The two most popular beverages, tea and coffee, each have dedicated followers who will insist one is better than the other. Japanese green tea and coffee may seem completely different, but many people take their drinks seriously. Which one is "better" is the subject of this battle, comparing each on 10 ranging criteria.
Even among the various types of green tea, Japanese green tea has the highest number of antioxidants. Japanese green tea’s form of production preserves all nutrients contained in the leaves. That includes catechins, a type of antioxidant that protect the body from cancer long-term. A particular catechin called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, is at the forefront of improving health. Such antioxidants keep the skin’s youthfulness and elasticity, reduce blood pressure, and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Most people who obsess over coffee drink it not only for the taste, for also for the caffeine. As a stimulant, caffeine jump-start your body’s nervous system. Your blood pumps, your heart rate quickens, and you feel more alert. Coffee contain quite a high amount of caffeine, with around 95 milligrams in a cup of coffee. People who drink coffee regularly experience advantages like improved mood and performance on tasks. Memory and cognitive abilities also benefit from the rich drink, from quicker reaction time to better concentration. If you want a quick form of energy or an afternoon pick-me-up, coffee is the beverage of choice.
While coffee is best for a fast-acting solution to fatigue, Japanese green tea is meant to energize the body steadily throughout the day. Its antioxidants slow down the rate of caffeine absorption. As a result, you will experience gradual, balanced energy levels and productivity, while relieving stress and staying calm. Japanese green tea contains high amounts of L-theanine, an amino acid that dramatically alleviates stress. Directly targeting the brain's alpha waves, L-theanine reduces anxiety, soothing the mind and body without causing drowsiness. High alpha wave activity helps you solve problems more effectively, while reducing mental strain.
Because of the caffeine it contains, coffee can affect your metabolism. The energy boost increases your activity level, allowing you to burn more calories than you would without coffee. Some studies show up to a 13% increase in fat burning. While Japanese green tea can also assist in losing weight, coffee has a stronger effect on thermogenesis, or the rate that your body burns energy. Because coffee has a more concentrated amount of caffeine, it works faster at increasing metabolism than Japanese green tea. Of course, that's only if you drink coffee without too many caloric add-ins, which can cancel out the effect.
If you drink Japanese green tea regularly, you may find yourself in better overall health down the line. In a long-term 2006 study on a Japanese population, individuals who drank at least four cups of green tea daily had a 26% lower likelihood of heart disease. Even one cup of green tea a day is enough to increase life-span. What's amazing about Japanese green tea is that you can drink 2-3 cups a day, without any negative side effects like jitteriness or thirst. This amount of tea offers 200-300 milligrams of polyphenols, the broad term for the antioxidants like catechins and flavanoids, to name a few.
There’s a lot of possible ways to drink coffee. With the broad range of coffee bean varieties, from Arabica to Robusta, people get to choose from light, medium, or dark roast. There are numerous ways of preparing coffee. Especially with the Italian inspiration involved in specialized barista skills, espresso drinks are incredibly popular. People can select whatever they desire: a latte, macchiato, americano – the list goes on. Because coffee’s flavor is so adaptable, coffee shops offer different flavors in syrups and available add-ins. Needless to say, there will be a coffee drink you haven’t tried yet.
In Japanese tradition, Japanese green tea has had ritualistic importance. Other than serving green tea with every meal, Japanese green tea is significant in the practice of the Tea Ceremony. This ceremonial tradition of carefully and beautifully preparing Japanese green tea is an art-form that began with Buddhist practices. Usually a tea ceremony entails a host dressed in customary Japanese clothing on a tatami mat in a pristine tea room. Supplies like a bamboo whisk and a tokanomi pot are laid out for the host to use. To host a tea ceremony, one must go through specialized training in choreography of movements and creating the tea gracefully. Coffee also has historical significance, originating from Ethiopia and gaining popularity in other Middle Eastern countries in the 15th and 16th centuries. However, as it spread to the rest of the world, it lost its cultural roots and is commonly seen today as a commercial product.
Because of coffee’s commercial success, over 50 countries farm and produce coffee beans. Because of this, over 9 million tons of coffee are made each year. Japanese green tea is limited by region because it requires a specific environment and farming practice. Japan produces over 80,000 tons of tea annually, and about half of that becomes Japanese matcha green tea. Because of this, Japanese green tea does cost more than coffee on average. Therefore, coffee is more widespread. The United States alone drinks about 3 times more gallons of coffee than even bottled water. Surprisingly, the top coffee-drinking countries in the world are all in Europe with Finland as number one.
What’s most surprising about Japanese Green tea is the positive effects it has on oral health. Long-term consumption of coffee could potentially lead to bad breath and stained teeth. Japanese green tea's high EGCG antioxidant content provides antibacterial qualities. It prevents the tongue and gums from possible plaque growth. Since bacteria gives rise to halitosis, or bad breath, Japanese green tea fends that off as well. The reduced acidity compared to coffee and other teas is comfortably balanced with the pH of your mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay.
As the body ages, it becomes vulnerable to less efficient functioning. The brain especially can be at risk for neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Both coffee and Japanese green tea have positive effects on protecting brain health. However, one area where stronger research points to coffee is Parkinson’s disease. Coffee can delay the onset of Parkinson’s disease, a condition that affects movement and balance. A 2012 study showed that coffee gave people with Parkinson’s more control over their movements. Other research revealed that high coffee intake among men made them 5 times less likely to develop Parkinson’s.
The two opponents in this perilous battle were neck-in-neck – but it’s a tie! Coffee is exceptional in amplifying energy, enhancing weight-loss, offering variety and availability, and preventing Parkinson's disease. Japanese green tea is fantastic for its antioxidants, health benefits, stress-relief, cultural importance, and improving oral health. Regardless of what drink you prefer, both Japanese green tea and coffee have rewarding qualities.
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What do you really know about Gyokuro and Tencha? This article is a reply to some of your questions and a challenge for you to expand the world of tea that you currently enjoy. Let’s take a few moments to dive into gyokuro and tencha and find out what differences and similarities are out there!