Comparison of the antioxidant activity of commonly consumed polyphenolic beverages (coffee, cocoa, and tea) prepared per cup serving

J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Jul;49(7):3438-42. doi: 10.1021/jf0101410.


In this study, the in vitro low-density lipoprotein oxidation model was used to assess the relative antioxidant activity of the polyphenolic beverages tea, coffee, and cocoa on a cup-serving basis. The beverages were prepared as 0.7-2.5% soluble coffee and 1.5-3.5% cocoa; teas (green, black, or herbal) were prepared as one tea bag infused over 5 min in 220 mL of hot water. Under these standard cup serving conditions, the antioxidant activity as determined by the lag time was in the range of 292-948 min for coffee, 217-444 min for cocoa, 186-338 min for green tea, 67-277 min for black tea, and 6-78 min for herbal tea. Addition of milk did not alter the antioxidant activity. The influence of coffee bean source and degree of roasting was further investigated. Green coffee beans of Robusta coffee exhibited a 2-fold higher antioxidant activity than Arabica coffee, but after roasting this difference was no longer significant. In conclusion, these commonly consumed beverages have a significant antioxidant activity, the highest being soluble coffee on a cup-serving basis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Beverages / analysis*
  • Cacao / chemistry
  • Coffee / chemistry
  • Flavonoids*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / drug effects
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Polymers / analysis*
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea / chemistry


  • Antioxidants
  • Coffee
  • Flavonoids
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Phenols
  • Polymers
  • Polyphenols
  • Tea