Today we will be talking about the difference in caffeine in coffee and tea. I took a deep dive into the rabbit hole for this one. All of that so you, dear reader, don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Some context

Many people are not aware of it these days but tea has a noticeable amount of caffeine in it. Before coffee became widespread outside of the middle east, tea was the
preferred beverage of morning routines, afternoon chats, and mental stimulation methods across the globe.

In fact, tea leaves contain more caffeine than coffee beans do if compared by concentration.
One study found that the caffeine content of 100 grams of black tea ranged from 2.2 g – 2.8 g, and that of green tea from 1.1 g – 2.0 g. Whereas caffeine levels in unroasted (green) Arabica coffee, and Robusta coffee are approximately 1.2 g and 2.2 g respectively.


But we all know drinking a cup of coffee too late will hinder our ability to sleep. Whereas drinking a cup of tea will not leave you awake at night. So what explains coffee’s higher caffeine content?

Breaking it down

The answer is in the brewing. Regardless of their very similar brewing methods, coffee takes it one step further and transfers much more of its caffeine onto the brew than tea does. A shot of espresso coffee, which is usually 60 ml, will contain about 100 mg of caffeine whereas 60 ml of tea only contains 6 mg of caffeine. That’s right, about 16 times less caffeine content!

coffee or tea

Also worth noting is that to make that single shot of espresso baristas usually use 7 grams of coffee. Whereas the same amount of dried tea leaves can brew two or three whole pots which can add up to 1 liter of tea. And yet despite the fact that tea leaves have double the amount of caffeine in them, tea and coffee made from the same amount of leaves and beans respectively will have an approximately equal amount of caffeine. 100 mg, in this case.

This further illustrates the difference between the caffeine content of the different drinks. Tea simply is not about caffeine, at least not as much as coffee is. And that, among many more reasons, is why we love coffee… or Tea.

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