There are many great dichotomies, and many great conflicts between two forces. Throughout history and throughout literature we have encountered these and they have been documented. Perhaps it started with Kane and Abel, or more grandly good and evil, then there's the competition between Tom and Jerry, or between Nintendo and Sega, Marvel and DC, Microsoft and Apple… countless battles of opposing yet complimentary forces and choices that can define us.
Perhaps none is so epic however as the clash between tea and coffee. You have your tea drinkers, and you have your coffee drinkers, and like football fans they are each likely to vehemently defend their position. So which is better? Tea or coffee? And more importantly which is better for you?
Of course like all these things there is no right or wrong answer (except perhaps in the case of good and evil… and maybe Sega and Nintendo), and different people will have different requirements. However one thing that can be said is that each drink is better suited to different occasions and has different purposes. A cup of tea for instance is a more relaxed drink and a more subtle experience. This means it can be enjoyed in polite company or it can be enjoyed alone with a good book or a load of work. It can be enjoyed while relaxing, or it can be enjoyed with a biscuit or some traditional tea cakes.
Coffee fits a different niche and this is due to a range of differences. Coffee for one is a richer and stronger tasting drink and many iterations see extra cream and froth being added. This therefore means that you are unlikely to want to drink coffee while eating a cake or biscuit as it would be possibly too rich a combination.
The other difference is that coffee contains considerably more caffeine per mug. While they both contain caffeine to be sure, coffee gives you much more of a kick and is more invigorating. This means that you can drink a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and it will be the perfect way to wake you up, get your mind racing and ensure that you do a good day's work. Tea is more of a gentle and friendly awakening.
The kick of coffee is for many people a bonus and especially those who enjoy a trip to their local Starbucks to get a shot of espresso. However it also means that you can't enjoy coffee in the same quantities. Whereas you might drink tea throughout the evening, more than one coffee is often a quick way to get a headache. This also means that for the health conscience, switching to tea which is less addictive and less high in calories could be a smarter move.
There is arguably slightly more variation however when it comes to coffee. Tea can be enjoyed black, white or green and there are various flavoured green teas that are even more mild. Coffee however has an entire culture surrounding it and there are countless variations whether you want a cappuccino, a latte, an Americano, an espresso, a mocha, a macchiato or something else entirely.