Difference Between Coffee and Tea

Are you a tea person or a coffee lover?

One of the biggest debates on the planet is about deciding whether a cup of steaming hot tea is better than a nice warm mug of coffee or vice versa. Let’s find out the answer.

Differences Between Coffee and Tea

Both beverages are among the most consumed drinks in the whole world. They are both made from parts of plants but are pretty different from each other. Let’s see how:



No one is sure about the discovery of coffee. However, according to an Ethiopian legend, it was a goat herder who discovered coffee beans.

His goats ate berries from a specific tree, and he noticed their behavior had changed. They seemed more energetic and didn’t sleep at night.

The boy took the berries to an Abbott at the local monastery. The Abbott made a drink out of them and underwent the same experience as the goats; thus, coffee was discovered.

Historically, the coffee trade started in the Arabian Peninsula around Yemen in the 15th century, and by the 16th century, it had spread to adjoining areas, such as Turkey, Syria, and Egypt.

Travelers brought it to Europe around the 17th century, and that’s when the spread of seedlings to other regions began.  


Tea was accidentally discovered in 2732 BC by a Chinese Emperor. The wind blew some tea leaves into a pot full of boiling water. He was instantly intrigued by the aromatic infusion and drank it.

It soon started to gain popularity, and China introduced tea to many parts of the world, such as Japan, Tibet, and Russia. Later, the Dutch and Portuguese started importing it to Europe.

Then as the British went around colonizing the many territories around the world, tea started to take over along with them.  



Coffee production began in Ethiopia and Sudan. Currently, coffee is the 2nd most traded commodity and is being produced in several countries.

Brazil is the top exporter, with 2.68 million tons of coffee being produced every year, and it has been the number one exporter for 150 years now.

Brazilian coffee is known for its beautiful, intense flavors with subtle notes of chocolate and caramel.

Around the world, it is considered the perfect ingredient to make a flavorful cup of coffee.


China was the one to discover tea and, to this day, is the top producer. China cultivates 2.4 million metric tons of tea annually, leading the market with a whopping 40% share.

India follows suit as the 2nd largest producer, producing 900,000 metric tons of tea annually.  

Popularity and Consumption


In America alone, 517 million cups of coffee are consumed every day. Between 2020 and 2021, 167.26 million bags of coffee were consumed globally.

Despite the pandemic, there was a 1.8% increase from the previous year.

Widely known as the morning beverage, millions of Americans consume it as the first drink of the day to wake them up and give them the energy they need to tackle their day.


After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. According to the Tea Association of the USA inc., 84 billion servings of tea were consumed in America.

Statista’s data shows that 6.3 million kg of tea was consumed in 2020 worldwide. In fact, they assume that by 2025 tea consumption will rise to 7.5 billion kilograms. 

Tea is not heavy on the stomach because of its light flavors, and is drank at any time of the day. 



Typically, coffee beans are bitter. The more they are roasted, the stronger their taste.

There are a variety of roasts available. People consume the one they prefer according to their taste.

Coffee is enjoyed in various ways. The ones who want to enjoy the subtle bitterness and acidity prefer black coffee, while others have it with cream and sugar.

Today, coffee chains, such as Starbucks, provide thousands of different coffee combinations to cater to everyone’s taste.


Green tea was the first tea variant to be enjoyed in the world. Since then, several different varieties of tea have been available worldwide.

The taste of tea, in comparison, is lighter and earthy. It has subtle notes of the tea flavor and is aromatic. Depending on the variant, tea can taste nutty, citrusy, and fruity.

Caffeine Amount


Everyone is well aware that coffee has a higher amount of caffeine. When coffee is brewed, it releases more of its caffeine molecules into the prepared coffee.

You will find 90 to 100mg of caffeine in a regular 80-ounce cup of Joe. This is why people prefer having it in the morning to stay alert and focused on their work.


Surprisingly, tea leaves contain high levels of caffeine.

However, since tea is an infusion and brewed at a lower temperature than coffee, it has a lighter taste, and not enough caffeine is released in the drink.

In order to prepare tea leaves, most of the leaf is discarded, which is the part that contains caffeine.

Hence, an average cup of tea with the strongest flavor only has 70 to 90mg caffeine.

In addition to this, some teas, such as herbal tea, do not have any caffeine at all.

Health Benefits

Coffee and tea both have certain health benefits.


Prevents Certain Diseases: It is believed that high caffeine content in coffee can prevent type 2 diabetes.

The study conducted in 2009 showed a 7% less chance of developing diabetes for every cup of coffee consumed by the participants.

Furthermore, coffee is also said to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease and might prevent strokes.

Boosts Mental and Physical Performance: Caffeine has the ability to improve your brain functions. Additionally, it boosts adrenaline levels in your blood which is estimated to enhance your physical performance.

Contains Essential Nutrients: Coffee has vitamin B, manganese, and potassium. These nutrients can help improve your immune system. Hence, coffee is a good source of essential nutrients.


Contains Zero Calories: Three are very few things in the world that are tasty and have no calories. However, tea is one such thing and can be consumed without worry about gaining weight.   

Antioxidants: Antioxidants keep your body fit and fine. Having tea is an excellent way to ensure your body stays young and performs well for a long time.

Prevents Heart Diseases and Cancer: The National Cancer Institute has conducted several studies that prove tea has antioxidants that can prevent cancer and fight it from spreading. They have performed multiple trials that led them to this study.

Additionally, drinking tea regularly can lower your cholesterol levels, which are crucial in developing cardiovascular diseases. 

Health Risks

Everything good is in moderation. Going past the limit and exceeding your coffee or tea intake may cause certain health risks. Some are covered below:


Increases Anxiety Levels: People with anxiety should lay off the coffee because caffeine is said to increase their anxiety, making them feel worse.

High Blood Pressure: Although avoidable in decaffeinated options, regular coffee can increase your blood pressure if you consume too many cups.

Loss of Bladder Control: Caffeine in coffee can affect your bladder control. You may lose your bladder control if you regularly consume too much coffee.


Impacts Iron Absorption: Studies show that the tannins present in tea can hinder the process of iron absorption.

You can still enjoy limited cups of tea. However, if you already have an iron deficiency, it would be better to steer clear.

Heartburn: If you suffer from acid reflux, having a lot of tea might cause heartburn.

Side effects are different for every person and may or may not appear in you because we all respond differently to food.

Headache: Some people regularly consume tea because they say it helps them relieve headaches.

However, it could be the very tea and excessive consumption causing headaches.

Preparation Method


Coffee is made using different methods and coffee-making tools/devices. Typically, coffee beans are brewed with hot water using high pressure to make espresso.

This brewed liquid is used as a base and makes different kinds of coffee.

Some people enjoy it as black coffee, while others may mix cream, milk, sweetening syrups, or sugar according to their taste.


Tea has many variants, but usually, people follow the same method of preparing loose tea. Since it is an infusion, loose tea leaves of choice are dropped in boiling hot water.

You let them simmer for a few minutes and then strain the liquid into a cup. Similar to coffee, some people like their tea with a little milk and sugar. 

The Final Verdict

Both tea and coffee are consumed throughout the world. However, they are quite different from each other in all aspects.

Hence, people enjoy the beverages according to their liking and taste.

Since they are so different, you can’t compare where the two stand. Coffee lovers and tea enthusiasts are inclined toward their preferences and consider their choice better.

If you wish to decide which is better, you must try the best of both worlds before coming to a verdict.