Compare the Caffeine Content in Coffee vs Tea!

Posted by Divya on


Comparing the two favourite pick-me-up beverages always spark discussions. The discussion outlasts the drink but there’s rarely a clear winner. We Aussies, by the way, love our flat whites, long blacks and cappuccinos. That being said, tea is also a popular choice with Aussies, particularly when it comes to afternoon tea or a soothing bedtime brew. Ultimately, the choice between coffee and tea is a personal one.

One common debate among coffee and tea drinkers is the difference in caffeine content, with many wondering about the amount of caffeine in tea vs coffee. Before attempting this comparison, let’s have a chat about caffeine.

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a natural drug that stimulates our central nervous system. In the process, it accelerates communication between our brain and nervous system.

Caffeine is in many snacks and beverages, including coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks and chocolates. Of course, coffee and tea are the go-to options when we need a caffeine fix. The amount of caffeine from coffee vs tea varies depending on the product.  

Soon after you consume something high in caffeine, the caffeine rapidly moves into your bloodstream. Roughly, within 20 minutes to an hour. Once in the brain, it starts blocking a neurotransmitter called adenosine – a chemical compound that helps you sleep. With caffeine onboard, it’s the party central for other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. These guys give you real lift and get you performing at your best.


Caffeine in Tea vs Coffee

Whether you prefer the bold and robust flavour of coffee or the subtle and nuanced taste of tea, knowing the caffeine in tea vs coffee can help you make informed choices. When it comes to caffeine in tea vs coffee, coffee generally packs more punch than tea. A standard cup of coffee can contain anywhere from 95 to 200 milligrams of caffeine, depending on the type and serving size. In contrast, a cup of tea typically contains around 25 to 48 milligrams of caffeine. Basically, there’s lesser caffeine in tea vs coffee.

But let's be real – that’s not the final figure when tracking the caffeine in tea vs coffee. There are heaps of factors that can affect caffeine levels in your daily brew. Things like the type of coffee bean or tea leaf you're using, the way you're brewing it up, and how much you're serving can all have an impact on the available amount of caffeine in tea vs coffee.


Caffeine Content in Coffee

First up, its important to know that the caffeine content can vary widely. There’s more to the story than just a cut and dried fact about caffeine in coffee vs tea. Let’s delve into caffeine in coffee. It depends on the type of coffee beans, roast level, the brewing method or any other factor. So, it’s important to know how to estimate the caffeine in your coffee before you begin to compare the caffeine in coffee vs tea.

On average, a cup of coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine, but this can range anywhere from 30 milligrams for a small decaf coffee to over 400 milligrams for a large, strong cup of coffee. Espresso shots, which are commonly used in specialty coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, typically contain around 63 milligrams of caffeine per shot.

Brewing method of coffee must also be considered to get the right stats for comparison of caffeine in tea vs coffee. Different brewing methods affect the caffeine content of your coffee. A cup of French press brew, for example, might have more caffeine than a drip coffee as it lets more of the coffee's natural oils come through in the final cup.


Caffeine Content in Tea

Tea lovers swear by the calming and focusing effects of theanine. It’s an amino acid found in tea that can help balance out the caffeine in tea vs coffee. The amount of caffeine in tea can vary quite a bit, just like with coffee.

For starters, the type of tea you're drinking can make a big difference. Green and white tea have lower caffeine in comparison to other teas. Let’s compare the stats for different types of tea before comparing caffeine in tea vs coffee:

Black tea: 30-60 mg

Green tea: 20-45 mg

Oolong tea: 25-50 mg

White tea: 15-30 mg

On average, a brewed cup has around 30 to 60 milligrams of caffeine. Speaking of brewing, that also affects the caffeine content in tea. The longer you steep your tea, the more caffeine it will release.

It's worth noting that the above numbers are just estimates. The numbers may differ in the products you’re using to compare caffeine in coffee vs tea that you wish to buy. The actual caffeine content depends on several variables. Some tea companies add extra caffeine to their blends and some even sell caffeine free tea. So be sure to check the label if you're looking to limit your caffeine intake.

It’s a growing understanding that the caffeine in tea vs coffee provides a gentler, more sustained energy boost without the jitters or anxiety.


