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Caffeine in Chai vs Coffee: Which Has More? By How Much?

Coffee vs Chai Tea

Caffeine is the ideal stimulant to use if you need more mental alertness during the day. This is why millions of people flock to coffee and tea in the morning as a quick “pick me up”, and both drinks have been a part of many cultures for thousands of years. But how does chai tea rank compared to coffee in terms of caffeine content? Does coffee have more caffeine than chai? Let’s discuss. Coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine per cup, while chai tea only contains 26 mg. Keep reading to learn more!

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Which Has More Caffeine? Coffee or Chai Tea?

When it comes to caffeine content, coffee reigns supreme over chai tea with about 95 milligrams of caffeine per 8 oz cup, and chai tea has about 26 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces. Being that coffee has about four times the amount of caffeine as chai tea, it’s the ideal choice for anyone looking for a big boost of energy to start the day or cap off their evening. However, if you’re simply looking for a light buzz, chai tea may be ideal. Everyone metabolizes caffeine differently, so while some people may not respond to one or two cups of coffee, others may run a mile a minute after just one-half cup.

Chai makes a great substitute for coffee. Not only does it taste great, but it goes perfectly with breakfast, dessert, or it can be consumed as a standalone drink served hot or cold. It’s also worth noting that you can simply lengthen the steeping time of the tea to increase its caffeine content–which can increase by 70-80%. You’ll also find that powdered versions of chai may have less caffeine than the loose-leaf version of the tea.

Chai has also been shown to have certain health benefits as well. More research is showing that the polyphenols in tea are linked to increased focus, wider attention spans, cardiovascular health, and protection from illnesses including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Homemade-Chai-Tea-Latte-with-anise-and-cinnamon_Ekaterina-Kondratova_shutterstock
Credit: Ekaterina Kondratova, Shutterstock

Caffeine Consumption Moderation

Caffeine is great for providing a good physical and mental boost during the day, but it should be consumed with caution. For example, caffeine is known to cause several side effects including irritability, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, anxiety, and insomnia.

This is especially true if it’s consumed in large amounts during a short window of time. You’ll need to consume several cups of chai tea to overindulge in caffeine, while only three or four cups of coffee (depending on the brew) can easily send you over the recommended FDA caffeine limit, which is 400 mg.

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Conclusion

Drinking chai tea instead of coffee can be a good way to get your daily boost of caffeine, all without the extra calories that can come with coffee. Though chai is considered a “high-caffeine” tea when compared to other tea varieties, it is still relatively low compared to coffee. So does coffee have more caffeine?  Yes. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a nice boost of energy from chai tea or enjoy it as a delightful morning or afternoon beverage.


Featured Image Credit: (L) ArturoAez, Pixabay | (R) umehanayuuki, Pixabay

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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