Express & Star

The Big Debate: Tea or coffee?

Which is the best of the brews? Matt Panter and Heather Large thrash it out.

Which is the brew for you?

Matt Panter: You can't beat a cup of tea

Coffee. I’m not going to sit here and be critical. You have your purpose, for sure.

I’m not a morning person. It feels like I start most days by getting out of the wrong side of the bed and feel grumpy so I have a coffee to get that instant energy boost. One usually does the trick and I’m grateful for it.

But all-day coffee drinking? I’m afraid I won’t be shaking coffee beans in my hand in homage to those 1980s Nescafe adverts with Gareth Hunt and Una Stubbs.

And so, I have to put my weight of support behind the good old fashioned cup of tea, the drinking of which is that quintessentially British pastime.

There’s just something about a cup of tea that makes everything seem better with the world, and a constant supply from mid-morning through to later afternoon is a way of staying relaxed as you face the day’s stresses. A cup of green tea can also work wonders.

If someone needs to get something off their chest or are in need of a heart-to-heart, you ‘stick the kettle on’ before a chat and I’d wager most are brewing up a nice, hot ‘cup of char’ rather than a coffee.

That’s because tea is more soothing than a coffee, it provides more relaxed vibes. And, what’s more, tea is also the perfect accompaniment for cake and none of us need an excuse to eat cake, right?

Heather Large: Coffee always wins

I mostly drank tea until I started working at the Star almost 17 years ago. One of my new colleagues, who has since left the company but remains a very good friend, kept making me coffee instead of tea.

I would drink the occasional cup of joe, so out of politeness I drank the beverage she made for me without complaint.

After I while I found I was requesting coffee and also making it myself when it was my turn to make the drinks for the team. Tea was no longer my hot drink of choice.

I did have to put my foot down over the teaspoon of sugar my friend would throw in, because I don’t really like sweet hot drinks.

Now, I can’t imagine starting my day without a cup of coffee or two. Over the years, I’ve tried different varieties and experimenting with fresh grounded beans and a French press at home.

A barista-made coffee in a cafe is always a treat. Now I only drink traditional tea at my mother and father-in-law’s house – my husband’s family know how to make a good cup of tea.

The only time the teapot gets used at home, is when we have friends or family over.

In the afternoons I switch to decaf as I’ve noticed as I get older I struggle to sleep if I’ve had too much caffeine.

When I don’t feel like a coffee but still want a hot drink, I will have a fruit tea.

If I had to choose between coffee and tea – coffee would win every time.

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