How Much Caffeine is Too Much for Your Body?

Caffeine is a natural pick-me-up that can give you a buzz and improve your performance. But too much of a good thing can be bad for you. So, how much is too much? The answer is usually different for everyone. It depends on your age, weight, overall health and how sensitive you’re to caffeine.

But most experts reckon that you shouldn’t have more than 400 milligrams of caffeine in a day. To put it into context, 400 milligrams of caffeine in tea vs coffee or energy shots or fizzy drinks:

  • Two cups of strong tea
  • Four cups of brewed coffee
  • Two energy shots
  • 10 cans of fizzy drink

But remember that different brands have different caffeine contents.

And, how you consume caffeine from coffee vs tea can affect how quickly your body absorbs and processes it. For example, if you have coffee on an empty stomach, you'll get a bigger buzz than if you have it with food.

So, what happens if you have too much caffeine? You might get the jitters, feel anxious, have a fast heartbeat, get headaches, or have trouble sleeping. You might also get tummy troubles like pain, nausea or the runs.


Tea vs Coffee – Which One Should You Drink?

Tea vs Coffee – that’s been debated over countless cups. Is there a true champion of the caffeine world? Well, grab a brew and let's dive in to find out which one you should be drinking.


When it comes to taste, it's all about personal preference. Coffee lovers enjoy a strong, bitter hit while tea drinkers prefer a more delicate and herbal flavour. It’s all about taste and not much room for a consideration of caffeine in coffee vs tea.

Effects of Caffeine in Tea vs Coffee

The effects of caffeine in tea vs coffee can differ. Some people may find that they experience these side effects more strongly with coffee than with tea. 

Health Benefits of Caffeine in Tea vs Coffee

The health perks of caffeine in tea vs coffee can vary depending on a few things such as the type of tea or coffee you're drinking. Also, on how much you're consuming and your own individual metabolism and health status.

Tea may reduce the risk of heart disease, promote weight loss, and improve gut health. Drinking coffee can help improve cognitive function.

Amount of Caffeine in Tea vs Coffee

Now let’s talk caffeine in tea vs coffee. For those who are sensitive to caffeine, choosing tea over coffee can be a wise choice, as the caffeine in tea vs coffee is typically less potent. When comparing the amount of caffeine in tea vs coffee, it's also important to note that the preparation style of the drink can greatly affect the caffeine from coffee vs tea.

Next time you’re out shopping for your brew, consider the above to decide which one you should be drinking.



At the end of the day, the amount of caffeine in your drink is just one of the many factors that can affect your enjoyment of these beloved beverages. Whether you prefer your drink strong or mild, caffeinated or decaf, there’s no denying the comfort and pleasure that a good cuppa can bring. So, brew up your favourite blend and let the debate continue!


FAQs Related to Caffeine in Tea vs Coffee

Q. How much caffeine is in tea vs coffee?

A. Whether you're a coffee lover or a tea aficionado, it's worth knowing how much caffeine from coffee vs tea you’re likely to consume. A standard cup of coffee can contain around 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine. Meanwhile, a standard cup of black tea typically contains between 15 and 70 milligrams of caffeine. And then there’re teas that are caffeine free. You wanna check before you buy, as these numbers are just estimates.


Q. Is tea caffeine better than coffee caffeine?

A. Chemically speaking – they’re identical. But the content of caffeine in tea vs coffee may differ. Also, the two can have different effects on different people – some of us feel that tea provides a smoother, more sustained energy boost than coffee. This depends on how caffeine is absorbed. Presence of other compounds in the beverage can affect absorption.


Q. Which is stronger – coffee or tea?

A. Coffee is generally stronger than tea considering the caffeine in tea vs coffee. However, the caffeine strength of brews varies across various categories. For example, tea such as black or yerba mate may contain higher levels of caffeine than other teas, while coffee such as espresso may contain more caffeine than a standard brewed coffee.


Q. How much caffeine can I have in a day?

A. The short answer is – it depends. Some of us may be able to handle a little more, others may start feeling the jitters with just a small dose. Pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions should be especially careful and may need to limit their caffeine intake even further. The limit for healthy adults is no more than 400 mg of daily caffeine intake.