I highly doubt that a good ol' cup of joe will ever totally fall out style — but here's some sobering news for the coffee aficionados among us: Apparently Americans are drinking less coffee these days, and it's a trend that looks like it's going to continue for a while. Could it be? Is it actually… uncool to drink coffee now?
Well, maybe not (and who cares if it's uncool, anyway?), but for the curious, here's the deal: The National Coffee Association released its annual National Coffee Drinking Trends report for 2015 on Tuesday — and while coffee is still enjoyed by a whole lot of people, its popularity seems to be slipping a bit. This year, 59 percent of respondents said that they drank at least one cup of joe per day; however, last year the number was 61 percent, and in 2013, it was 63 percent. That's a pretty clear downward trend — something which, as Time points out, becomes even more obvious when held up against a YouGov poll from the end of February. That poll found that, while coffee remains enormously popular with those over the age of 30, preferences for tea and coffee are split exactly down the middle for those under 30 (that is, Millennials). The question, of course, has become why coffee's popularity is dropping, while tea's is on the rise; although there are a lot of potential reasons for it, I suspect that one of the bigger ones is the rising price of coffee.
I'll admit that I feel a little like a traitor right now; after all, my love of coffee has been well-documented both here on Bustle and elsewhere. But sometimes, you don't actually want coffee — you want tea. There's something enormously satisfying about having a mid-afternoon tea break instead of a coffee break; to me, coffee is about go-go-going, while tea is about relaxing.
So, given tea's growing popularity in the Millennial demographic, here are six reasons you might think about swapping your next cappuccino for a nice cuppa instead:
1. It can help you de-stress.
A British study conducted in 2010 split 75 people into two groups and had each group drink a “black tea concoction” four times a day for six weeks. One of the groups was given a fruit-flavored, caffeinated drink with black tea in it; the other was given a caffeinated drink that looked, tasted, and smelled the same, but which lacked any actual tea. Blood pressure, heart rate, and reported stress ratings dropped in both groups — but for the ones who drank tea, they dropped 47 percent on average, as opposed to 27 percent in the non-tea group. Looks like unwinding with a cup of tea does do you some good!
2. Your tea bags are useful even after you're done drinking your cuppa.
You probably already know that putting damp tea bags over your eyes will help depuff them — and according to Divine Caroline, that's just one of a huge number of health and beauty uses to which you can put them.
3. Green tea is full of antioxidants...
Although research doesn't actually support the idea of antioxidants being the super-powered, fix-all-the-things health supplements they're often marketed as, there is evidence that they can help guard against macular degeneration — that is, that they'll help keep your eyes in good shape as you age. Not bad, right?
4. ...Among a whole bunch of other health benefits.
A literature review conducted in 2010 of studies focusing on the health benefits of green tea uncovered a huge laundry list of reasons the stuff is good for you. It can protect against diabetes and some forms of cancer; it can keep your heart strong; it can up your bone mineral density; and much, much more.
5. It will help you cut down on your caffeine intake.
If you've decided you're drinking way too much caffeine, tea might help you get your kick in smaller doses: There are about 47mg of caffeine in an eight-ounce cup of black tea, compared to the 95mg of the stuff in an eight-ounce cup of coffee.
6. You can still have a latte if you want one.
Tea lattes, guys. They're pretty fabulous. Brew up a cup of Earl Grey, throw in half a cup of milk, and add a dash of vanilla extract and sweetener to taste — that's a London Fog latte. Or go for a classic green tea or chai latte. Or think outside the box. Seriously — go nuts. The results will hit the spot just as much as your favorite coffee latte does.
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