Give Now  »

Noon Edition

Tea vs. Coffee

Tea or coffee? Ever wonder which is better for you? Both contain caffeine; so what's the difference?

There are two reasons why your doctor might recommend tea over coffee. One is that tea does contain less caffeine than coffee. This is because the amount of tea leaves used to brew a cup of tea is significantly smaller than the amount of coffee beans for a cup of coffee.

The amount of caffeine, however, varies by type of tea and the amount of brewing time. As far as caffeine is concerned, in moderation it's not bad for most people. The real reason people say that tea is more healthful than coffee has to do with antioxidant compounds called polyphenols.

There is some evidence that the polyphenols found in tea can prevent cancer from forming, and stabilize and shrink cancer that already exists. Polyphenols neutralize the atoms that change our normal cells into cancer cells. There is also some evidence that polyphenols are a preventive in heart disease. But the whopper is that you have to drink six cups of tea a day to get the antioxidant effect.

Unfortunately, only green and black teas contain polyphenols. Though green and black teas come from the same plant, green tea contains the most polyphenols due to the way it is processed.

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science