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SIMPSON: Coffee or tea?

The lady of the house is a thoughtful person. She is right once again, as she often is in discussions. So what is she right about this time? As a drink, coffee is probably better for you than tea.

For years we have had an ongoing debate about coffee and tea. She likes coffee with breakfast and I drink hot tea. I am aware that Americans are probably the largest consumers of coffee in the world. What American worker doesn't know about the coffee break?

So why am I not among all these coffee lovers? It was after World War II and during my student years when stress gave me an ulcer. Coffee had too much acid and the family doctor advised against drinking it. It was then I became a tea drinker and have remained one today.

A recent study has given credibility to my wife's view that coffee is better for you than tea unless the tea is green.

OK, so I'll accept this because when observing my spouse after her first morning cup of coffee, I can see it does stimulate her mentally and physically. The beverage has properties that bring about an awakening and arousal of mental faculties. For her, coffee is an eye-opener and she seems more alert and relaxed drinking coffee with breakfast. It doesn't matter if her roasted ground coffee beans come from Brazil, Colombia or other Latin American countries. Hot coffee smells good, tastes good and stimulates.

Meanwhile, as I look on, I get out a favorite mug, drop in a Le Roy Hill orange pekoe and pekoe tea bag and then our boiling water over the tea. I let it steep three to five minutes, add sweetener and cream, sit back, sip and enjoy. It doesn't smell as good as fresh brewed coffee, but it has enough caffeine and a taste suitable for me.

And, it does not upset my stomach, which is why I drink it instead of coffee. It has enough boost for me.

Grandmother's family came from England. She taught me to drink tea with cream even though plain tea might be better for you. She also never used tea bags. Her tea was brewed with loose tea. Hot or iced. It didn't matter. Tea was our drink of choice.

Coffee or tea. Either drink helps people focus and increases energy enough to get folks through the hectic pace of daily life.

These are pleasure beverages. Coffee black. Coffee with cream. Tea white, green or black, with or without cream when consumed with moderation may not disturb sleep, but will keep us awake enough to meet each day's challenges.

Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday. For past columns, visit www.rockdalecitizen.com or www.newtoncitizen.com.