Coffee or tea: What's your go-to beverage?

Published: December 24, 2016
PHOTO: Reuters

PHOTO: Reuters

Macchiato, long black, cappuccino, affogato or a strong, steamy cup of chai? What’s the daily pick-me-up you can’t do without? The answer is a no-brainer for most but an absolute quandary for others.

Now, this may be coming from a coffee fanatic but the sight of diminishing coffee in the kitchen cupboard starts giving me anxiety days in advance. Do I feel the same way about tea? I’m not too sure.

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Having grown up mostly on tea, in a country fanatical about the beverage, let’s objectively compare the two before I give in to my bias.

An heirloom of the British era, tea has been around for as long as we know. My parents, grandparents and their parents all drank tea. But they also drank coffee. However, coffee was an occasional indulgence, tea a necessity. It is firmly embedded in our culture. Families congregate around tea, friends chat over it, it’s the first thing you offer guests, it’s a favorite ice-breaker, a morning, evening, all-day, everyday beverage that has become a habit we love.

Perhaps a sweltering hot cup of chai and paratha are irreplaceable. Tea and scones? Oh come on! Scones and coffee are a perfectly good match. What about coffee and an almond croissant? Or perhaps a bagel? Pain au chocolat? Maybe now I have got you thinking…

While the first coffee houses were established around the 14th Century in Turkey, coffee eventually found its way into cultures worldwide. Traditions surrounding coffee vary across different parts of the world. Widely relied upon in corporate settings, a morning without espresso is inconceivable for many early risers. It is also the go-to for night owls. What’s more, it lends itself beautifully to desserts, be it cappuccino cake or Tiramisu.

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Whether you like yours flavoured, freshly ground and French pressed, cold-brewed or instant, the whiff of coffee alone has the power to drag you out of bed in the morning. The invigorating, memory-invoking aroma can halt you in your tracks and alter your course.

It’s my morning miracle, brainstorming companion and constant reading aid. As much as I love tea, it is coffee I cannot do without. Knowing there is ample for the following morning helps me sleep in peace at night.

What’s your go-to drink?

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