We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Difference Between Coffee and Tea?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Coffee and tea are among the world's most popular beverages, with several surveys seeming to suggest that tea is the world's number one hot beverage, and they are often lumped together on restaurant menus. However, coffee and tea are in fact very different beverages, each with a venerable and distinctive history. It has also been noted that many people are fans of one, but not the other.

Coffee is the product of plants in the genus Coffea, with C. robusta and C. arabica being the two cultivars used for coffee production. It is believed that coffee originated in Ethiopia, with legends dating it to about the ninth century. Coffee spread to the Middle East and from there to Europe, where it became an extremely popular beverage in the 1600s.

Depending on how coffee is handled and where it is grown, it can have a variety of flavor profiles. Coffees can be roasted for varying amounts of time, and have differing levels of caffeine, the chemical compound which makes coffee such a popular drink. It can also be prepared in a variety of ways, with drip coffee and espresso being two popular preparations, and may be additionally flavored with essential oils.

Tea is produced from Camellia sinensis, a plant native to China. Like coffee, tea can vary widely in flavor depending on where it is grown and how it is handled. Some broad tea categories include green, white, oolong, and black teas. Chinese legends place the birth of tea at around 2700 BCE, making it much older than coffee, and tea has long been popular in many parts of Asia. In the 1600s, tea began appearing at coffee houses, creating a lifelong association between coffee and tea among Europeans, and the drink quickly rivaled coffee in terms of appeal to the public.

It is important to note that so-called “herbal teas” are actually tisanes. In order to truly be considered “tea,” a beverage must contain Camellia sinensis, although other plant products can be blended in, and commonly are. A drink made purely from herbs, such as peppermint leaves or chamomile flowers, is more properly known as a tisane, despite what the labeling on the package claims. In religious communities where caffeine consumption is not allowed, tisanes can be safely consumed, and these drinks are also safe for people who are avoiding caffeine for health reasons.

Both coffee and tea are prepared in similar ways, by steeping or leaching the plant products in hot water, and they are often served with similar accessories, such as cream and sugar. These two drinks can also be quite high in caffeine. However, coffee and tea taste very differently and contain a variety of different chemical compounds. Teas, for example, have numerous antioxidants, while coffees do not.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By Markerrag — On Apr 14, 2014

@Terrificli -- people who don't like the taste of decaffeinated coffee but want to find something similar to their favorite drink might try a chai latte. That is tea, but you do get a lot of the boldness of coffee and people migrating to tea from coffee have reported some luck in starting with that particular drink.

Besides, a lot of your better coffee houses offer chai latte. Give it a try.

By Terrificli — On Apr 13, 2014

One of the major differences is that coffee has more caffeine in it than tea. The higher caffeine content does attract some people to the drink, but causes others to go for tea because they want to limit their caffeine intake.

A problem arises, however, when people want to limit their caffeine intake but much prefer the taste of coffee over tea. Sure, there is decaf coffee for those wanting the taste without the caffeine, but some argue the flavor is not quite on par with "regular" coffee.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.