The health benefits of coffee and tea

Written by: Arnell Angulo

Angulo is a Toronto-based Starbucks barista who loves to share his passion and knowledge of coffee whenever possible.

Coffee or tea? Over the years, debate over which of the two beverages are healthier and all rounded product have arose.

As a barista at Starbucks, customers often ask me about healthy beverage options that my store has to offer. My answer to the customer fluctuates based on what product he or she is looking for. Four out of five times, however, this product ends up being a coffee or tea.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. Coffee and tea are the only beverages Starbucks has to offer
  2. Coffee and tea are surprisingly healthy and all rounded products

The first reason should be very obvious, but for some, the second reason may not be. Growing body of research has actually suggested that both are good for you in different ways.

Below are five surprising benefits of coffee and tea.


  1. Asthma: In a person with asthma, irritants or allergens irritate the airways, causing them to contract and tighten. Research has shown that caffeine and many other compounds found can combat asthma as a natural bronchodilator, a medication that combats the medical condition.
  2. Cancer: A new study reveals how an active component of green tea disrupts the metabolism of cancer cells in pancreatic cancer. In fact, coffee consumers are far less likely to have certain cancers, heart rhythm problems and strokes.
  3. Coffee Drinkers: A new study has found that increasing coffee consumption may reduce type-2 diabetes. Coffee drinks are also less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease or dementia.
  4. Heart Health: Drinking coffee over a long period of time may prevent the risk of a heart attack. In fact, people who drink between three and five cups of coffee a day could be reducing their risk of a heart attack, as they are less likely to develop clogged arteries.
  5. Liver Disease: Researchers have found that consuming the caffeine equivalent of four cups of coffee may prevent and protect against the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.


  1. Calorie free: Numerous scientific studies have shown that tea drinkers, specifically green tea drinkers, lose weight faster than those who don’t. Most teas are either low calorie or calorie free; consuming 2,500 calories per day or less can result in losing one pound per week.
  2. Immune defense: Green tea and chamomile tea can help strengthen the immune system. Even if the effect may be minimal, you can’t go wrong since both are loaded with powerful antioxidants unique to each tea.
  3. Tea drinkers (part 1): Polypenosis, an antioxidant is found in tea and is known for their cancer fighting effects. In fact, some reports indicate tea may have the ability to help prevent cancers of the skin, esophagus, stomach, colon, pancreas, lung, bladder, prostate, and breast.
  4. Tea drinkers (part 2): Tea increases the metabolism by 4% over a 24 hour period. Three to five cups a day can help you burn an extra 70 calories a day, which adds up to seven pounds a year, 35 pounds for five years and 70 pounds for 10 years.
  5. White smile: The tea itself actually contains fluoride and tanning that may keep plaque at bay. Other research has found that drinking tea shows promise when it comes to preventing tooth decay.


Were you surprised about these facts? Which drink do you prefer, coffee or tea?

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