Coffee or tea

Which is better: Coffee or Tea?


Coffee or tea? How often have we heard the question as we finished our dinner or sat down for a midday kopitiam visit? As the two most famous beverages in the world, they both serve well as energy boosters.

In this article, we will be comparing coffee and tea to come to a conclusion about the great battle between the two, analysing their functionality, benefits and side effects.

The common benefits of coffee and tea

Before we start to compare both, let’s talk about how both beverages share some common benefits.

Increase energy levels

If you find yourself dozing off, aside from carbonated energy drinks, coffee and tea are the best temporary solutions for your dozing off problem.

Coffee and tea may provide you with the energy boost you need for a day. However, the way they provide their energy boost is a little different.


Coffee provides an almost instant kick to give you energy. This is because coffee’s energy-boosting effect is through caffeine. Caffeine is one of the most studied and consumed stimulants in the world. Caffeine increases alertness and reduces fatigue by increasing dopamine levels and blocking adenosine.

During the consumption of coffee, dopamine is responsible for the “coffee effect” by increasing your heart rate and adding coffee’s addictive properties to your brain. On the other hand, adenosine blocks the sleep-promoting effect and reduces your feeling of tiredness.

This is why most people prefer a cup of coffee when they need an immediate energy boost.


Tea, on the other hand, may not be comparable to its competitor in terms of the high amount of caffeine. However, it is instead rich in L-theanine that will help stimulate your brain.

Unlike caffeine, L-theanine may provide anti-stress effects by increasing your brain’s alpha waves, which help you relax while keeping your mental state alert. It may help you maintain your alertness, focus, attention, and sharpness!

This may be the reason why tea provides a more smooth energy boost than coffee.

In summary, Coffee and Tea both increase your energy levels. However, coffee gives you instant energy while tea offers a smooth boost.

Weight loss benefits

The caffeine in coffee and tea may increase calories burned by 3 – 13%. This effect will remain for 3 hours after intake and on average, translates into an extra 79 – 150 calories burned.

Some studies have found that coffee has also been associated with fat-burning properties by inhibiting the production of fat cells. On the other hand, the polyphenols in tea may help inhibit pancreatic lipase which plays a key role in fat metabolism.

In summary, the caffeine in coffee and tea may help you lose weight.

Coffee and Tea’s Side Effects

Coffee and tea may be a great beverages to have during your break, but always keep an eye on how much you have consumed. Fortunately (or unfortunately!), coffee and tea will remind you if you drink too much, sending signals to your body of overconsumption.

Coffee’s side effects

Coffee’s side effects may occur if you drink over 4 cups a day. The side effects are :

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Ringing in-ear.
  • Coffee dependency
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure

Tea’s side effects

Tea’s side effects may occur if you drink over 3 – 5 cups a day:

  • Reduced iron absorption
  • Increase anxiety
  • Stress
  • Restlessness
  • Poor sleep
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

The side effects may also occur with a lower dose depending on your body’s tolerance so keep an eye on what your body’s telling you!

Specific special benefits

Coffee and tea stand out in their own ways. Coffee is high in antioxidants, while tea contains polyphenols.


Coffee’s high antioxidant levels may help longevity by protecting you against various conditions including heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cirrhosis.

Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against free radicals, which are the molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.


Tea’s high polyphenols may protect you against cavities, kidney stones, arthritis, and bad breath. What’s more, drinking green tea may lower your chance of developing oral cancer.

So, which ones provide more benefits?

Coffee may win in terms of providing an immediate energy kick, improved longevity and preventing cancers. However, it may cause caffeine dependency which can result in side effects. But if you’re not drinking for the energy boost, then tea’s properties can aid weight loss and provide other lifestyle benefits like avoidance of bad breath.

close up photo of coffee on tableteacup with tea
Coffee or Tea?

In reality, most of the coffee and tea we drink today aren’t served in their original form. With coffee being often served with a combination of sugar and milk, whipped cream and additional flavours, the actual calorific effect and health consequences may be worse than expected. Tea is also not safe from modern modifications, with milk tea and tea lattes packed with sugar and other components.

So I guess what we’re trying to say is that in the battle between coffee and tea, there’s no real winner!

It truly depends on your objectives on consuming these drinks… and if reading this article has made you thirsty so far, we have just the thing!

Three Cafés in KL For You To Try

Here are three cafés you could visit for some vintage coffee and tea.

Black Ink

It may look like a little cafe from the outside, but Black Inks coffee sure packs a punch! The coffee they make is extremely smooth with an excellent bakery. With a couple of seats near the window, it’s easy to snag those Instagram shots. It is one of the best to get if you would like to give yourself a coffee kick.

Newens Tea House

If you would like to enjoy your tea time with some British tea, Newens Tea House is the place to visit. The smooth tea is brewed and served in an old ’90s teapot and gives you a nostalgic British feel. Their tea smells incredibly strong yet smooth. It is worth a visit and takes you back to the 19th century.


Coffee served at PULP is not like any other where reviewers have praised the smoothness of the drink brewed from their freshly roasted coffee beans with their specialized coffee roaster. With their comfortable urban interior design, you can spend the afternoon sipping the coffee and tea available at PULP.

For those on the go, PULP is also available on GrabFood and Foodpanda.

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