Caffeine: Tea vs. Coffee

Caffeine: Tea vs. Coffee

Starting your day right is imperative to having a good day, all day, throughout the entire day. One thing happening in the morning can ruin the rest of your day. I think that is why many people rely on coffee instead of tea; they think that tea does not have enough caffeine in it to actually start their day. Then the rest of their day is “ruined” or “slow”. So, I put my detective hat on and started to look into the differences between the caffeine content in coffee and tea. This is what I learned.

A look at Tea: What makes it caffeinated?

There are a lot of factors which effects teas caffeinated nature, the largest being (besides leaf properties) how long and what temperature you steep the tea.

“Factors such as the growing region, plant varietal, plant age, leaf age, length of the growing season, field conditions, soil nutrients, and rainfall can influence how much caffeine is in plucked tea leaves.”
-Choice Organic Teas

There are so many random variables that it is near impossible to specifically pinpoint how much caffeine is in each cup of tea for which type of tea. It is known though that caffeine is released within the first few minutes of brewing tea. Some tea leaves actually have more caffeine than coffee beans, but coffee tends to be a stronger more concentrated drink. If you want to reduce the caffeine content in your tea, it is actually recommended that you start to brew your tea for a few minutes, throw out the brewed tea/water, and start brewing again. There will be less caffeine in your cup!

Caffeine Content in Tea vs. Coffee

Tea also provides you with a different type of energized feel than coffee. Instead of an instant up and then down coffee usually provides (yes, I am talking about crashing), tea provides a slow incline and decline. This allows you to not feel like you are crashing on energy and have a constant energized feel for a longer time than coffee. Also coffee can make the body feel “wired” or “buzzed”, which in some case makes it harder to get work done. Tea has a unique amino-acid called L-Theanine, which when combined with caffeine is said to improve attention and brain function! How cool! How fun! I really love tea.

A Look at Coffee: What makes it caffeinated?

Caffeine in coffee has four different factors for how much caffeine that it has: type of beans, roast type (light, medium, dark), coffee type (regular, espresso, decaf, or instant coffee), brewing method, and serving size of the coffee.

Type of Bean: These are the two main bean types (there are however many many more types). These were also the only two I could find. Coffee Arabica is the most common coffee ingested. Coffee Robusta is found is espresso and some instant coffees.

Roast Type: Roast type includes light, medium, or dark roast to name a few. Surprisingly all roasts are the same caffeine content, BUT dark roast beans have less mass than light or medium due to the roasting process. So a pound of dark roast would technically be more beans then a pound of lightly roasted coffee beans. Depending on how you measure out your coffee beans will affect your caffeine content. Measuring by volume will make a light roast have more caffeine than dark roast. But measuring by weight, the dark roast will produce a stronger, more caffeinated cup since it will have more beans to compensate for the mass lost in the roasting process.

Coffee Type: Coffee type does not include different popular brands like Starbucks or Tim Hortons. These brands use different types of beans or brewing methods which alter the caffeine content.

Brewing Method: How you brew your coffee is extremely important to how much caffeine is actually in your mug. There are four main brewing methods which impact how energized you will feel!

The Verdict: Is one better than the other?

So yeah, coffee has more caffeine than tea. But tea does offer sustained energy over the day instead of a crash. Of course, I am extremely biased in this little verdict section. Tea could be better in situations when studying or when you need to focus (doing mental labor). While coffee might be better when working out or playing sports (doing physical labor).

I hope you learned something from this post! Comment below your favorite way to energize yourself in the morning! Happy Brewing!


Bjarnadottir, Adda. “How Much Caffeine in a Cup of Coffee? A Detailed Guide.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 3 June 2017,

“Coffee.” Caffeine Informer,

“What Type of Coffee Has the Most Caffeine?” HOMEGROUNDS The Right Coffee Temperature How Hot Should Coffee Be Comments, 17 Jan. 2019,

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