Caffeine in Tea vs Coffee: Which One Should You Prefer?

You must have heard about the word “caffeine” from many health experts and nutritionists. Thanks to them. When you think or hear about caffeine, the first thing you imagine is coffee. This is quite natural as most people consume coffee as an energy boost in the morning. Thus, it makes sense to imagine coffee when you hear the word caffeine.

A daily cup of coffee can provide you with a few milligrams of caffeine. This caffeine dose is much needed for the human body. Energy drinks act comparably. Caffeine is found in coffee, but it can also be found in several types of tea and soft drinks. This wide range of caffeinated beverages is consumed by the majority of the population (about eighty percent) daily.

We will shed light only on tea and coffee in this article with many options to compare.

This article will address several topics such as which drink is better for you, which has positive health benefits, caffeine in tea vs. coffee, coffee beans, and many more. We are not doctors; we are just some folks who like coffee and consume coffee and tea.

Remember, medical advice comes first, and our words cannot be the replacement for medical advice given by a doctor. If you have doubts regarding the consumption of caffeine, we advise you to consult your nearest health or medical professional. Note this down, and we are ready to roll on from here.

Let’s start without any further stops and see what this article has in store for you. Here we explain caffeine in tea vs. coffee.

1. What Is Caffeine?

A view of harvested raw Arabica Coffee beans.
Photo by Rodrigo Flores on Unsplash Copyrights 2018

Caffeine acts as a natural stimulant and is mostly found and extracted from cacao, kola nuts, and seeds of coffee beans. Plant foods such as tea and coffee.

The effect of caffeine1 is different in different people. Some develop allergies and can become sensitive, and some have no side effects. Some can even drink serval cups of coffee and have no major side effects at all.

Caffeine helps you keep awake by stimulating your central nervous system and the brain. It speeds up the process of sending messages to your brain, and as a result, you become more alert and awake.

Serving caffeine to toddlers and young children in any form is not recommended. At the same time, pregnant women should not have a caffeine intake of more than 200mg a day.

Caffeine should not be consumed in the afternoon or nighttime. As part of a balanced diet, caffeine intake can have no harm, but caffeine intake to avoid sleep should not be done. Disruption of sleep can have a major health effect on your body.

According to the NHS, a maximum of 400mg a day of caffeine intake should be considered the maximum for a person, but there isn’t a specific guide for this.

2. Caffeine in Tea vs Coffee

A scenic view of a jar cup with ice tea in it and a glass full of cold coffee, placed next to each other. A vision of caffeine in Tea vs coffee.
Photo by Alex Meier on Unsplash Copyrights 2019

The two factors that affect caffeine content are extraction and brewing time. If we compare the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans vs. the caffeine found in tea leaves; the amount of caffeine content found in a cup of coffee is generally higher than its counterpart.

This difference occurs due to the way coffee is extracted and its brewing time. Coffee is usually prepared from coffee beans, and it is the main ingredient (filled with caffeine), while tea leaves do not contain high amounts of caffeine. Thus, the concentration per cup (about 5 to 10 grams) is high in coffee, and it is usually less than 5 g of concentration per cup of tea.

Another factor is brewing time. Brewing time and temperature play a vital role in a drink’s caffeine content. The higher the temperature, the higher the caffeine content in the drink. Coffee is brewed at a higher temperature than tea, and hence caffeine content is higher.

2.1. Coffee and Coffee beans

Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee plant and the source of coffee. Inside, red or purple fruit is referred to as a cherry.

Various types of coffee have various levels of caffeine2 in them. This can help you choose your Monday morning coffee without worrying about the level of caffeine in it.

Due to the various brewing times of each coffee, the caffeine level differs. Preparation time impacts the content of caffeine in your coffee.

An average cup of coffee contains 95mg of caffeine, while an average cup of brewed coffee contains 85 mg of caffeine. An espresso contains around 60mg, while your favorite beverages such as latte and cappuccinos at a Starbucks contain around 120 mg of caffeine per cup.

60mg of caffeine is found in your instant coffee. Your decaf coffee still has around 2 mg of caffeine.

If you want to stay awake and complete your assignment, you should probably try a cup of cold brew coffee (Cold brew coffee is an iced coffee that is prepared using ice cubes at room temperature). This can help you stay awake without letting sleep come anywhere around you.

2.2. Tea

A person pouring hot tea in multiple cups placed alongside.
Photo by 五玄土 ORIENTO on Unsplash Copyrights 2018

Many health experts recommend that people consume herbal teas or green tea for a better diet and avoid caffeine. All these leaves are picked from the same plant: black tea, white or green tea.

The only thing that sets them apart is the harvest time and the time spent by the leaves in oxidation. This process is called steeping time. The steeping time is the main factor in the caffeine amount in these tea leaves.

The highest caffeine content is found in black tea. The black tea is brewed with hot or boiling water. About 60 mg of caffeine is present in black tea. Black tea can be compared to a cup of espresso.

