Have a glass of wine with dinner - but afterwards you should swap that coffee for a cup of tea if you want to live longer, health experts have pronounced.
Researchers in France who compared mortality among tea and coffee drinkers found that death rates from non-cardiac causes were 24 per cent lower among regular tea-drinkers than among those who chose coffee.
The study of tea and coffee drinkers, presented at the same conference, looked at 131,000 people who had health check-ups in Paris over seven years. It found regular tea drinkers had 24 per cent lower mortality from non-cardiac causes than those who did not drink tea often, and slightly lower mortality from other causes.
Researchers said some of the differences were likely to be because tea drinkers were less likely than coffee drinkers to smoke.
Professor Nicolas Danchin, from European Hospital Georges Pompidou, said that based on current evidence, it was not clear if it was the properties of tea itself or the lifestyles of those who drank it that gave them longevity. But he said he would encourage people to choose tea rather than coffee.
"Tea has antioxidants which may provide survival benefits. Tea drinkers also have healthier lifestyles, so does tea drinking reflect a particular person profile or is it tea per se that improves outcomes?
"Pending the answer to that question, I think that you could fairly honestly recommend tea-drinking rather than coffee-drinking - and even rather than not drinking anything at all."