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Coffee vs. Tea…Defining Me?

It seems that almost every blog or website has some variation of a post about the different characteristics of coffee drinkers vs. tea drinkers. Just by your drink preference, articles claim to be able to characterize every aspect of your personality. But why does a person have to be one or the other? Personally, I’m just as much of a coffee lover as I am a tea lover. I would even consider myself a tea snob as well as a coffee snob—and that’s saying a lot.

While it seems like the someone’s preference for coffee or tea is probably related to their taste preferences, articles such as “7 ways coffee drinkers are inherently different from tea people, so pick a side,” reference various studies that have been done that claim to explain differences in personalities and even career success on whether a person is a coffee or tea drinker.

Most generalizations seem to categorize tea drinkers as Type B and coffee drinkers as Type A. These stereotypes are based off “facts” that are humorously inaccurate. For instance, there is the idea that you “chug” coffee and “sip” tea.

The idea that coffee only exists for a caffeine boost during a busy day and therefore cannot be sipped and enjoyed is pretty hilarious. All real coffee drinkers know that there is definitely a difference between good and bad coffee, and even between different types of coffee. I lived in Spain for a couple months and my host family would have friends over to drink coffee and relax, even at 4pm! Even in America, it’s pretty common to catch up with friends over coffee, regardless of whether or not you’re looking for a caffeine boost. If we really wanted a humorous explanation of personalities, I think that we should look at a person’s coffee choice to see something about their personality. Are they a cappuccino without sugar kind of person, or a double flavor shot Frappuccino person?

Another funny stereotype written in an Elite Daily article is that “tea drinkers don’t need caffeine; coffee drinkers would inject it, if possible.” However, I know plenty of people who rely on a strong caffeinated cup of tea in the morning to get through their day. Maybe it’s the world’s best-kept secret, but there are plenty of teas that are loaded with caffeine.

While all of the quizzes and comparisons of tea drinkers and coffee drinkers are entertaining, they also reveal the intrinsic need of our society to classify people into one group or another. In our ever-growing global world and community, people are exposed to a multitude of different cultural practices and interests. As a result, people are developing much more diverse interests and characters than ever before. This diversity should be embraced and supported in our society, as it helps people connect and form relationships that they never would have before.

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