Caffeine Comparison: Tea vs. Coffee

Caffeine is probably a part of your everyday routine if you are like most folks. Coffee and tea are two of the most popular beverages globally, with black tea being the most popular, accounting for 78 percent of total tea production and consumption. But do you realize how much caffeine is in your favorite beverages?


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The amount of caffeine in a drink varies based on the components and how it is made. While caffeine is generally regarded as safe, excessive consumption might cause problems. So, to help you select between coffee and Chinese tea, this article compares the two.

Let's get started!

How Much Caffeine Is There? 

When comparing the caffeine levels of coffee beans and tea leaves, coffee has more caffeine. The quantity of caffeine for each drink is determined by the technique of preparation and the period it is brewed. Because we normally use fewer than five grams of tea leaves per cup in contrast to the ten or more grams of coffee grounds required for a cup of joe, a cup of coffee is more saturated than a cup of tea.

The temperature at which a beverage is brewed also affects the amount of caffeine. For example, caffeine levels in coffee are higher than in tea because they are normally brewed at a higher temperature (about 195 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • Coffee

    Now let us look deeper at the caffeine content of your regular coffees, so you will know which one to reach for days when you are feeling sleepy.

    The amount of caffeine in your cup is affected by both the brewing time and the preparation technique. This reason is why the caffeine content of various coffee beverages varies.


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    An eight-ounce cup of brewed coffee has 85 milligrams of caffeine, whereas a single shot of espresso contains roughly 60 mg. Several coffee houses perceive a double shot as a regular serving, meaning that lattes and cappuccinos often carry 120 grams of caffeine per cup.

    The caffeine content in instant coffee is roughly 60 mg. Even a cup of decaf coffee has approximately two milligrams of caffeine in it. A cup of cold brew, which significantly differs from iced coffee in that it is brewed at ambient temperature and brewed for 8 to 12 hours, can contain anywhere from 150 to 230 mg of caffeine. Therefore, a few drinks of this cold drink will unquestionably boost your energy levels.

    What influences the caffeine content in coffee? The amount of caffeine in your coffee is influenced by how you prepare it. There are three important variables to consider:

    • Time to brew - The more time you take to brew coffee, the more caffeine it contains. Another widespread misconception that has been disproved is that applying additional pressure would not result in more caffeine being extracted. That would necessitate more force than a coffee machine or a French press can provide.

    • Temperature differences - Higher temperatures generate more caffeine, although not in the range employed in coffee brewing. Coffee machines, home coffee equipment, and commercial brewing machines operate at similar temperatures.

    • Grind size - A fine coffee grind gives more contact area for absorption, which means the brew will contain more caffeine. Because more coffee is stuffed into each piece with a rough grind, less caffeine can be retrieved.

  • Tea

    Although the white, black, yellow, green, oolong and Pu Erh teas are all made from the same leaves and stems, the harvesting time and oxidation process separate them. The steeping period, too, influences the total amount of caffeine in each drink.

    Black tea has the highest caffeine content. It is prepared with boiling water and steeped for the most duration. Black tea roughly has 45 to 60 milligrams of caffeine per cup, or about the same as a standard shot of espresso. Matcha tea contains 35 milligrams of caffeine per 1 gram serving, and Yerba mate, typically drunk in South America and has up to 85 milligrams of caffeine per cup, are two more highly caffeinated teas. That amount of caffeine is about the same as a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Green tea has about 20 to 45 milligrams of caffeine per cup, whereas white tea has six to sixty mg. Each of these teas arises prepared for a shorter time, about three minutes, with cooler water.

    If you are looking for a caffeine-free tea, try herbal tea such as chamomile and peppermint, all caffeine-free.

     
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    • What influences the caffeine content of tea?

      The degree of caffeine in tea is mostly classified by the characteristics of tea leaves utilized and the preparation method.

      After being harvested, the leaves needed to make black tea are oxidized. Oxidation is what gives black tea its color, and it also renders caffeine more abundant. Green tea is not oxidized, while white tea is only slightly oxidized. This reason is why the two products' appearance, flavor, and caffeine levels vary.

      The number of tea leaves used in the brewing process is also affected. Of course, conventional tea bags all carry the same quantity of leaves, but utilizing a large amount of loose tea will result in a higher caffeinated kettle or cup of tea. Typically, the greater the steeping time of the leaves, the more caffeine is transmitted from them.

Is Caffeine Harmful to Your Health?

In general, it is safe. However, unless you consume an excessive amount of Caffeine, it can be harmful to your health.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 400 mg of caffeine (about three or four cups of coffee) is generally safe for healthy persons to ingest. However, caffeine is stimulating that affects the nervous system. Therefore it can cause tremors, sleeplessness, anxiety, and heart palpitations if used in excess. In addition, when people consume too much coffee, they may have more serious complications such as elevated blood pressure and migraines.

Final thoughts:

Whether you become somewhat of a tea or coffee drinker is determined by several factors, the first of which is the most apparent: which drink better fits your personal preferences? Of course, we think everybody should appreciate caffeine, but we also recognize that not everybody appreciates it as much as others. So, if you are not a coffee person but still want a warm drink in the morning, try and join the tea drinkers of the world and brew a cup of tea. Similarly, if you are not a huge tea drinker, you might want to pick up a load of coffee beans and start brewing.

References: 

  1. BBC Good Food. 2020. How Much Caffeine Is In Tea?. Retrieved from: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/how-much-caffeine-tea. Retrieved on 24 March 2022. 
  2. Healthline. 2019. Coffee vs. Tea: Is One Healthier Than the Other?. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coffee-vs-tea. Retrieved on 24 March 2022. 
  3. Healthline. 2019. How Much Caffeine Does Tea Have Compared with Coffee?. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/caffeine-in-tea-vs-coffee. Retrieved on 24 March 2022
  4. Mayo Clinic. 2020. Caffeine Content For Coffee, Tea, Soda And More. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/caffeine/art-20049372. Retrieved on 24 March 2022. 

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