Are you a coffee or tea drinker? It seems clear that the majority of Americans prefer coffee to tea. All you have to do is compare the overwhelming number of coffee houses to tea stores. Though nearly all coffee houses also sell tea, coffee gets the vast majority of attention. But why is that the case?
I am a tea drinker, and dislike the taste of coffee. But I know plenty of people who need their coffee every morning, who will drink coffee all day long. While pondering over the matter, I decided to check out some statistics.
After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. But, in the U.S., tea occupies the sixth position, after water, soda, coffee, beer, and milk. But when comparing annual per capita consumption, the U.S. occupies the 23rd position for tea and the 26th position for coffee. Interestingly, Turkey is in first place in regards to tea consumption and Finland occupies first place for coffee.
On average, about 54% cent of Americans drink coffee daily and average 3.1 cups of coffee each day. Close to the same amount of Americans, about 50%, drink tea daily but not as many cups each day as coffee. The greatest number of tea drinkers are located in the South and Northeast regions.
A fascinating fact is that approximately 85% of the tea consumed in America is iced. That was a major surprise to me, though it is definitely my preferred way to drink tea. I drink iced tea nearly every day, and usually three or more glasses. Iced tea was invented in the U.S., likely sometime during the 1800s in the South. There is a legend that iced tea was created in 1904, during the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, by an Englishman Richard Blechynden. But, there is evidence iced tea existed before 1904, so Richard may be considered more the popularizer than the inventor.
Could caffeine be the reason for the popularity of coffee? An 8 ounce cup of coffee, dependent on the type and method of brewing, may contain about 80-175 milligrams of caffeine. Tea on the other hand may only have 30-60 milligrams, so a significant lesser amount than in coffee. Consider those people who "need" coffee to start off their morning, to give them an energy boost so they can wake up and get working. Or those who need a coffee boost in the middle of the day. Caffeine might be at the heart of the matter.
So do you prefer tea or coffee? And why do you hold that preference