Research Methodology: Coffee Versus Tea

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The debate between whether tea is better than coffee, and vice versa, has been heavily debated, and there are various studies that support each side. According to the research, there are different factors that go into deciding whether a person will drink tea or coffee. Some of these factors include culture, the person ’ s age, the benefits of each drink, as well as the risks. Additionally, studies have shown that there are biological reasons for choosing one or the other. Coffee and tea have become more popular as new creative variations of each have appeared, thus making the choice between the two, a difficult one. Method Discussion Coffee Versus Tea Elise Girard, Erica Solis, and Sabrina Torosyan AZUSA PACIFIC UNIVERSITY Chart #1: “ I drink coffee daily ” Chart #2: “ I drink tea daily ” References Literature Review Results Data for this study was collected from a total of 15 participants. Each of the three researchers was responsible for identifying five potential participants, and emailing those individuals for a total of fifteen participants for the study. The participants included family members, friends, and coworkers of the researchers. This present study hypothesizes that more participants will prefer drinking coffee versus tea. The purpose of the study was to discover whether or not more individuals would prefer drinking coffee to tea. The present study was investigating whether participants would prefer drinking coffee or tea. The researchers hypothesized that more participants would prefer drinking coffee to tea. There was a general pattern of participants preferring coffee to tea because it made them alert, energetic and kept them awake. Adriana, M., (n.d.). Tea side effects: Top 10 bad effects of tea on health. Health MW . Retrieved from http://www.healthmw.com/20/02/2012/mens-health/tea-side-effects-top-10-bad-effects-of-tea-on-health-49.html

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Literature Review The debate between whether tea is better than coffee, and vice versa, has been heavily debated, and there are various studies that support each side. According to the research, there are different factors that go into deciding whether a person will drink tea or coffee. Some of these factors include culture, the person ’ s age, each drink ’ s benefits and risks, and also, biological reasons for choosing one or the other. Coffee and tea have become more popular as new creative variations of each have appeared, thus making the choice between the two, a hard one. Fagan (2013) suggests that all people drink one or the other and her research did not establish which one is more popular. As such, she explains how tea drinkers and coffee drinkers each have their own culture. For example, she states that each kind of drinker spends time in different types of locations, imagine different romantic relationships than the other, spend casual social time with different types of people, and have different goals for their future. She goes on to explain that tea drinkers prefer a more quiet, tranquil, studious lifestyle, whereas coffee drinkers tend to enjoy a more artistic, edgy, and busy way of life. In another study, Troyer & Markle (1984) explain that coffee consumption has become a normal daily behavior of each American. They state that about 80% of the population in the U.S. drinks about 3 cups of coffee each day. This study shows how coffee has become a staple in society making it easier for people to reach for coffee rather than tea. Also, Moore (2001) explains that nearly 600 million cups of coffee are drank each year around the world. She explains how coffee has become extremely popular and that people can even tell what kind of coffee they are drinking merely by smelling it. Her research suggests that coffee is the preferred drink for people around the world and that it has received a lot of attention. There is one article that suggests that age is a factor in why people choose to drink either coffee or tea. Luciano et al. (2004) suggests that age was a positively associated with tea drinking and negatively associated with coffee drinking. Their study was conducted on identical as well as non-identical Australian twins between the ages of 16-87. They were asked how many cups of tea and coffee they consumed per day. There has also been a debate about which drink is better for a person to drink. Reinke (n.d.) argued that neither tea nor coffee is better but they each contain their own health benefits. For example, tea reduces cholesterol levels, helps to prevent blood clotting, lowers the risk of Alzheimer's, Parkinson ’ s, various types of cancer, and seasonal allergies. Research done on coffee, on the other hand, suggests that it is helpful in reducing risk of Parkinson's disease, colon or liver cancer, gout, and type II diabetes (Reinke, n.d.). She encourages people to choose either tea or coffee without paying attention to which one can be detrimental to one ’ s health as long as they are drank in moderation. The American Heart Association (2013) explains that when people drank either tea or coffee, their risk of stroke was decreased by about 20-30 percent compared to those who did not drink either one. This is an example of how some research has shown that both tea and coffee each can be beneficial to ones health.

