Coffee or Tea? Which is Better?

For anyone who is obsessed with hot beverages, the struggle between coffee and tea is always a hot topic. The pros of each and which one is better. Many companies are spending huge amounts of money to find out which is better. It is easy to find a large number of articles debating and arguing about this and no doubt Google will be publishing 20 more in the next 5 minutes. So, which beverage wins?

The Numbers

First let us look at the numbers. There are actually two numbers floating around the internet about coffee drinking. The first statistic, which was recently uncovered was from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a market research company. The EIU stated that they think that there is over 250 million daily coffee drinkers worldwide. The second statistic, from The Economist, said that Americans were drinking 18 cups of coffee per person per month.

A Few Excuses

However, caffeine is not the only thing in coffee. There are also a number of chemicals found in coffee which have some pretty well known side effects. These can range from jitters to migraines. They also use pesticides to grow the coffee which they drink.

Tea Has More Caffeine than Coffee?

Now, as we have already mentioned tea does actually have some caffeine, a lot more than coffee. According to some estimates, tea has 50-75% more caffeine than coffee. This does vary from source to source though. However, that is a trade off, we get the caffeine but all the other chemicals from coffee are eliminated.

Let’s Compare

In order to answer this we are going to look at the chemistry of each of these beverages.


Coffee is mainly made up of 2 things, caffeine and nitrogen. The other chemical which is found in coffee is chlorogenic acid, which is a substance that restricts the production of sugar in the liver, making it less likely to store fat.


Tea also has 2 main chemicals, caffeine and tannin. Coffee also has tannin but it is very processed and the body is then unable to break it down efficiently. Tea also contains the amino acid theanine, which works in a similar way to caffeine but does not have such side effects.

So Which is Better

The simple answer is, it depends. They both have their pros and cons. Coffee has more caffeine and other benefits. Tea also has more caffeine but some of the other chemicals in coffee are not found in tea. For this reason, many people choose to drink one or the other.

One coffee drinker said to me once, “I think coffee is better in the morning. Coffee gives me the energy I need to complete my day. Tea on the other hand is better when I’ve had a few drinks and want to unwind in the evening.”

There are obviously a lot of benefits to both but in order to find out which one is best for the consumer, you are going to have to do your own research. It is not always as simple as a lot of people make it out to be.

So is There Such Thing as a Better Beverage?

Of course not. After all, at the end of the day, they both taste pretty damn good!

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