanks to the flavonoids in black tea that can reduce blood clots, improve blood vessel function, and thus strengthen cardiovascular activity. Research says that people consuming three or more cups of black tea a day lowers their risk of having a heart stroke by 21%.
If you are prone to anxiety, high levels of caffeine can be bad for your heart. So consuming more than two or three cups of coffee a day might not be a good thing for your heart. In general, a cup or two of coffee should have no impact on cardiovascular health. In fact, the anti-inflammatory property of coffee is considered to have benefits on the cardiovascular system in the long run. Similarly, people having a history of high blood pressure should avoid having more caffeine as it might increase the probability of having a heart stroke.
Black tea being anytime safer, you may still have black coffee. While a moderate quality of the coffee will have no impact on the heart functioning, an excess of that might be harmful! So just be careful.
Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone ‘Insulin’ is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood. Both the drinks are known to have a good effect on preventing diabetes but with some exceptions. Let briefly learn about them.
Research says that black tea contains polysaccharides which are carbohydrates that slow down blood sugar absorption and hence may lower diabetes risk. Also, amongst its sister teas like Green tea and Oolong tea, the polysaccharides in the black tea have the most glucose inhibiting properties.
Is coffee good or bad for diabetes? It is a topic with ongoing research and studies. While it is studied that people who consume Black Coffee may lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes over a period of time. But, caution for people who are already diabetic, as caffeine in coffee has shown to increase the glucose and insulin levels that may eventually lead to known risks.
So, if coffee is your thing, it is better to consume your beverage in a moderate quantity and indulge in fitness routines and a healthier lifestyle.
The dental system
Black tea contains ‘Fluoride’, which is quite often associated with oral and bone health. The black tea may also decrease the cavities and tooth decay by discouraging bacterial growth and plaque formation. The antioxidants in black tea also work to prevent plaque buildup on your teeth. Thus, consumption of Black tea helps in keeping your teeth whiter and healthier!
Coffee is infamous for leaving teeth stains as coffee pigments can get into the pits and ridges of your tooth enamel because of ‘Tannins’ — a colour compound that causes a yellowish stain. However, lately, scientists have discovered that drinking your coffee strong, in moderation and without sugar can actually keep your teeth healthy. Coffee is high in polyphenol, which can help prevent against plaque.
As a general tip, if you are a victim of coffee strain on your teeth, use a straw while drinking coffee, and try to brush your teeth after drinking, or eat high fibre fruits, which are effective in keeping teeth clean!
Drinking tea not only hydrates the body but also help the body in retaining the moisture. That’s obvious to see the beautiful skin of Asian people. By putting the frozen tea bag on eyes the puffiness of the eyes can reduce. Lotions with tea extracts can also help prevent skin cancer from the harmful rays of the sun.
Being a rich source of antioxidants, your coffee can also help fight the free radicles responsible for causing premature skin ageing. Also, as it reduces inflammation it is also used in some anti-inflammatory skin products.
Looks like the winner comes out to be ‘The Black Tea’! But wait! Are you a Black coffee lover?
- Moderation is the Key
- Avoid adding any artificial sweeteners, milk or sugar in your tea or coffee
- Don’t get addicted
- Combine your drinking habit with a healthy lifestyle
- Do include exercising, yoga or any form of physical activities in your lifestyle
- Eat a balanced diet that takes care of all the essential nutrients required by your body
And then, enjoy your hot freshly brewed coffee or tea, thanking for their wonderful components and their benefits on your body.
Cheers to a happy and healthy body!
Where can I buy black tea?
A vast range of options for pure Ceylon black tea is available at teakruthi. You can choose either of them based on your strength and flavour preferences.
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