It may sound surprising, but nearly 1.42 million pounds of tea are consumed by Americans every day! And every one in two adults over the age of 18 drinks coffee (More than 450 million cups!) every day.
We're going to breakdown the tea vs Coffee debate with health benefits and risks, scientific studies, and a complete discussion of the caffeine compound found in black tea, green tea, white tea, and coffee.
Tea vs Coffee: A Complete infographic
A few facts about coffee vs tea
- Both coffee and tea have caffeine in it. The main compound responsible for boosting energy when needed. And the only reason so many of us drink these beverages without knowing about health benefits or risks. We’ll discuss elaborately about caffeine in the later part of the article.
- Pregnant ladies shouldn't have more than 150-200 mg of caffeine a day. An adult, however, can fill his system with 400 mg (recommended amount) of caffeine.
- So you can have up to 20 cups of tea a day (1 cup= 237.3 grams) and a little over 4 cups of coffee a day.
- Caffeine is present in 60 types of plants other than tea and coffee.
- Almost 80% of the earth's population consumes caffeine every day, either knowingly or unknowingly.
Health benefits of tea and coffee
Health Benefits of Tea
Health Benefits of Coffee
Benefits of Tea over Coffee
- Tea makes you hydrated better than coffee.
- Although coffee gives an instant energy boost, tea provides a gradual increase in energy for longer.
- Tea has a mild flavor, and it's easy on your stomach. Whereas coffee could lead to an upset stomach.
- Tea has natural compounds that fight off cancers and causes less negative symptoms on your health than coffee.
- Tea has shown to lower cholesterol and shedding off excess accumulated fat and reduces blood sugar levels.
- Unlike coffee, taking tea won't cause discoloration of your teeth. (P.S.) Don't worry, the number of caffeine needs for discoloration is a lot. And you're unlikely to drink that much in a day.
- Tea helps you with stress. If you experience any sudden mood swings, have a cup of green tea.
- Tea's natural compound boosts immunity more than coffee.
- You'll absorb more antioxidants from a cup of tea than from a cup of coffee.
- A study also showed long term consumption of coffee could lead to cardiovascular diseases.
Benefits of Coffee over Tea
- Coffee will instantly boost your energy, mental alertness, and reduce fatigue by elevating your dopamine levels and restricting adenosine.
- Coffee goes through your body with ease. Once you sip down a cup, your body will absorb 99% caffeine within 45 minutes. But you will feel the caffeine effect on your blood within 15 minutes.
- "CGA" a compound found in coffee inhibits the cancer cell growth of the gastrointestinal and liver.
- Long term coffee drinker might stay protected from different types of cancers like the rectum, colon, bladder, breast cancers, etc.
- Coffee inhibits fat cell production and stimulates your body's fat-burning for energy mechanism and its chlorogenic acid content
- Coffee has properties that prevent type 2 diabetes from developing.
- Studies showed that coffee improves memory recalling and reaction time in the elderly.
- Men over 40 who drink coffee every day have less chance of developing gout.
- People who drink coffee for a long time will have less chance of dying from heart diseases.
- Coffee has slowed down age-related neurological disorders better than tea.
A study in 1982 indicated that drinking tea after a meal reduces the body's iron absorption by 62%. But coffee only reduces by 35%. So if you have calcium deficiency, perhaps it's better to lay off the tea. Or don't drink either coffee or tea after 2 hours of your meal.
Caffeine in Tea vs Coffee
We all heard about caffeine sensitivity. If you experience that, then grabbing a few cups every day isn't an option anymore. Physicians always emphasize green tea over coffee.
But does tea have the energy-boosting power as coffee? Coffee itself won't re-energize yourself. It's the substance called caffeine that helps you to start fresh in the morning.
It's not a myth. Research showed coffee boosts your energy level and helps you focus on your task at hand.
Let's find out what caffeine is.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant substance that is in the tea and coffee in different portions.
Do you know that caffeine is present in over sixty types of plants?
