Caffeine In Tea Vs Coffee: The Caffeine Battle
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Caffeine in Tea vs Coffee: Which is Better?

Written By: Dr. Suneet Monga
3 July 2022

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, soft drinks, tea, and chocolate. It acts as a daily booster for a lot of people. The amount of caffeine in a particular beverage depends on several factors. But what are these factors?

Which one is better for you? Am I drinking too much coffee? Is it harmful for health?

There are many more myths and questions around it. 

Read till the end to find out the answer to all your queries!

Caffeine in Coffee

“I just can’t do without coffee!” Does it sound like you?

Well, having coffee first thing in the morning is one of the most prevalent morning rituals.

But have you ever wondered how much caffeine are you actually consuming

The amount of caffeine depends on various factors given below:

  1. Coffee beans – The quality of beans determines the strength and caffeine content. Robusta beans are packed with double the caffeine when compared to Arabica beans. 
  2. Roast – Coffee can be a light, medium or dark roast. Contrary to popular belief, the light roast has more caffeine content than the darker one.
  3. Serving size – While we go on describing and understanding caffeine content, we usually forget to understand the size of the cup you have your coffee in.Just a single cup can mean 50 ml to someone and 500 ml to someone else. So, always consider the size of your coffee mug.
  4. Coffee Type – Caffeine potency also depends on the type and form in which you are having your coffee. It can be brewed, espresso, or instant; all holding different concentrations of caffeine.

Brewed coffeeA single cup of standard size 8 oz can have up to 70-140 mg of caffeine.

Espresso – Espresso can have around 63 mg of caffeine.

Espresso-based drinks If the drink is made with a single shot of espresso, the caffeine content remains the same. But some of the drinks are made with 2 espresso shots, thereby proportionately increasing the caffeine. 

Instant coffee – It is the readily available form of coffee available in powder form. It can  have around 30-90 mg of caffeine in a single serving, depending on the individual brand.

Cold brew – It is steeped for around 12-18 hours which distinctively increases its caffeine content making it around 150-250 mg/cup.

Decaf – As the name suggests, decaf coffee is supposed to be caffeine-free. But it is a myth, even decaf has some caffeine in it. On average a decaf serving will have around 3 mg of caffeine, so keep that in mind the next time you order a decaf!

Also Read: Taurine vs Caffeine

Caffeine in Tea

Tea also has some amount of caffeine. On average, a single cup of tea has 47 mg of caffeine. 

Tea is available in various forms, the most common being black tea.

 Other forms of tea are green, red, and white tea. Different types of tea are different in the time of harvest and the level of oxidation. 

Black is the boldest of all, containing 60-90 mg of caffeine per serving. Matcha is the new trending tea and has around 35 mg of caffeine in a  single cup whereas the Red tea is caffeine free. 

Other popular forms of tea are herbal tea, chamomile tea, and peppermint tea. All of these are almost zero on caffeine. 

Tea, specifically green tea,  has some other chemical compounds other than caffeine and is known to reduce the risk of diabetes, cholesterol, blood sugar, obesity, and blood pressure.

Caffeine content in different types of Tea and Coffee
Brewed – 70-140 mgBlack Tea – 60-90 mg
Espresso – 63 mgMatcha Tea- 35 mg
Instant coffee- 30-90 mgWhite tea – 6-55 mg
Cold brew – 15-250 mgGreen Tea – 30-70
Decaf – 3 mgRed Tea- Caffeine free

Benefits of Caffeine

For any healthy adult, caffeine consumption should not be more than 400mg/day. 

Caffeine if taken within given limit, provides many benefits like

  • Reduces the risk of chronic disease
  • Reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • Reduces the risk of some types of cancer
  • Reduces the risk of nervous disorders
  • Improves the stamina
  • Improves mood 
  • Helps increase the concentration
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Which One is for You?

Tea and coffee have their own pros and cons. They do protect against heart disease and cancer but can lead to anxiety, sleep disturbances, restlessness, and dependence as well.

It majorly depends on your caffeine sensitivity. 

The effect of caffeine varies for different people. You need to listen to your body and notice the signs post caffeine intake. 

Monitor the effects and adjust your dose accordingly. One tip you should follow is to not take any form of caffeine 4-6 hours before preferred sleeping time to avoid any difficulty in sleeping. 

Also, Tea is less acidic than coffee, so opt for tea in case you have acidity issues.

Bottom line 

The most important factor is to understand the caffeine content in a variety of sources. Be aware of what you put in your body. 

Always abide by the golden rule, moderation is the key.

Caffeine has a long list of advantages but at the same time, the experience can be unpleasant for you if you exceed the suggested intake.

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