Coffee vs. Tea

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Difference between Coffee and Tea

For many people, the only way to start the day right is to have a nice steaming cup of coffee. That being said, there are many other people who don’t drink coffee at all, and several may prefer another beverage entirely, such as tea for instance. The two beverages obviously have their share of fans, so we thought it fitting to make a comparison between the two.



Coffee and tea both share a rich and colorful history, which were at times characterized by fiercely fought battles for access to these two sought after products. The history of tea is the subject of much folklore, with the most common story of its invention being traced back to an incident wherein a single tea leaf supposedly fell into a pot of boiling water in ancient China.

Coffee was discovered–or invented, depending on which story you believe in–much later, and it is thought to have been first cultivated in 674 A.D. in Arabia. There is also another story about coffee that mirrors the tea account, and it involves a coffee bean falling into a fire.

Caffeine Content

The caffeine content of coffee is of course well known, and this is in fact one of the beverage’s attractions. A single cup of coffee may have anywhere from 125 to 185 milligrams of caffeine in it, and the effects are almost immediate. And for most people, this "boost", which is typically followed by a let down is what gets them started in the morning, and indeed gets them through the day.

Tea for its part typically has about 55 milligrams of caffeine in every cup, although its amount varies depending on the variety. Green tea has the least amount of caffeine in it, and black tea has the most, with oolong coming in somewhere around the middle.

Medical Concerns

Tea health supplements an edge over coffee in that it has the ingredients EGCG and theaflavin, both of which have been identified as cancer cell suppressants. That being said, these enzymes have been shown only to retard the growth of cancer cells and not stop them completely.

The caffeine contained in tea and coffee work in a similar manner to theophyline, which is a compound used in the treatment of asthma. Coffee also has the effect of constricting the blood vessels in the brain, which is why it is commonly used as a migraine remedy. Unfortunately, this effect has a drawback in that people who are accustomed to having a cup of coffee in the morning may get a headache if they miss their regular dose.

Caffeine may also diuretic and digestion enhancing properties, although it can cause anxiety when sleeplessness when taken in excess. Too much caffeine my also result in heartburn.

Similarities and Differences


  • Thought to have been first cultivated in 674 A.D. in Arabia
  • May have anywhere from 125 to 185 milligrams of caffeine


  • Was supposedly discovered when a single tealeaf fell into a pot of boiling water in ancient China
  • Typically has about 55 milligrams of caffeine in every cup

Which morning drink is more addictive?
  • Coffee
  • Tea

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