Coffee and Tea Comparison Essay

Coffee and Tea Comparison Essay

Every living thing requires hydration to keep them in good health. Hydration is not just based around water, but other drinks, as well; the two most notable being coffee and tea. Throughout the course of history, there have been many drinks important to society; however, tea and coffee brought about the most important social and economical changes in the world.

Coffee caused some of the most important social changes in the world. “Coffee was the great soberer, the drink of clear-headedness…” (136). Before coffee was able to be imported to the western world, the only drinks they had were alcoholic, because the water was almost never safe to drink. Once coffee came around to Europe, people had a safe drink that would not get them tipsy; and everyone became just a little more clear-headed. “Coffeehouses were centers of self-education, literary and philosophical speculation, commercial innovation…” (157). Because of the high caffeine amount in coffee, people who drank it became more awake and sharp-minded; they would sit in coffeehouses and talk to each other. Before coffee, the only alternatives to water were alcohol, which muddied the mind and made one tired. Coffee woke up both the body and the mind, allowing people to think about everything that needed to be talked about at the time. With all that discussion, it’s easy to imagine some discoveries and breakthroughs were made.

Coffee caused some of the most important economical changes in the world. “The embrace of coffeehouses by businessmen, for whom they provided convenient and respectable public places in which to meet and do business…” (142). Previously, businessmen had to hold meetings in either their places of business, or the residences of their workers; both of which tended to be crowded and dirty. Coffeehouses were clean, bright, and had a steady supply of a drink that promoted clearer thinking. With a better place to think and discuss business, businessmen could communicate their ideas better.

Tea caused some of the most important social changes in the world. “Linking these new imperial and industrial expansions was a new drink… That became associated with the English…” (176). Tea made such an amazing impact on England that it has remained a national symbol for the island country for more than a hundred years. It changed the way England ran things forever. If one didn’t have a good china tea set they were considered a social pariah. “… but tea also became sociable, with the invention of new ways to consume it…” (192-3). Tea appeals to such a broad audience because you can add practically anything to it. One could make it sweet by adding honey and sugar, it could be made bitter and alcoholic by adding spirits, and it could be made softer on the taste buds by adding a generous amount of milk. One could drink tea with all one’s friends, regardless of what their tastes were, unlike other drinks, that can only be made sweeter.

Tea caused some of the most important economical changes in the world. “As the size and value of the Chinese trade in tea grew… the tea merchants… pioneered the use of a new invention, paper money” (180). Traveling a long distance with a pocket full of large metal coins was difficult, so, because tea traders and British buyers went such long distanced for tea, they decided to start using more practical currency. “Proponents of the idea argued that cultivating tea in India, if it could be done, would benefit both British and Indians alike” (213). In modern times, India is one of the leading tea producing nations, one billion strong, without the help of the British back then, things in India might be pretty different now. The English influence caused them to become more civilized, and moved the idea of eradicating the social caste forward.

Tea and coffee are made similarly, with both, you boil water and strain it through a ground-up plant; but they could not be more different in what they’ve done for society. They both clear the mind, but the ideas they sparked could not be more apart from each other. Throughout history, there have been many important drinks, but tea and coffee inspired the most ideas, and influenced the most culture and trade in the modern world.