Does tea have more caffeine than coffee? In dry form, the leaves do have more caffeine than coffee beans. However, once the drinks have been made, coffee usually has much more caffeine than tea.
Let’s have a look at how much caffeine coffee has compared to a cup of tea. First, we’ll have a closer look at what caffeine is. Next, we look at the caffeine in tea, then how much caffeine is in coffee, and lastly, we look at which of the beverages is healthier.
What you need to know about Caffeine
Around 80% of people in the world reported that they drink caffeine in some kind of beverage daily. Caffeine itself is found in over sixty plant species. It is recommended that a safe intake of caffeine should be no more than 400mg each day, and only 200mg of caffeine for each dose.
Another way to think about safe caffeine intake is to only consume 1.5mg daily for each pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be consuming a maximum of 300mg of caffeine each day. Caffeine is meant to give you an energy burst, and this will come usually 20 to 60 minutes after consumption.
Overall, if you are looking for drinks with lower caffeine levels, you can drink both coffee or tea. Regular coffee has the least amount of caffeine (will milk and sugar in coffee reduce caffeine?), and white, herbal, and decaf teas have the least caffeine amounts.
If you are trying to find drinks with high caffeine levels, you should look for espresso or cold-brew coffee, and green or black tea. Coffee is usually considered a stronger beverage than tea, so after brewing it usually contains more caffeine than tea does. To put it into perspective, coffee usually has twice the amount of caffeine that matcha tea has.
Tea and Caffeine
Tea leaves, when they are dry, are 3.5% caffeine. Black tea, green tea, and white tea are all created from the same type of tea leaves. These leaves are harvested from the Camellia Sinensis, commonly known as the tea plant. Black tea is oxidized, which gives it its sharp flavor but does nothing to alter the amount of caffeine that is present.
What Tea has the Most Caffeine?
To make black tea, the leaves are left out until they turn black which activates the caffeine molecules. Out of the three, black tea has the highest amount of caffeine with 14 to 70mg in each cup. Green tea has the second most with 24 to 45mg per cup, and white tea has the least and has 6 to 60mg of caffeine in a cup.
Overall, the type of tea with the greatest amount of caffeine is matcha green tea. It comes in powdered form and has 35mg of caffeine per half teaspoon of powder. Another type of tea with high caffeine concentrations of 85mg in each cup is yerba mate. It is South American and is made by steeping the leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant. Even herbal teas that say they are decaf usually contain around 12mg of caffeine in a cup.
The caffeine content in tea is influenced by a bunch of different factors including the age of the tea leaf, the time it steeps, and the temperature of the water. It has been shown that teas that steep longer and steep in hotter water are most potent. Green and white teas are usually steeped at lower temperatures, which is why they usually have a lower amount of caffeine compared to black tea. So tea will always have less caffeine than coffee, but it is healthier than most coffees and some types still have a safe amount of caffeine that will keep you energized for the day.
Caffeine in Coffee
Dry coffee beans are found to contain 1.1 to 1.2% caffeine. To make brewed coffee, you use hot water which draws out more caffeine and makes it so that one cup of coffee contains more caffeine than one cup of tea.
How much Caffeine in a Cup of Coffee?
However, cold-brew coffee uses 1.5 times more grounds, so it could be more caffeinated than other coffees. An average 8-ounce cup of coffee has 95mg of caffeine. Depending on the roast and how much coffee grounds you used, it can certainly be a lot higher amounts of caffeine in a cup.
If you use espresso, which is a more concentrated source of caffeine, the caffeine amount will be greater, since each espresso shot contains 100 to 150mg of caffeine. If you make coffee with k-cups, your coffee will contain anywhere from 75 to 150mg of caffeine.
Using instant coffee will give you a cup with 65 to 100mg of caffeine. Basically coffee has anywhere from 95 to 200mg of caffeine in each cup.
Which is healthier?
While caffeine is helpful because it helps you feel more awake, drinking too much of it can be extremely harmful. So in that respect coffee is much more unhealthy than tea. In addition to this, tea contains L-theanine, which reduces stress.
It works with the caffeine in the tea to allow the energy burst from the caffeine to be released slowly, giving you a slow burn of energy throughout the day. Camellia sinensis, the plant used to make tea, is also most rich in the antioxidant polyphenol. There is evidence that polyphenol and other healthy antioxidants are diminished in coffee.
It has also been shown that while coffee drinkers have more supported heart health, drinking coffee regularly can also lead to high cholesterol. Drinking green tea also supports all-around heart health and does not heighten cholesterol.
Several studies also have shown that both coffee and tea support brain health and that green tea can lower the risk of memory loss because of all the antioxidants that are present. Tea has also been found to be linked to healthy bone density and good bone health, while coffee is associated with decreased bone density.
Coffee contains a lot of acids, which is shown to cause heartburn and stomach ulcers. Tea does not have any acid and is a natural probiotic that is healthy for your gut.
Is Tea healthier than Coffee?
When looking at these individual things, it looks as though tea is healthier than coffee, which it probably is. However, both drinks have different benefits, and there’s no answer to whether tea or coffee is healthier from a broader perspective.
The main caffeine difference between coffee and tea is that coffee gives you a burst of energy while, as stated before, the caffeine in tea releases slower and more controlled to give you energy throughout the whole day.
One thing is also certain. If you drink a ton of tea or coffee, the benefits of each can and will turn into disadvantages. It also will depend on what time relative to your sleep you’re going to have your cup of tea or coffee (How many beans to make a cup of coffee?). Caffeine will energize you for a few hours so while it can be a godsend at certain times a day, it can be plain evil when you had it short before you try to go to sleep!
Whether you like tea or coffee, there is a certain caffeine content to be found in either. Brewed coffee has a higher caffeine content than any cup of tea, whether it’s green or black.
How much caffeine is in a specific cup of coffee or tea? That depends on how you enjoy your brewed coffee or tea. Both tea and coffee have caffeine that will impact your energy levels and sleep. Another factor is the amount in the cup and what kind of tea or coffee you use.
Tea releases caffeine slower than coffee. It gives you a steady elevation of energy levels while coffee can provide a short boost. Needless to say, each can be helpful or problematic. If you want to sleep then neither will be of help but coffee will have a bigger short-term impact on preventing you from going to sleep.
No matter whether you prefer tea or coffee, enjoy your next cup!