The caffeine in Yerba Mate is equal to an average cup of brewed coffee. There are other types of highly caffeinated tea3, such as “Yerba Mate” or “Matcha tea” Yebra Mate tea has about 85mg of caffeine per cup in it. The people of South America consume this tea type. That’s a heck of tea, I say.

2.2.1. Does Green Tea Contain Caffeine?

A glass cup with Green Tea in it in a solid green background. Green tea has the smallest amount of caffeine.
Photo by Laårk Boshoff on Unsplash Copyrights 2021

Green tea has the smallest amount of caffeine content. This Tea contains less caffeine than tea leaf, with twenty mg per cup on average.

Matcha tea, which usually comes in a very powdery state, is way stronger with around 35mg per cup.

Green tea is usually prepared with water and is brewed for only about three minutes. This explains the least amount of caffeine content.

2.2.2. Do Herbal Teas Contain Caffeine?

There are other options for low-caffeine tea. You can always opt for herbal tea, tea that is made up of peppermint, or other natural ingredients.

Most of these herbal teas that don’t come from the tea plant are caffeine-free as they are brewed without the addition of tea leaves. This herbal tea includes fruit teas, Camomile, ginger, peppermint, and rooibos.

These herbal teas are considered an infusion

3. Usage of Caffeine and Its Side Effects

A cup of black coffee and a cup of black tea are placed next to each other on a plain white background. The vision of caffeine in Tea vs Coffee.
Photo by Katrin Hauf on Unsplash Copyrights 2020

As mentioned above, the amount of caffeine depends on what type of coffee or tea you consume. It is necessary to monitor or keep a count of caffeinated beverages that you consume. Healthy adults shouldn’t consume caffeine content exceeding 400mg per day.

The effects of caffeine can last for hours. With the constant intake of caffeine, some people do not experience any side effects of this. These effects could be positive or negative, and their body gets used to this. Everyone is different, and thus caffeine affects everyone differently.

3.1. Monitor the Caffeine Intake

It’s important to monitor the intake of caffeine content because larger intakes can pose health risks even in a healthy body. This effect also tags along with various other adverse effects like restlessness, anxiety, and disturbed sleep.

It is advisable not to take any sort of caffeine content six hours before you go to bed. Make it a thumb rule to avoid sleep disturbance tagging along.

3.2. Effects of Caffeine on Particular People

3.2.1. Pregnant Women

Pregnant women should not ponder or think of consuming a heavy amount of caffeine content. So, no more lattes and black tea. The safest option that you could ponder is decaf coffee. It is best to consume decaf coffee while you are pregnant.

3.3. An Alternative of Caffeine- Decaf Coffee

Decaf stands for decaffeinated coffee. When the caffeine from coffee beans is removed (about 97 percent) while extracting coffee, it is termed decaf coffee. It is safe and can be consumed along with a healthy diet. Pregnant women are especially recommended to consume decaf coffee.

There are other sources rich in caffeine apart from your tea and coffee and should be kept noted while you think of consuming them. Other sources are rich in caffeine content ranging from soft drinks to energy drinks and food. These have caffeine and added sugar, which is not great for your healthy body.

4. Does Caffeine Affect Your Body?

A cup of hot Coffee in a plain white ceramic cup and saucer, and coffee beans scattered on the saucer and on the side of the cup.
Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash Copyrights 2017

4.1. Can Coffee and Tea Dehydrate Us?

Caffeine in coffee or tea might be the reason for your dehydration. Caffeine acts as a diuretic. It causes your body to lose fluids but not heavily as you lose in dehydration. Your favorite caffeinated beverage isn’t enough to dehydrate, and it’s a myth that drinking your favorite cup of coffee or tea can dehydrate.

It would require more than just a cup of coffee or tea for you to lose enough fluid that could get you dehydrated. It would require a lot of consumption of caffeine to get you dehydrated.

4.2. Does Decaf Coffee dehydrate?

Decaf coffee stands for coffee with the least caffeine content in it. Decaf coffee alone cannot dehydrate you unless you consider it the main source of your hydration. Until you replace your water with decaf coffee as the main source of hydration, you won’t get dehydrated.

4.3. Can Tea Raise Your Blood Pressure?

Tea contains caffeine, but it’s a myth that tea cannot raise your blood pressure. Caffeine is considered to raise your blood pressure temporarily, but that isn’t true. It is linked to lowering your blood pressure in the long run.

Earlier, the studies didn’t reveal why this happens, but now it is seen that tea contains caffeine and other natural chemical compounds such as phenols and antioxidants. These natural compounds contribute to lowering your blood pressure.

Well, there you go. If you have an issue with high blood pressure or lack anger management, then green tea or white tea can be your best buddy.