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Literature Review There were a few articles that argued that tea was worse than coffee. Adriana (2012) gives 10 reasons how tea can negatively affect one ’ s health, including inducing kidney stones, insomnia, premenstrual syndrome, and even Alzheimer ’ s disease. Also, Borreli (2013) explains how tea may contain GMO ’ s, artificial flavoring, and that even the mesh bags used to hold the tea leaves can have a negative affect, not only on the person ’ s health, but on the environment. On the other hand, an article titled, “ 10 Reasons Why Tea is Better Than Coffee ” lists various arguments about why tea is better. For example, the author stated that tea is cheaper, more simple to drink, has more of a variety, can be dietetic, is a novelty, and that more countries around the world prefer tea over coffee. He goes on to explain how tea can be a natural stress-reliever and has much less caffeine than coffee. Finally, there have been a few studies that explain how genetics might play a role in drinking coffee for its caffeine. Laitala, Kaprio, & Silventoinen (2008) found that there is heritability factors in the addiction of coffee. This study was done on twins, resulting in a strong correlation among the participants. Also, Zander (1982) explains that coffee is prevalent in our lives before we are born because of the connection between mother and baby. What the mother consumes so does the unborn fetus. Therefore, when the mother consumes more caffeine than necessary, the child grows up to prefer caffeine drinks. Quinlan, Lane, & Aspinall (1997) explore the temporal effects of caffeinated drinks on one ’ s physiological and psychological functioning. They monitored the effect of 400ml of hot tea, coffee, and water consumption on blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, mood, and so forth in 16 subjects over a 14-hour period. Their results showed that "caffeine in the beverage rapidly augmented skin conductance responses, however, in comparison with the effects of hot water consumption, the caffeine reduced the skin temperature response and increased blood pressure. ” There were no effects of beverage consumption on salivary caffeine levels, indicating that pharmacokinetics were similar in both coffee and tea. However, tea potentiated the increase in skin temperature, indicative of a greater vasodilatory response plausibly related to the presence of flavonoids in tea (p. 164)." They concluded, "Hot caffeinated beverages stimulate physiological processes faster than hitherto described." Whether a person chooses to drink tea or coffee is based on their beliefs about the positives and negatives each drink has. Some people choose to drink coffee for the caffeine, while others choose to drink tea for its variety. People choose to drink coffee for its ability to keep one awake, alert, and for its taste; while others choose tea because it helps them to relax and warms them up when they are feeling cold. There are simply a large variety of reasons why people choose to drink one or the other.

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Method Data for this study was collected from a total of 15 participants. Each of the three researchers was responsible for identifying five potential participants, and emailing those individuals for a total of fifteen participants for the study. The participants included family members, friends, and coworkers of the researchers; they were chosen randomly and their participation was on a voluntary bases. Additionally, the participants were not offered any compensation for their participation. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 50 years-old, both male and female. Demographically, participants were of various ethnicities, predominately Armenian, Caucasian and Latino, though none of their personal information was asked during the study. None of our participants were eliminated for any specific reasons, as there were no pre-requisites for our study. All our participants answered the same survey questions, thus there was no control group for this study. Participants were emailed an informed consent along with a link to the groups ’ unique Survey Monkey questionnaire webpage if they chose to proceed with participating in the study. Once they agreed to be participants, they were taken to a website that was created with various questions relating to tea drinking and coffee drinking preferences as well as questions relating to the frequency of their consumption. The survey questions were created by the collaboration of all three of the researchers, and some preliminary questions were omitted because the researchers determined that some of those particular questions might elicit a more emotionally charged response from the participants than the researchers were interested in measuring. The survey included ten questions, which were comprised of eight simple multiple-choice questions ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree, as well as two open-ended questions. The questions were based on the hypothesis that more participants prefer drinking coffee versus tea. The questions were dealing with coffee and tea consumption on a daily basis and the reason why one was favored over the other.  Fifteen participants consented and answered all our questions besides only 14 answered our short answers. The participants were told that the study investigated the popularity of caffeinated drinks. Even though the questions were set up in a way that did not give away the hypothesis, there was no deception for the study, thus the participants did not have to be debriefed at any point during the survey process. The study was created in a way to be at a low emotional risk for the participants in order to follow and adhere by ethical guidelines. Each participant was given one week (7 full days) to complete the survey, and there were no time restrictions for the survey once they logged on. The questions were divided evenly between coffee and tea, how much they prefer to drink each one per day, how they like to drink it, and why they drink it, and the results of these questions were calculated in Microsoft excel. The results will be indicated by the mean, standard deviation, percentages per question and specific short answers given by the participants. The percentages of the relevant questions will be compared and contrasted to show the significance of the findings.

