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Caffeine Content of Coffee and Tea

coffee and tea

Tea and coffee are the common sources of caffeine. But, here comes a question, which between the two has the highest content? This is a debate that has griddled over the minds of many as they try to define the better source. Caffeine is a substance that naturally exists in the leaves and seeds of specific plants. This substance is biologically known to protect the plant against the insects and parasites that try to eat it. This is a different capacity altogether. For presumably hundreds of years, humans have been consuming the substance as a stimulant.

Tea is a native plant to the East Asia and is considered highly among the Chinese people. As early as the 2nd century BC, evidence suggests that tea had already been known and even drank by the royals. Over the centuries, several processing techniques have been introduced - which have given birth to the different types, currently in the market.


Coffee, on the other hand, has quite an unclear history with regards to where and who discovered the plant. Some evidence suggests Ethiopia as the coffee's original homeland and traces its origin back to the 15th century. This is when coffee began to spread to the middle east and later to the rest of the world. But even with the blurredness in coffee's origin, it still commands a lot in the beverage industry. Coffee is currently drunk almost all over the world. Now, let's take a look at the caffeine in coffee vs tea.


Caffeine in tea



Several people around the world do wake up to 2 or 3 cups of tea every morning. One fact here is that they can not do without it. You will even find people drinking tea during the day to revitalize their energies and remain active throughout the day. The different types of tea have varying amount of caffeine in them. This primarily depends on the mode of preparation, storage, and the intended purpose. For instance, for every cup (8 ounces), tea contains about 15 to 57 mg of caffeine.

The caffeine in tea re-energizes the individual and maintains it for quite a long time before gradually and in a normal manner decreasing the effect. The caffeine effect in tea moves smoothly without any sudden crash. The reason here is explained by the process that occurs when the tea is prepared. Tea leaves contain tannins which combine with caffeine during preparation. The body will, therefore, have to break these bonds gradually when ingested to obtain the caffeine effect.


Caffeine content in coffee




With a mug of coffee in the morning or evening, individuals using it gets rejuvenated and re-energized. Being a strong stimulant, caffeine in coffee stimulates the central nervous system and blood circulation by elevating the blood pressure. Contrary to tea, this process is shortlived. Coffee will make you wide awake for a shorter period than tea. A cup of coffee contains a lot of caffeine but is subject to the type you are drinking. On average, 80 to 135 mg of caffeine is contained in every cup of coffee. Coffee is a "quick" stimulant that only accelerates quickly to the highest activity and in no time, the person is down to the normal levels. Unlike tea, nothing hinders the uptake and breakdown of coffee in the body. This is the ultimate reason why coffee has the spike effect.


Which is healthier?


There are obviously lots of controversies regarding which among the two is healthier. Typically, both coffee and tea have their own benefits and demerits. It is however quite a challenge to pinpoint them due to the several contradictory studies. In this analysis, we will majorly look at the impacts of the levels of caffeine in coffee vs tea and make an inference out of it.

For many people, the caffeine kick is the main reason for or against either tea or coffee. If based purely on the composition, coffee wins since it has the highest caffeine content. But, can this mean that it is healthier? Of course, no. It only shows the extent to which it can revitalize and activate individuals. The negative side rests with the fact that the 'high' effect is pretty much shortlived with unfriendly afterward. In fact, some studies report that this sudden spikes in coffee are not so good for the nervous system.

With the case of tea, another study suggested that if tea is dosed at an equivalent strength as coffee, tea proves to be better off in sharpening the mind than coffee. Since tea has no sudden spikes like coffee, it is assumed to be healthier and provides alertness that lasts. Generally, the caffeine in coffee vs tea is quite confusing. This is because if a person needs some quick revamp, coffee could be the perfect option. Conversely, some studies are against this quick effect.

Other significant health differences are observed in the sleep quality and tooth staining. Once they hit the pillow, the coffee people tend to have a rough time dozing off. Perhaps, it is because the high caffeine level remains in the blood of the victims. This is, on rare occasion, the case with tea. Both coffee and tea are known to contain pigments that may discolor your teeth. But which is worst? Dentists have realized that tea has stronger pigments that may easily adhere to your teeth lining. Thus, tea is likely to stain your teeth than coffee.


Do tea have less caffeine than coffee?


Typically, before tea is brewed, it has more caffeine than coffee. During preparation, tea is normally diluted more than most coffee. This, however, depends on how strong you like it. The trick here is that if one needs more caffeine, he should go for the fresh tea instead of sleeping them for ages. And since coffee is extracted from seeds, its caffeine level is almost the same before and after processing. Thus, prepared coffee may have more caffeine than processed tea.


Why do they contain caffeine?


As mentioned above, coffee and tea have caffeine for the sole purpose of keeping off parasites and insects who might have the desire to eat their leaves or beans. They act as their 'natural insecticides'. For full information about teas, please visit our blog.

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