This is just a benefit, but other benefits can come along if you are a tea lover. These natural chemical compounds have the potential to prevent infection, lowering the risk of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Next time someone makes you nervous by telling you all these diseases, all you need to do is chill and have a favorite cup of tea. Tada.

5. Health Benefits of Caffeine

A picture is shown of a cup full of tea with flowers on top. Caffeine in tea carries a lot of health benefits.
Photo by Elena Leya on Unsplash Copyrights 2022

Caffeine isn’t good for you; you might have heard this lot from a nutritionist or health advisor. Caffeine does have health benefits under its umbrella. It can help you boost your athletic performance in competition, and it can help you stay awake for your assignment and lift your mood. Besides all of these things, caffeine can help you burn more fat.

The best benefits that tag along with you are vitamin B2 and B5, antioxidants, and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Great, isn’t it?

During a Harvard study, women who drink around 4 cups of coffee per day were at a lower risk of depression. The lower risk of depression was 20 percent less likely than a woman who did not consume coffee. This is sure to make you happy, and that’s enough evidence to consume coffee and stay happy.

There has been a lot of research that proves how beneficial a morning cup of tea is. The benefits of its counterpart are too impressive. Tea contains antioxidants, which reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack. Apart from these benefits, antioxidants also help you burn fat.

6. Which One to Choose for Caffeine in the Morning?

A cup of coffee and a cup of tea with a puff pastry in a saucer alongside.
Photo by Bo Kim on Unsplash Copyrights 2018

You are free to become a coffee or a tea consumer. This could depend on a few things such as which is your personal taste, which age gap you belong to, or why you want to consume them.

6.1. Consume Coffee in the Morning

We believe that you should be a coffee consumer if you choose for personal taste. Not everyone is a fan of coffee, but we are, and we recommend it. You can always sip up a hot cup of coffee and check out the newspaper with high concentration.

You have a wide variety of coffee types available at your nearest Starbucks, or you can do it yourself. All you need to do is get yourself a coffee machine and a bag of roasted coffee. If you don’t want to do this, just check in your grocery store and grab an instant coffee and a mug. Easy, isn’t it?

6.2. Consume Tea in the Morning

If you are aligned with drinking tea, we will not stop you from having it. With tea consumption, you can lose fat, get a healthy dose of antioxidants, and consume less caffeine than your coffee-drinking counterparts.

Tea can help you prevent cold, and in case you have a cold, there cannot be a better alternative than tea for you to relax and relieve.

Your choice of hot drinks also depends on how much caffeine you would like to intake. By this time, you should be clear if you’re reading our article with full concentration, you should be aware of what hot drinks you should choose for the least caffeine content.

7. Some More Information about Caffeine in Tea vs Coffee

7.1. Which Has a Longer History?

A cup of tea or coffee for the morning in a white ceramic cup and saucer.
Photo by Jen P. on Unsplash Copyrights 2018

Coffee and tea have been around since man started to trade things (well, it’s all not that long back, not back when humans discovered fire). When we compare tea leaves and coffee beans, the tea leaves win.

One legend tells us that tea has been consumed since 2732 B.C., whereas coffee was neither found, roasted, or brewed until 1000 A.D. Well, here is our clear winner.

7.2. What Is More Expensive?

Coffee has been a popular drink compared to tea, yet coffee is more expensive. According to PBFY, a cup of coffee costs around 16 cents per cup, while its counterpart, tea, costs about 5 cents per cup.

It is the same at your local cafe, don’t expect the price to be less for your regular-size coffee than your friend’s tea for the same cup.

7.3. How Acidic Is Tea Compared to Coffee?

Many studies have concluded that tea is usually less acidic than coffee. The help of a pH scale determines this. This is a general statement, but it depends on the type of tea you are consuming.

8. Conclusion

Your taste buds are pretty proud of whichever of those beverages you select or have the urge to consume and start your day on the proper foot (but we hope it’s low you choose to pour in your cup); make certain you’re enjoying it and sparing yourself from the adverse effects of an excessive amount of caffeine.

Keep in mind that the amount of caffeine in your cup varies considerably. It depends on the brewing process, water temperature, and steeping time. And, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, are pregnant, or have cardiovascular disease, be particularly careful of what quantity you are going to consume because it matters a lot.

Read here to know the 6 Important facts about instant coffee to consider.

Have a fun time and choose the best drink!

  1. Nawrot, Peter, et al. “Effects of caffeine on human health.” Food Additives & Contaminants 20.1 (2003): 1-30. ↩︎
  2. Yeomans, Martin R., et al. “Effects of caffeine on performance and mood depend on the level of caffeine abstinence.” Psychopharmacology 164 (2002): 241-249. ↩︎
  3. Suteerapataranon, Siripat, et al. “Caffeine in Chiang Rai tea infusions: Effects of tea variety, type, leaf form, and infusion conditions.” Food Chemistry 114.4 (2009): 1335-1338. ↩︎

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Vishal Gupta

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