That means one way or another; we're using some portion of caffeine either not knowing or willingly. Caffeine stimulates our neurotransmitters to fight against lactic acid accumulation that triggers fatigue and drowsiness.
FDA has approved caffeine in both foods and drugs, which means it's safe for us.
Is too much caffeine is bad for you?
We're going to cover that as well. But first, let's see how much caffeine we're getting from our tea vs coffee consumption.
Tea or coffee, which one is the most caffeine enriched?
The same amount of tea leaves contain more caffeine than the exact amount of dried coffee! An average cup of instant coffee contains more than 105 mg of caffeine. The same amount of tea contains only 40 mg of caffeine.
It's the ground coffee beans that pack the caffeine punch. Still not enough to surpass tea.
Let me simplify, take 100 mg of ground coffee beans, and the same amount of dried tea leaves. Here the dried tea leaves contain more caffeine.
But when it comes to 'per serving,' a cup of coffee carries the most caffeine. Why?
To make a cup of coffee, you'll need 85 grams of ground beans. But you can make 40 cups of tea from 100 grams of dried tea leaves.
If you're thinking about substitute coffee with tea, you have to let your body get used to it gradually.
You wouldn't want to find yourself in "Caffeine Withdrawal."
Caffeine Content in Tea vs Coffee
Types of Tea/Cup (8 oz)
Content (in mg)
Types of Coffee/Cup(8 oz)
Content (in mg)
Flat White Coffee
Flat Black Coffee
Debunking some Caffeine related myths
Yes and no. It’s not necessary to lay off the caffeine entirely. In pregnancy, a woman should not have more than 150 mg of caffeine a day. Consuming mire can lead to complications and, in the worst-case scenarios, miscarriage.
Besides, caffeine penetrates the placenta of your baby, causing heart rate elevation. Something can be challenging to handle well by a baby in the womb.
Surprisingly, you can die from a caffeine overdose. But you’re going to need at least 10 grams of caffeine to arrange your funeral. And 10 grams of caffeine is equivalent to 30 cups of coffee. I’d like to see who takes 30 cups a day.
But you can reach the fatal limit from other caffeine sources such as energy drinks. An average energy drink contains around 70-80 mg of caffeine.
Please note that the labeled amount of caffeine indicates at per servings limit. The total amount of caffeine can be a couple of times higher in a can. Because most energy drink contains 2-3 servings which makes caffeine intake excessive than we intended,
Caffeine sends a signal to your brain by stimulating dopamine, which increases your focus and alertness. So if you continue having caffeine as an energy booster substance, your health will depend on it.
If you lay off the caffeine for a while, the caffeine withdrawal symptoms will kick in. Now, these symptoms are more like an imbalance feeling rather than cravings. So the answer is no. You might feel the absence of caffeine in your system, but nothing more than that.
Don’t worry too much about caffeine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tea has a lower caffeine concentration per cup than coffee. So if you are caffeine sensitive, it's better to have drinks instead. But if you need an energy booster, then go for coffee. The caffeine content in coffee gets activated within 15 minutes of consumption.
As for physical damage, you might feel some symptoms of excess caffeine intake. Remember, a cup of brewed coffee has more caffeine than a cup of tea.
White tea, because it's less processed and thereby contains more antioxidants than other types of drinks. You should consider taking these teas like jasmine, green, and black tea for better antioxidant absorbents.
Yes it does. Both coffee and tea contain caffeine components. And caffeine is known to increase blood pressure initially after consumption. But the effect of caffeine on blood pressure is much lower if taken with food.
Let's get appropriately caffeinated.
It all comes down to how you take your coffee, tea, or other caffeine enriched food. The key difference between coffee and tea is the way they energize us.
The caffeine content in coffee starts to kick within 15 minutes, but tea offers more energy boost, but the energy's elevation is more gradual.
Just relax and have a cup of tea or coffee. Take these in moderation amounts and reap the benefits over a few health risks. Remember, it’s never to have too much of a good thing.