# Why don't we make coffee in the same way we make tea?

In tea, also there is tea powder, which we use. In coffee also, there is coffee powder. Why don't we make coffee in exactly the same way we make tea?

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You do make coffee and tea in the same way, by infusing the leaves or the grounds in hot water... (or by passing hot water through the coffee for espresso). In fact, most of the machines that work with "capsules" make tea as well as coffee. – nico Dec 4 '11 at 17:52
In addition to the normal can of grounds, most grocery stores now sell coffee in single serving "tea" bags that you use in exactly the same way. – Kevin Dec 6 '11 at 22:41

It boils down to temperature (pun intended).

According to Wikipedia the ideal temperature to brew coffee is 200°F, which is about 93°C. That is, the temperature is a little below the boiling point of water (which is 100°C). That is just boiling the water and pouring it over the beans will result in too hot a temperature. With a standard coffee machine like this one

the problem is solved elegantly. The heating element makes the water boil. The water then travels up through a tube. This cools the water just enough, such that the temperature is about 93°C when it drips upon the coffee.

Tea, on the other hand, needs other temperatures. Some teas (black tea, Pu'er tea and herbal tea) needs boiling water. Thus one just boils water in a kettle and then pour it over the tea leaves.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea for tea temperatures.

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I think, in order for this to be a valid response you'd need to say "coffee could also optimally be made in a tea bag with 200 degree water." But for some reason you stop short of saying this. Either you disagree with this in which case an explanation is clearly needed (since you basically said temperature is the only reason) or you agree with it and hence should add it. – MHH Jun 13 '14 at 23:15
To me the bag wasn't important - it is just a practical way to separate the grounds/leaves from the brew. I agree that you could use a bag to make coffee, if you only need a single cup. – soegaard Jun 14 '14 at 8:31

Coffee and tea are used for similar purposes (hot beverage with caffeine; flavouring in a variety of other contexts) but that is their only similarity.

• Tea is a dried leaf (which may be cooked, smoked, or fermented before it is dried).
• Coffee is a ground-up seed.

Tea has more in common with dried oregano, or with cabbage, than with coffee. Coffee has more in common with peanut butter, or perhaps powerded almonds, than with tea.

A better question would be "why is the way we prepare and consume these wildly different plants so similar?" It's a wonder there aren't more differences than the ones you've noticed.

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To be honest, I don't see the point of the other question either. Simply when you make tea or coffee you're doing an extraction with hot water. The fact of using leaves or seeds or bark or fruits is absolutely irrelevant to the matter... – nico Dec 4 '11 at 19:34
@nico: Why is it irrelevant? Are you suggesting that one should expect all hot-water extractions to be the same, regardless of what's being extracted? If so then I would ask the same question Kate has: Why would anyone think that? – Aaronut Dec 25 '11 at 18:33
@Aaronut: what I am saying is that just because the plants are different it does not mean that they cannot be used in the same way. I do not see anything surprising in this. – nico Dec 25 '11 at 18:38
@nico: I think you're exhibiting some hindsight bias here. If you'd never had tea or coffee and saw both tea leaves and coffee beans side-by-side, would you really assume the preparation method to be the same or even similar for each? Then why not the same with bay leaves, oregano and peanuts? – Aaronut Dec 25 '11 at 18:46
@Aaronut: then why not ask why we can cook both ribs and capsicum on a barbecue? Personally I don't see why two different things cooked in the same way should be such an amazing thing... obviously it is just my opinion, that is why I did leave a comment and did not downvote the answer. – nico Dec 25 '11 at 19:08

I do make coffee the same way as tea. I just did this morning, in fact. It's called a "French press". Which can also be used for tea ...

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The "no french press version": Put pot of water on the stove, wait till water boils, turn off stove, wait 1 minute (so the water cools a bit), add coffee, put a lid on it and wait 5 minutes. It's EXACTLY like making tea. – Daniel Platon Feb 13 '13 at 20:45