When it comes to daily beverages, tea and coffee are arguably the two most popular in the world. If you choose to drink tea, you might be doing so because of the caffeine boost that it provides. As a consequence, you might be wondering if tea actually has more caffeine than coffee.
True teas have about half of the caffeine of the average cup of coffee. However, many factors determine the exact caffeine content in either a cup of tea or coffee. This includes the type of tea used, how it is brewed, and for how long.
Tea is a great tasting beverage that has quite a few health benefits. If you are wondering about how much caffeine your average cup has, you will want to continue reading to discover some interesting information. It is important to know how caffeine affects you and why tea might just be a better choice for you if you’re thinking about your caffeine intake.
How Much Caffeine is in Tea vs. Coffee?
An 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 96 mg of caffeine vs about 47 mg of caffeine in a properly brewed cup of black tea. This is just about twice as much caffeine.
What Determines the Amount of Caffeine in a Cup of Tea?
There is not a standard amount of caffeine in any given cup of tea due to various factors. First, it depends on the type of tea that you’re brewing. For example, broken tea leaves release more caffeine than whole ones. The amount of tea and how long you brew it matters as well.
If you want to have some control over the amount of caffeine present in your tea, there are certain things that you can do. Of course, you can always choose to brew decaffeinated tea, but the chances are that you would like at least a little caffeine in your morning or afternoon pick me up. If that is the case, here are some factors that are within your control.
Some Types of Tea Have More Caffeine than Others
Certain types of tea leaves contain more caffeine than others. In addition, how the leave is used impacts the caffeine content as well. Using broken tea leaves will tend to result in a more caffeinated beverage than one that is brewed using whole tea leaves.
Choosing the variety of tea leaves that you use will have an impact on the caffeine level in your cup. Which tea has the most caffeine? Generally, black tea and pu-erh tea provide the strongest caffeine boost.
The Amount of Tea You Use Affects the Caffeine
For most teas, the standard amount of loose leaf tea per cup is 2-3 grams of tea per 6-8 ounces of water.
If you add more tea leaves to your pot, you can count on the caffeine content going up accordingly. Keep in mind that a whole tea bag will contain a standard amount of tea leaves, thereby allowing you to keep the caffeine content relatively consistent from one cup to another.
If you want more caffeine, you could always just add more loose tea leaves to the pot or brew a cup of tea with two tea bags.
Brewing Time affects Caffeine Levels
The caffeine in tea is released in water. So, the longer you brew your tea, the more caffeine will be released into your cup. If you want to reduce the amount of caffeine just a bit, you can reduce the amount of time that your tea brews. Keep in mind that brewing time can really affect the quality and taste of your drink, so if you want to know how to make tea that tastes its best, don’t over brew.
Water Temperature Can Affect Caffeine Levels
The general principle here is that the hotter the water you are using to brew your tea, the more caffeine you can expect to be infused into your cup. This is because the higher the temperature, the faster the caffeine is released from the tea leaves.
The best temperature for tea depends on the type of tea you’re brewing. Blasting your tea with water that’s too hot can really degrade the quality of your drink.
Is the Caffeine in Tea Good for You?
For most people, the level of caffeine in tea is perfectly acceptable to consume as a part of a balanced diet. As with any beverage, you should not drink tea if so advised by a physician. With that in mind, it is best to avoid drinking too much tea in the afternoon, as it could impact your sleep.
Is There Caffeine in Herbal Tea?
Unless the herbal tea you refer to comes directly from the Camellia Sinensis plant, like green or black tea, it does not contain caffeine. Two common examples are chamomile tea and ginger tea. If you love tea but need to do without the caffeine, herbal teas are often the way to go.
Tea Can Provide a Boost Without the Extra Caffeine of Coffee
While coffee has more caffeine than tea on average, tea still provides many people with that extra burst of energy that they crave in the mornings. At the same time, it is much easier to control the level of caffeine in tea than it is with coffee, making it a preferred beverage for many individuals who are watching their daily intake.