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Results This present study hypothesizes that more participants will prefer drinking coffee versus tea, and as such, the purpose of the study was to discover whether or not more individuals would prefer drinking coffee to tea. Due to the health and addictive concerns regarding coffee consumption, this study wanted to research not only the preference of coffee or tea, but also the reasons why people would choose one over the other. There were a total of 15 participants for the survey. The results indicate that there is a general trend, which revealed that most participants drink coffee on a daily basis (m=2.2, SD=1.521 and 46.67% of participants) in comparison to tea (m=3.46, SD=1.302 and 13.33% of participants) as seen on chart 1 and 2.  A large proportion of the participants drank four or more cups of coffee per day (66.67%). And 40% of our participants responded that they drink 0 cups of tea per day. These findings indicate that 7 out of our 15 participants drink 4 or more cups of coffee per day as seen on table 1.  Some of the survey questions that were irrelevant to the study were in relation to how each participant liked to drink their coffee or tea (i.e., plain, with cream, with sugar, or with cream and sugar). Most participants preferred coffee with creamer and sugar, whereas tea was preferred with only sugar. One again, the cream and sugar that is used when drinking the 4 or more cups of coffee per day may be another health issue besides the coffee itself.  Thus, even though those questions were irrelevant, it added beneficial insight to the health concerns of the amount of coffee that is consumed per individual because other factors related to coffee drinking had not been identified in the research we were able to locate for our preliminary literature review.             The open-ended questions indicated the reasons why the participants drank coffee and tea.  There was a general trend, which revealed that coffee was desired and consumed for energy, taste, alertness and staying awake. Tea was favored for relaxation and staying warm when the weather is cold. One participant ’ s answer was different than the others, which indicated that they drink coffee because they feel sophisticated and drink tea because they feel fancy. Taste seemed to one common answer that was given by one participant as to why they favored coffee or tea, which they answered that it was for taste purposes. These findings alone would confirm and support our initial hypothesis that more participants will prefer drinking coffee to tea.  

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Chart #1

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Chart #2

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Table #1 Survey Question % of Participants Responding “ 0 ” % of Participants Responding “ 4 or more ” #1 How many cups of coffee do you consume per week? 13.33% 66.67% #2 How many cups of tea do you consume per week? 40.00% 20.00%

