Quick Recipes and Easy

The Devil’s Brew or Heavenly Bliss – Green Tea vs Coffee

Switching from coffee to green tea is not an simple task. I can’t even wake up in the morning without a cup of coffee. Well, I can, technically, but I am more like a zombie than a living, breathing person if I don’t have my coffee in the morning. I am also a raging bitch. Lately but, I have been experiencing a plethora of health conditions from anxiety attacks to heart palpitations, which my doctor attributed to my more than casual consumption of coffee. As I heard these words of “medical advice” my doctor suddenly turned into The Devil and I made my index fingers into a cross sign and started to back out of her office. Just before reaching the door, I heard Satan mumble something about green tea. Realising she’d hit a nerve, she made me a cup of tea to try. My mother raised me right, so I didn’t spit the rancid brew all over the evil doctor’s office, but I couldn’t help making a face. “I know it’s a bit bitter, but you get used to it”, she said, “and besides it’s so excellent for you!” I lied and said it was excellent. When I left her office, I went across the street to Java Jungle, and got a triple espresso grandé with light soymilk and three sugars.

The three days following my visit to the doctor were dreadful. I cut back on my usual six cups a day but my symptoms worsened. When she called to see how I was doing, she questioned if I had tried the green tea. I lied (again) and said yes but it wasn’t helping. She told me to do some research on the health benefits and I would be surprised.

Amazingly, I was surprised. Who knew The Devil would offer such excellent advice? Green tea, is known as one of the healthiest foods in the world. Some of its benefits include preventing/ treating cancer, treating arthritis, and treating multiple sclerosis. (Wikipedia, 2006). Both coffee and green tea help to increase metabolism (weight loss, yay!) and improve cognition, but, green tea has
only half the amount of caffeine as coffee. Caffeine, the supposed culprit of my afflictions, is not all terrible. I also learned that the caffeine in green tea and coffee help reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes (RealAge, 2006). One of the largest positives I found is a correlation between green tea and the slowing down of the aging process due to the high anti-oxidant content. The question was could I get past the disgusting taste if it meant looking younger and possibly thinner?

I chose to go to a new trendy café, which boasted the most premium of coffees and teas. They had a tasting room and really gave small lessons on the types and grades of these prized beverages. Although comparing the tastes of coffee and green tea is like comparing apples and oranges, I can say that they both offer a large range of flavours. Green tea, mostly from China or Japan, can range from slightly sweet to horribly bitter (the latter being what I now like to call Satan’s brew). Coffee beans can come from all over the world, the most common place being Columbia. Similar to green tea, coffee flavour ranges from full bodied to highly acidic to mildly bitter. Both coffee and green tea can be infused with other flavours such as vanilla, butterscotch and raspberry. Most importantly, they are both best when consumed piping hot!

I like everything about a hot cup of coffee: the smell, the sound of the coffee maker or espresso machine, the taste, the temperature, the colour. After acquiring some knowledge and an appreciation for green tea, I found that its drinkability and pleasure to the senses was nearly equal to a excellent cup of coffee. The temperature of the water and steeping time makes a huge difference in the flavour and strength of the tea, just as the amount of coffee grounds per cup of water make a difference to the flavour and strength of coffee. I despise to admit it, but I reckon I’ve turned into a green tea connoisseur! The question now was could I really give up coffee for excellent?

Nearly every morning, for the past fourteen and a half years, my husband Phillip has woken me up by bringing me a cup of coffee in a heart-shaped mug. It is something that I cherish and have never taken for granted. There have been rare times when I have woken up first and when I do, I make the coffee and he gets the heart mug, but I reckon I can count those times on one hand. Phillip doesn’t mind that he’s usually the one to wake first and make the coffee, he knows how useless I am before my first cup (raging bitch). After all my research, I have chose to keep the coffee…and the green tea. I’ll delight in my heart-shaped mug, filled with coffee goodness in the morning and for the rest of the day I’ll sip on green tea. Occasionally I’ll splurge and indulge in a luscious cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in the afternoon, but it’s sayonara to those triple espresso grandés!


“Green tea – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 2006. 16 May 2006 < en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_tea>.

“That Morning Caffeine Fix? Consider It Health Care – RealAge Tip of the Day.” RealAge, Inc, 2006. 16 May 2006 < realage.com/news_features/tip.aspx?v=1&cid=16652>.

Shauna Ratapu is a writer, actress, director, meditator and independent representative for The One Group: Certified Organic Nourishment for the Skin, Hair and Body.
sacredsun.mionegroup.com sacredsun.mionegroup.com

Shauna, an American, lives and works in New Zealand with her Kiwi husband and their three children. For more information on Eco-travel in New Zealand, Meditation or Organics visit Shauna’s homepage: soulfoodcafe.co.nz soulfoodcafe.co.nz

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