Tea Culture

Coffee People Versus Tea People

Yes this is a generalization, but I’ve noticed some differences between the people who regularly drink coffee and those who drink tea. Have you?

They say a person is defined by their actions. Some people prefer cats over dogs, other’s love a glas of beer over wine. If you’re into either tea or coffee, then you might have noticed some differences between ‘tea people’ and ‘coffee people’!

A study published in the Journal ‘Molecular Psychiatry’ in 2015 even shows that there are certain genes that predict/affect the amount of coffee consumption.

1. Coffee people are more driven

I would generalize and say that ‘coffee people’ are typically driven folk looking for coffee’s stimulation properties while ‘tea people’ are typically reflective folk looking for tea’s relaxation properties.

There’s also proof in the UK that coffee drinkers make more money and get more pay raise. Read this article in the Daily Mail: Coffee lovers are higher paid than tea fans

Related to this I found a few quotes online:

  • Tea drinkers meditate; coffee drinkers medicate.
  • Tea drinkers keep thoughts; coffee drinkers keep notebooks.
  • Tea drinkers read; coffee drinkers write.
  • Tea drinkers take a break; coffee drinkers need a break.

2. Tea people are more health conscious

Furthermore, given coffee’s greater addictive properties and tea’s well known health benefits, ‘tea people’ perhaps have more discipline and control over their lives and are more health conscious than ‘coffee people’. A related quote:

  • Tea drinkers comfort you when you’re sick; coffee drinkers comfort you when you’re tired.

3. Tea people love wine, Coffee people love whiskey

Cheap coffee is like cheap whiskey.  If you need a jolt of caffeine to wake up or a shot of liquor to let loose, both will get the job done. That being said, high grade coffee is like good whiskey.  Both also get the job down but on a more enjoyable level.

Tea is different than coffee- it is similar to wine.  Although there are cheap teas and cheap wines, the variety and possibilities of flavor, type, color, aroma, mouthfeel, etc of Camellia sinensis are vast.  And like wine, depending on the region, climate, and multiple other factors the qualities of tea can be far more complex.

With that being said, if you look at the reason behind why coffee people drink coffee, and tea people drink tea, you might get a better understanding of the differences between the two.

4. Tea people have better breath.

This is simply drinking tea improves one’s breath, while coffee consumption contributes to bad breath.

5. Tea people care about the journey, coffee people care about the result

I think ‘tea people’ generally enjoy finer things in life, are more laid back and content and don’t necessarily feel the need to be a part of the mad rush. At the high end, the rituals are more elaborate with tea than with coffee – high end coffee drinkers have a ritual that is more technical and less “dance like”.  When I think of the Chinese tea ceremony, I don’t think there is an equivalent in the coffee world, at least that I know of.  High end coffee is all about the results, rather than the ceremony (what green beans, what roaster, particular computerized roast profile, what grinder, what grind setting, purity of the water, temperature of the water, what brewing method) – if does not matter how much grace is involved, just the technical details and the end result.  In the tea ceremony, even what you wear matters.

A few related quotes:

  • Tea drinkers do it for the enjoyment; coffee drinkers do it with a purpose.
  • Tea drinkers sip on a moment; coffee drinkers gulp it down.
  • Tea drinkers savor the day; coffee drinkers live it.
  • Tea drinkers like fine china; coffee drinkers are fine with paper.

6. Tea people are geeks

The very fact that tea generally takes more time and attention to brew, has more subtleties and nuances, has a much longer tradition, and, has less caffeine – means that you’re going to get a slightly more “geeky” person who cares more about the journey than the result.

If you’re a coffee person who wants to get into tea, we recommend to read this article: How to make tea in a French press.

7. Coffee people are more addicted to coffee than tea people to tea

The fact that coffee truly “jolts” you with a caffeine dose and that it’s much more addictive, leads it to be a bit more intense and obvious experience – attracting people who are more into that approach. According to the Huffington Post:

49% of coffee drinkers would rather give up their cell phone for a month than go without coffee.

Some more related quotes:

  • Tea drinkers are strict; coffee drinkers are addicts.
  • Tea drinkers don’t need caffeine; coffee drinkers would inject it, if possible.

8. There are more tea people than coffee people

Tea is the second most consumed beverage right after water. Conclusion: there are more tea people. Checkout the below infographic:

coffee person infographic


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