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Discussion The present study was investigating whether participants would prefer drinking coffee or tea. The researchers hypothesized that more participants would prefer drinking coffee to tea. There was a general pattern of participants preferring coffee to tea because it made them alert, energetic and kept them awake. The relevant question indicated that more than 30 percent of participants drink coffee on a daily bases to tea. These results were significant, and supports the original hypothesis proposed by the researchers.  The question from our survey that had significant results, and was also somewhat unexpected, was in regards to the amount of consumption for coffee; 66.67 percent of participants indicated that they drink four or more coffee drinks per day. According to Troyer & Markle (1984), the national average is close to three cups of coffee per day, which is why this data from our survey somewhat took us by surprise as it was a significant increase from what previous research has shown. We believe that the massive amount of coffee that is consumed per day is because studies have found some genetic components relating to coffee consumption (Laitala, Kaprio, & Silventoinen, 2008). Moreover, there is also a cultural and social norm that has developed regarding coffee (Troyer & Markle, 1984). Additionally, it was predicted that some participants would indicate that they drink coffee because they are somewhat addicted, but that was not the case in our short answer section.  Even though our hypothesis was supported, there are numerous limitations to our study. There were only 15 participants, all of whom were on a voluntary basis. Additionally, the participants were predominately family and friends who lived in Southern California, and thus we do not know if these findings would generalize. There should have been a larger sample size, a broader range of participants and an equal amount of males and females.  Moreover, the participants might have figured out our hypothesis from the way the questions were written. Future studies should get a larger sample size, with a broader range of questions to ensure participants cannot figure out the hypothesis. Additionally, future research should investigate the addictive factors of coffee and if individuals recognize their addictions. Also, studies should research individuals who know the health benefits and risks of coffee; the findings to these studies would be beneficial to coffee drinkers in particular. Upon reviewing our study, there seemed to be a trend of individuals desiring coffee on a daily basis, with most of the coffee drinkers imbibing four or more cups of coffee per day. Moreover, coffee was commonly desired for many reasons listed by our participants, including taste, energy and alertness.  Thus, coffee did seem to be a popular choice for many individuals, whereas tea turned out to not be much of a competition when compared to coffee during the course of our survey.

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References Adriana, M., (n.d.). Tea side effects: Top 10 bad effects of tea on health. Health MW . Retrieved from http://www.healthmw.com/20/02/2012/mens-health/tea-side-effects-top-10-bad-effects-of-tea-on- health-49.html   American Heart Association. (2013, March 14). Coffee, green tea, may help lower stroke risk, research shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130314180140.htm   Borreli, L., (2013). Could tea be bad for you? 5 tea ingredients that are harming your health. Medical Daily . Retrieved from http://www.medicaldaily.com/could-tea-be-bad-you-5-tea-ingredients-are-harming-your-health-253445   Fagan, C. (2013). Tea people vs coffee people. Thought Catalog . Retrieved from http://thoughtcatalog.com/chelsea-fagan/2013/02/tea-people-vs-coffee-people/   Laitala, V. S., Kaprio, J. & Silventoinen, K. (2008), Genetics of coffee consumption and its stability. Addiction, 103 , 2054– 2061. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02375.x   Luciano, M., Kirk, K., Heath, A., & Martin, N., (2005). The genetics of tea and coffee drinking preference for source of caffeine in a large community sample of Australian twins. Addiction, 100 , 1510-1517. doi: 10.1111/j. 1360-0443.2005.01223.x   Moore, V., (2001). Master of beans. New Statesman . Retrieved from http://encore.apu.edu:50080/ebsco-w-b/ehost/detail? sid=758bbb34-77a2-48c5-b27d-4ffa2b2ddea6%40sessionmgr198&vid=1&hid=112&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc 3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=5496815 Quinlan, P., Lane, J., & Aspinall, L., (1997). Effects of hot tea, coffee and water ingestion on physiological responses and mood: the role of caffeine, water and beverage type. Psychopharmacology, 134 , 164-173.  

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References (continued) Reinke, B. B., (n.d.). Coffee or tea? Which is better for me? The Christian Broadcast Network . Retrieved from https:// www.cbn.com/health/nutrition/reinke_coffeetea.aspx   Stephen. (2014, March 24). Ten reasons why tea is better than coffee. Retrieved from http://www.teaviews.com/ 2009/03/24/10-reasons-why-tea-is-better-than-coffee/   Troyer, R. J., Markle, G., (1984). Coffee drinking: An emerging social problem? Social Problems, 31 , 1983-1984. Retrieved from http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/socprob31&div=43&id=&page   Zander, R. H., (1982). Are you a caffeine addict? The Saturday Evening Post, 50-53. Retrieved from http://encore.apu.edu: 50080/ebsco-w-a/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=bcffd77e-061e-4f82-a9dd-22b515d50b23%40sessionmgr 4001&vid=2&hid=4209  

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