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Is coffee’s caffeine different than tea’s caffeine? (Coffee FAQ)

Is coffee's caffeine different than tea's caffeine?

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Coffee's caffeine vs. tea's caffeine

Have you ever wondered about the guy at the office who won’t get anywhere near the coffee machine and spends his coffee breaks sipping proudly from his novelty tea mug? 

How does he do it? How does he manage to keep his eyes open, let alone function properly without any sort of coffee? What’s his secret?

How is the caffeine in tea different from that in coffee?

The secret is caffeine. It does sound weird, but there’s caffeine in tea, not as much as in a regular cup of black coffee, but enough to keep one going.

Is it the same caffeine as in coffee? Yes, indeed, there’s only one substance going by the name of caffeine, no matter where it is to be found.

However, it is a bit different, as it acts slower and gives you a gentler energy boost.

The caffeine in tea binds with an amino acid called L-theanine and this makes it act in a more controlled way. When you down an espresso, the caffeine gets in your blood within minutes and you feel a surge or energy, while the caffeine in tea is released slowly over time, giving you a prolonged energy boost.

This bond is what makes tea caffeine act in a slower, more controlled way. Instead of an intense burst of energy, you get a prolonged, slow-release form of energy.

What tea has more caffeine than coffee?

Just to make one thing clear – we’re not talking about herbal teas here, although they are great, we’re talking about real tea, a plant native to East Asia. In fact, most of the world’s tea supply comes from China, India and Nepal.

All the different sorts of tea you’ve heard about come from this single plant. The most popular is green tea, but white tea is stronger and has the highest caffeine content of them all.

White tea is prepared from very young tea leaves, leaf buds, and plant spears.

Green tea is made with tea leaves that are a bit older, but not yet fully mature, and these have a lower caffeine content.

Dark tea is usually prepared from mature tea leaves.

The weird thing is white tea has a very delicate taste and you wouldn’t believe it has more caffeine than a bitter dark tea.

Caffeine level in tea varies with the time the leaves are steeped in hot water. Also, a higher ratio of tea leaves to water will result in a stronger tea.

How much caffeine is there in a cup of tea?

It’s hard to give an exact answer as not all the coffees are the same, just as no two cups of tea are the same.

Speaking in broad terms, an 8 fl oz cup of regular coffee can have anywhere between 96 to 165 mg of caffeine, depending on the type of coffee that was used. Meanwhile, a similar cup filled with tea offers you 25-50 mg of caffeine.

The funny thing is, if you walk around all day with a tea mug in your hand, nobody will warn you that you’re exaggerating and too much tea is bad for you, as most people are unaware there’s caffeine in tea.

Quick recap

The caffeine in tea is basically the same as the caffeine in a normal cup of coffee. However, there’s way less caffeine in tea and it is released slowly, giving you a prolonged energy boost. If you want a strong tea, try white tea!

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