Many beverages are consumed around the world for health and flavor alike, and the most popular drinks today are plain water, beer, wine, tea, and coffee. Teas and coffee, in particular, are made from plants, the former made from steeped tea leaves and the latter made of ground-up coffee beans. In many parts of the world, teas of all sorts are staple drinks and are a matter of course, and the same is true of coffee. General trends suggest that teas are most popular across Asia and in the British Isles, and coffee is most popular in the Middle East, North America, and much of Europe. Drinkers of these teas or coffee may enjoy a wide selection of flavors and condiments to make the finest drinks, and there are some health benefits to consuming these teas and coffee.
Tea is more of a novelty and health drink in the United States than a mainstay beverage, but all the same, many Americans drink tea at least occasionally or as part of a diet. Many types of tea such as Oolong, grean tea, jasmine tea, ginger tea, and more are out there, and many grocery stores may have dedicated sections for tea leaves in boxes. How popular is this drink? Very. In 2017, for a recent example, Americans consumed over 84 billion total servings of tea, and that adds up to some 3.8 billion gallons. About 86% of that was black tea, and green tea represented another 13% while many other flavors made up the rest. About four in five consumers drink tea at least occasionally, and Millennials in particular drink it (87%). These young adults are known for following trends of healthy, wholesome foods and ingredients, and tea fits that bill. Often, tea in the United States is iced, and this is especially popular in the old South. There, iced tea, both sweetened and not, is a mainstay and may be served as readily as water, beer, or soft drinks.
Tea has its health benefits. This beverage is very low in calories and has no sodium, fats, sugars, or carbonation at all, making it a very healthy alternative to soft drinks (packed with unhealthy sugars) and beer (carbohydrates). Tea is known to help maintain proper fluid balance, and some types of tea may also help soothe an upset stomach or reduce heartburn when drank with a heartburn-friendly diet. Tea’s mellow flavors may also make it ideal for making a relaxing state of mind, and tea is often associated with a quiet atmosphere, meditation, and the like.
Another world favorite, coffee is eagerly consumed in the United States and abroad. Although coffee beans are not native to North America, the United States is the world’s largest coffee market in the entire world. Nearly 25% of the world’s unroasted imports go straight to the U.S., and plenty of Americans are ready to drink it. Just over half of all Americans aged 18 and over drink coffee every day, and among drinkers, the average cups consumed per day is 3.1. For the entire American population, the average cups per day figures to 1.64, and coffee is often drank in the morning hours with breakfast. Coffee’s caffeine is a stimulant, making it ideal for energizing a person in the morning. They should take care not to drink caffeinated coffee after 3:00 PM or so, however, or the stimulation may make sleep difficult. Regular coffee drinking is known to make a person more alert and productive at work, and may even help reduce the odds of getting dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, later in life.
How to drink it? The options are endless. Some Americans drink their coffee plain, or black, but many others add sugar or cream for flavor, and even honey or cinnamon. Some Americans have bought coffee grinders to prepare coffee at home, which is price-friendly over time and allows for a “cup of joe” anytime at home. In other cases, someone in a rush to work or college may stop at a coffee shop for a to-go drink in a paper cup with a spill-proof plastic lid. These convenient drinks, unlike coffee in mugs, can be consumed while walking or taken into a subway or taxi. The cup can later be thrown away.