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  • Olivia Du Bois

Three Ways Tea does Coffee Better

First, let me start by saying that I don’t hate coffee. In fact, I have a bit of a mixed opinion when it comes to the whole coffee-tea debate, because I drink both. However, when it comes down to the wire, I’ll always choose tea.

This isn’t because I generally like the taste of tea better (which I do) or because tea is an overall better health choice (which it is). It’s simply because tea consistently beats coffee at its own game. Not convinced? I’ve given myself three shots at proving it’s true.

Shot #1: the taste

Coffee is a taboo. It is an initiatory step into adulthood, which coincidentally is just as acquired a taste as the drink itself. Coffee represents all-nighters in the college library, the high-powered career that constantly has you teetering on the edge, the anxiety of that tight deadline, the irritation caused by that painstakingly early morning. Coffee is associated with stress, and its bitter bite is something that, like life, you just sort of have to get used to.

Tea is an aesthetic. Tea is what you drink on a cold, wintry day, the mug steaming beside your laptop as you re-watch your favorite show. Or it’s a pair to the open book on your lap as the light outside fades, a soft blanket wrapped around your shoulders and raindrops pitter pattering on the roof. It’s a drink that helps you weather the storms of life and come out stronger than before, its soothingly aromatic taste filled with the promise that everything will indeed be all right. It is akin to a life well-lived beyond material successes. And who doesn’t want that?

Shot #2: the versatility

Specialty coffees and innovative coffee drinks have become wildly popular and completely altered the face of the coffee drinking world. And yet, despite the overwhelming number of ways you can get your coffee made, tea still crosses the finish line first in terms of the sheer number of teas available regardless of their preparation.

Coffee has over 100 different species used worldwide, but according to Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss in The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: A Guide to the World’s Best Teas, there are over 20,000 different types of tea in the world. And these teas offer drinkers a whole host of medicinal properties, psychological benefits and general health bonuses to exploit. Because there are so many different types of tea, this is a beverage you can have at any time of the day. Whether it’s a caffeine boost (have you heard of Yerba?), a sleep aid or a soothing tonic for a sore throat that you need, tea has your back at every turn. Or really over 19,900 turns, if you want to be precise.

Shot #3: bubble tea

If you’ve never heard of this amazing confection, be prepared to have your life changed.

Bubble tea originated in Taiwan, and its traditional form is a sweet, milky tea with tapioca jellies at the bottom for an interesting twist. Yes, it sounds strange, and I didn’t like it at first, but now, I’m shamelessly addicted. Even if all my raving about tea and the research testifying to its superiority doesn’t have you convinced, bubble tea absolutely will, because bubble tea has beaten coffee on its home turf.

This is a photo of the Coffee Roasted Milk Tea from an international boba (bubble tea) company called Chatime. While they offer other coffee-based drinks, this one is my favorite by far. It perfectly offsets the bitterness of the traditional cup-of-joe taming it with the aromatic and herbal mix of the traditional milk tea drink with tapioca chews to top it all off. Where coffee is a taboo and stress-filled experience, coffee bubble tea is an aesthetic and exciting, new lifestyle.

Seriously, don’t discount this drink until you try it at least three times, because this is the kind of drink you have to know to love. And after this, if you still haven’t been won over to the tea side of this argument … well, I just can’t imagine that being possible.

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