Let’s spill the tea

Students and workers alike get so caught up in today’s fast-paced world that grabbing a quick cup of coffee seems easier than drinking tea.

Health is important, and often, the option of tea is overlooked. Tea is an accessible, flavorful and healthy option, as it can be found in many places including convenience and/or grocery stores, in addition to coffee and tea shops.

Often times, tea shops offer a wide selection and variety of blends and tea types. A few popular tea shops are DAVIDsTea, Rue du The and the online store of T2.

DAVIDsTea team member Thomas Grier and former Teavana employee Sabrina Shaker explained the different health benefits that come with each different kind of tea. In order to understand which of the different benefits will be most helpful, it is important to understand the different kinds and categories of tea.

“[Tea] is incredibly versatile,” Grier said. “There is a flavor for every palate, and you can mix any kind of fruit, any kind of spice in it.”

There are thousands of kinds of tea divided into five main categories of tea: white, green, black, oolong and herbal teas. Some additional types would be mate, pu erh, and rooibos.

White Tea

  • Considered highly healthy, due to a high level of antioxidants
  • Hydrating, and Refreshing
  • Hydration will help the skin and body
  • Lightest in flavor

Green Tea

  • Contains the most antioxidants
  • Promotes weight loss + good health

Black Tea

  • Rich in theaflavins and thearubigins (potent antioxidants)
  • Said to have cardiovascular benefits
  • A detox
  • High in caffeine

Oolong Tea

  • Aids with metabolism
  • Aids in digestion

Herbal Tea

  • Health benefit varies based upon herb or fruit used
  • Caffeine free

Pu Erh

  • Fermented black tea
  • Known for detoxification
  • Aids metabolism


  • Various medicinal properties
  • Aids immune system
  • Caffeine free
  • Derived from a bush


  • High caffeine
  • Many antioxidants
  • Medicinal use

Tea can be used as an alternative for those who need a little less coffee or sugary beverages in their life but also need that extra kick of energy or flavor. Loose leaf tea, in particular, is known to be a great substitute for sugary fruit juices due to its strong naturally sweet flavor without the calories and sugar of juice or soda.

“I prefer coffee,” Patricia Laude, a Skyline College student said. “Tea has less caffeine than coffee. I also prefer the taste of coffee, especially when it’s sweetened and with milk. In contrast, I prefer my teas black.”

Laude is not alone in this. Many students will opt for coffee because they find it has more caffeine. With that noted, students and coffee drinkers should be aware that while most teas’ caffeine levels might not be as high, there are teas that are very caffeinated.

Shaker explained that teas such as matcha green tea can include caffeine at levels similar to coffee. Two teaspoons of matcha tea can be equivalent to coffee, yet has the benefits of no jitters or crash due to its smooth release of caffeine.

“Matcha’s caffeine level doesn’t increase suddenly, instead it increases throughout the day,” Shaker said.

Malik Houston, a psychology major at Skyline College, explained that he personally doesn’t drink coffee, and he highly prefers getting tea, or soda compared to coffee.

“I think people are too reliant on coffee,” said Houston. “You never hear anyone say, ‘I need tea in the morning to operate.”

Houston prefers tea because it has more variety of flavors and is not as strong as coffee. He also believes that the “coffee cult” can become an addiction and is too strong for his pleasing.

For those like Houston who like an alternative, tea is said to be less addictive and has multiple health benefits. It is a great option for those who need a break from the typical cup of joe.

Tea has always been around but it has never really had a big hype built around it. If you’re looking to escape coffee or want a healthy beverage, maybe give it a chai and move oolong from coffee. It just might be your cup of tea.