Staff Standoff: Coffee or Tea?



Two million one hundred forty-two thousand, the amount of 60-kilogram bags of coffee the United States imported in just one month— October 2016, according to the International Coffee Organization. Obviously, Americans love their coffee.

While drinking too much coffee continually receives blame for being bad for your health, Harvard University has done research that delves into this issue. Their findings show a multitude of benefits from drinking moderate coffee amounts, about three to five cups a day—the key word being “moderate.”

One of the University’s 2005 studies explored the claim that coffee resulted in higher blood pressure, and instead found some suggestion that it improved blood pressure; yet another study in 2011 showed that drinking four or more cups of coffee each day lowered the rate of depression for women.

And the list goes on: reduces the risk of suicide by about 50 percent, protects against cardiovascular disease, improves cognitive function in adults, lowers type 2 diabetes risk by 11 percent and increases athletic endurance. I could go on, but you see my point: don’t be afraid of coffee.

A professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Sanjiv Chopra always has several cups of coffee each day and encourages others to follow him. You just might want to listen to Chopra if you want to live longer, since Mayo Clinic reported that most studies relate coffee consumption to decreased mortality in May 2014. Besides the obvious health benefits, the caffeine in coffee can be especially useful for anyone with a heavy workload (a typical Hockaday student). Even though Hockaday offers a rigorous, first-rate education, it’s also packed with quizzes, tests, papers, projects and exams, not to mention the regular homework. Sometimes you need to stay awake and alert, which is where the caffeine comes in handy.

But you don’t have to drink coffee to get the benefits it provides. Coffee is a natural exfoliator and can be found in body scrubs or moisturizers, and since it has the same pH as our skin, it leaves the skin neither dry nor oily.

If you don’t like the taste of plain black coffee, something even I (an avid coffee consumer) rarely drink, don’t forget that it can be prepared in an assortment of ways such as cappuccinos, mocha (espresso, hot chocolate and whipped cream), iced coffee, frappuccino (kind of like a milkshake) or flat white to name a few.

Next time you’re at Starbucks, go for the real drink; skip the passion tea and order a blonde roast instead.


You sit down at your desk, prepare to begin the hours of homework you have, pour yourself a cup of mint tea to get energy and focus from the caffeine. Finally, when you finish, you pour yourself a cup of chamomile tea to relax. Is there any other drink that can energize and also relax you as tea does? I don’t think so.

Yes, I know what you are thinking. Coffee can also provide that jolt of energy on mornings after sleepless nights and can relax you at the end of the day, if you drink a decaf cup, when you need to sleep. Although caffeinated green tea does not contain as much caffeine as coffee, it still contains some, so it can provide similar effects. Coffee gives you a bigger rush of caffeine but a faster crash than tea. True, there are decaf versions of coffee, but these are not truly caffeine free. And caffeine is addictive, so it is healthier to have it in moderation, making tea the healthier option that coffee in that regard.

When it comes to flavors, tea wins hands down. There is a wide variety of natural tea flavors like chamomile, vanilla, hibiscus, etc. And even though coffee also comes in a variety of flavors, they aren’t natural.

Different types of tea also host a wide variety of health benefits: there are teas for weight loss, diabetes, and lower cholesterol, to cite a few. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, coffee doesn’t have much of an effect on health. On the other hand, tea contains antioxidants and cancer-fighting properties, and is more hydrating than coffee.

On the cosmetic side, tea will make you look better than coffee—there are tea blends made for improving the skin, and tea does not stain your teeth like coffee does.

If you want a healthy, comforting beverage to perk you up before A period or to relax you when your head is spinning with the countless tests you have, tea is the drink for you.

– Maria Harrison – Asst. Features Editor –

– Morgan Fisher – Asst. Castoff Editor –