I'm from China. I just finished a consumer visit and when I talked to my boss I said "coffee and tea can sleep together" to express "consumers would drink both coffee and tea, though on different occasions"; in other words, I meant "coffee and tea are not either-or choice for consumers"...
But I realized that "sleep together" means having sex with...would my words to boss cause misunderstanding or bad feelings?
I'm sure it wouldn't cause any bad feelings (it might make him chuckle, though). But I don't think he would have understood your meaning - to be honest, I didn't until I read your explanation. I can't think of an idiom that would be useful in this situation. In fact, saying "coffee versus tea is not an either/or choice for most consumers" like you did in your explanation is probably the most succint way of expressing this opinion.
Got it! Thanks a lot :)
What a good place to learn English!
You boss would think that you have a one-track mind to have thought of that comparison!"coffee and tea can sleep together" to express "consumers would drink both coffee and tea, though on different occasions.
You could say that "coffee and tea are complementary beverages".
not a teacher
good to know.