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Coffee or Tea - Which One Has More Caffeine?

Tea or coffee, which one has more caffeine? Well, this is one of the most frequently asked questions. But, what is the most common or general answer? Mostly, people will go with coffee as a beverage with more caffeine. But, this may not be true.

The quantity of caffeine in tea or coffee depends on different things. For instance, if you talk about the quantity of raw caffeine in tea leaves or coffee beans, you may be astonished that tea leaves have more caffeine than coffee beans. Tea leaves generally contain 3.5 per cent caffeine while it is 2 per cent for coffee beans.

From the above mentioned stats, it is obvious that tea leaves have more caffeine, but this is raw or unbrewed caffeine. It is important to understand that the amount of caffeine in your coffee or tea depends on various factors such as the variety and origin of the tea leaves or coffee beans. Apart from that, how you prepare your drink (coffee or tea) is a vital factor that determines the quantity of caffeine.

Now, while brewing the coffee, most coffee lovers use more coffee and then brew it at higher temperatures. Both of these factors extract higher quantities of caffeine.

From that point of view, it is safe to say that brewed coffee has more caffeine as compared to tea. But, to erase our confusions, let's dig a little deeper.

Quantity of Caffeine in Tea

White, green, and black tea is the most commonly used forms/types of tea. All of them are extracted from the leaves of the same tea plant (camellia Sinensis). However, their processing method and time of harvesting is different, and that is why there is a difference in oxidation levels of the tea. Only the leaves of black tea are oxidized. Here is a tabular representation of the quantity of caffeine in different forms of tea.

Tea Type

Quantity of caffeine in milligrams (mg)

Black Tea

47 to 90 mg

Green Tea

20 to 45 mg

White Tea

6 to 60 mg

Yerba Mate Tea

85 mg

Matcha Tea

35 to 40 mg


These different forms of tea are extracted from the same leaves of tea plants, yet they have different caffeine levels. The reason behind that is the preparation method and how long you steep it and what temperature you choose. If you brew black tea for one minute, it will have 40 mg of caffeine. But, if you brew it for 3 minutes, the quantity of caffeine will rise to 60 mg.

Quantity of Caffeine in Coffee

The mechanism for the coffee is exactly the same. That is, it depends on the quantity of coffee, grind level, and the temperature. Here are some stats for the coffee:


Quantity of caffeine in milligrams (mg)

Espresso (Single)

65 mg

Instant coffee (one cup)

100 mg

Espresso (double)

120 mg

Cappuccino or Latte

125 mg

Filter coffee (one cup)

140 mg

Cold-brewed coffee (16 oz cup)

200 mg


It is pretty obvious that the amount of caffeine varies in different forms of coffee because of the preparation method.

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