Tea vs. Coffee

tea vs coffee

If you ask the average person, you’d think that coffee is a lot more popular than tea. That’s why you have lots of coffee shops here and sales of coffee machines and coffee beans (and grounds) are booming.

But the truth of the matter is that from a global perspective, tea is actually more popular than coffee. About 3 billion people drink tea all over the world. Global per capita consumption of tea is at 35.2 liters per year. in comparison, for coffee the global per capita consumption is only 21.1 liters.

Part of the reason for the popularity of tea is that it’s an economical beverage. A home-brewed tea can cost as little as 3 US cents per cup. Even the premium varieties can end up costing as little as 10¢.

In contrast, Americans pay an average of about $2.70 for each cup of coffee. And this was in 2015. The cost really goes up with premium brands, plus tips.

In addition, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that drinking tea is the healthier option between the two.

The Caffeine Difference

One of the main differences between coffee and tea is the amount of caffeine you take in per cup. Unless you’re drinking decaffeinated coffee, you’re taking anywhere from 95mg to 200mg of caffeine per cup of coffee.

That’s great when you’re feeling fuzzy in the morning, or when your energy and alertness is flagging. A cup of coffee can wake you up quickly.

But for some folks, a cup of coffee may have too much caffeine for them. That’s especially true when people drink several cups of coffee during the day. The caffeine may mess up the quality of sleep, especially when people drink coffee in the evening.

But tea contains only 24mg to 40mg of caffeine. That means you’re not as likely to feel jittery with a single cup of tea. You’ll have to drink perhaps 4 to 5 cups of tea to get the same amount of caffeine from a single cup of coffee.

Some tea options, such as herbal tea, don’t contain any caffeine at all. That means you can drink tea and not mess up your sleep. In fact, some herbal teas such as chamomile is great when you have sleep quality issues


Admittedly, both coffee and tea contain plenty of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that protect against free radical damage. Free radicals have been associated with various symptoms of aging, including increased susceptibility to chronic inflammation and disease.

Coffee has chlorogenic acid (CGA)and flavonoids. Studies have indicated that CGA can inhibit cancel cell growth, especially against gastrointestinal and liver cancer.

Tea, such as black tea, contain theaflavins, thearubigins, and catechins. Studies have shown that thearubigins and theaflavins inhibited the growth of (and eventually killed off) lung and colon cancer cells. Other studies suggest that tea can also help against leukemia.

The main problem with coffee, though, is that these antioxidants come with too much caffeine. For example, in one study it was found that drinking at least 5 cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk of stroke by 23%.

But that means you’re also taking at least 500 mg of caffeine per day! That may be too much, since the USDA states that you should only consume 400mg of caffeine per day.

Meanwhile, drinking at least 4 cups of black tea per day reduces the chances of stroke by 21%. Drinking 4 cups of tea gets you only about 160mg of caffeine at the most.

That’s why it’s safe to drink even 6 to 10 cups of tea each day. You don’t have too much caffeine to worry about, as the caffeine can leave you jittery and prone to headaches.

Final Words

Despite the negative press about coffee, there’s really nothing wrong about drinking coffee in moderation. It’s a healthy drink when you do it right. It’s certainly better for your health than drinking sugared drinks like cola.

But it’s also an undeniable fact that drinking tea is a much healthier option. If drinking coffee is causing issues for you, then it’s probably time for you make the switch to drinking tea instead.

There are various types of tea that can help for just about any health issue you may be worried about. There are teas for headaches and migraines, for nausea, for colds, and even for cancer!

It’s also evident that tea drinkers, on the whole, live a healthier lifestyle compared to coffee drinkers. If you’re thinking about making a life change and living a healthier lifestyle, then switching to tea makes a lot of sense.