Category • Blog articles

Tea vs coffee – what’s best for my office team?

Alex | January 29, 2023

An always popular debate at home and in the workplace, one that even matches the chicken and egg question, tea vs coffee, which is better? We all have our personal preferences and a lot of people across the UK will have a combination of coffee and tea throughout the day.

But which is better for your office – tea or coffee? While both have their own unique benefits, we take a closer look at the pros and cons of each. And we look at how ultimately it comes down to your team’s personal preference.

What’s more popular? Tea or coffee?

The stereotypes of a ‘classic British person’ portrayed from abroad and across the UK will have you answering this question in your head as ‘definitely tea’. But what do the stats say? According to Statista, tea and coffee actually tie in terms of popularity. 63% of adults who were aged 18-64 in the survey said tea and coffee were their favourite drinks to consume daily, with soft drinks coming third.

The benefits of drinking tea

If you’re not a massive fan of straight up water but are wanting to keep your calories on the low side tea is a great option. You can also add or purchase naturally flavoured teas as well as having it served hot or cold. Tea is a flavourful way of increasing the amount of fluid going into your body and some studies have shown it can help with your teeth and heart health. Standard tea also has 50% less caffeine in it compared to coffee, meaning if you struggle with caffeine in your body, tea can be a real alternative drinking option. Unlike some other drinks reports show that tea doesn’t erode teeth enamel. Herbal alternatives of tea can also have a positive effect on a person’s digestive system.

The disadvantages of drinking tea

Like the majority of foods and drinks available for consumption, it is advised tea is drank in moderation. Drinking it excessively can cause a number of potential side effects. Tea can cause digestive issues like nausea, bloating, and diarrhea, especially if consumed on an empty stomach or if you are sensitive to certain compounds in the tea, such as tannins. Tea contains a substance called tannins. Some people are allergic or are irritated by tannins. Tannins can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients like iron and calcium. Some versions of tea can act as a diuretic, which means it increases urine output and can lead to dehydration if not consumed in moderation and with enough water. In rare cases, people may develop an allergic reaction to certain types of tea, especially those that contain herbs or other ingredients.

The benefits of drinking coffee

Coffee is well known for boosting a person’s energy levels. These levels can be increased due to the caffeine stimulant that is in the coffee. These energy boosts can lead to an increase in productivity throughout the working day. Tests show that coffee can also improve short term memory, due to it accelerating neurons in the brain when consumed. Research has also shown that drinking coffee is actually good for your liver.

The disadvantages of drinking coffee

The positives of drinking coffee to boost energy levels can have the opposite effect your on sleeping pattern and schedule. Caffeine can be moving around and affecting the body for around 6 hours after consumption so an afternoon coffee is not recommended if you need some early shut-eye.

Which is healthier?

If you’re working as say a HR Manager, Facilities Manager or Office Manager, chances are, you’ll be responsible for selecting refreshments and perks for the team. To some extent, their health and happiness are in your hands so it’s important to provide a quality experience.

When it comes to health benefits, both tea and coffee have a lot to offer. Both are rich in antioxidants, which help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Tea, in particular, is known for its high levels of flavonoids. These have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Coffee is a good source of caffeine. Caffeine can help to improve mental alertness and also reduce the risk of several types of cancer. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of death from all causes, including heart disease and stroke. The same study found that people who drank two to three cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of death compared to those who didn’t drink any coffee at all.

The European Journal of Epidemiology also found that coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of liver cancer. Not bad results from your humble cup of coffee.

What about taste?

When it comes to taste, both tea and coffee have their own unique flavour profiles. Tea is better known for its delicate flavour and aroma. Plus there are many different types to choose from. The most popular options tend to be black tea, such as Earl Grey and English Breakfast which are enjoyed with milk. Other options include green tea and there are many herbal and fruit tea blends to choose from.

Coffee is well known for its bold flavour and aroma. Again, there are also many different types of coffee beans and blends to choose from. The two most popular coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans tend to be considered of higher quality. They have a delicate and complex flavour profile characterised by notes of sugar, fruit, and berries. They’re also lower in caffeine. This makes them a better choice for those who are sensitive to caffeine.

Robusta beans have a stronger, more full-bodied taste. They’re known for their higher caffeine content. They are more resistant to disease and pests, which makes them a more cost-effective choice for growers. Robusta beans are most often used in instant coffee, and espresso blends to give them a stronger and bolder taste.

Coffee is overall a firm favourite in offices due to its versatility. With a bean-to-cup machine for example, employees can choose from lots of different coffee drinks, with options like cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, espressos and more.

Productivity and workplace culture

When it comes to productivity and workplace culture, both can have a positive impact. Caffeine, which is found in both tea and coffee, has been shown to improve alertness and boost concentration. According to several studies, caffeine can improve cognitive performance and mood, which can support productivity.

Another study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that employees who have access to coffee and tea at work feel more valued and appreciated. The same study found that these employees will be more likely to stay at their job, which can help to reduce staff turnover and increase loyalty to your business.

Which is more expensive?

Like anything, it really depends on the type and quality of a product that’ll reflect its cost. You can buy cheap tea bags and instant coffee, but you’ll likely find your employees won’t enjoy the taste. It also suggests that you’re a business that doesn’t invest in its employees and presents a culture that cuts corners and doesn’t value quality. Not a good look for your business!

Overall tea is generally considered to be less expensive than coffee. Teabags are cheaper than loose tea but you’ll find premium speciality teas will come in on the pricier side. The cost of coffee beans again depends on the type and quality of the beans. Ultimately they both have varying price points so it’s up to you and your team to find the right tea and coffee experience for your unique requirements.

Get in touch

Are you thinking about introducing or upgrading a coffee machine into your workspace? Our friendly team of experts will be more than happy to have a conversation with you. If you need any help or advice on office coffee machines, simply get in touch.