How Much Caffeine is in Tea?

  • March 13, 2018
  • valerie
Colorful cups of tea on a wood table arranged from left to right from lowest to highest caffeine.

We know you’re wondering, how much caffeine is in tea?

First we think it’s worth sharing some facts about tea and caffeine. True tea is made from the leaves of an Asian evergreen known as Camellia sinensis. White, green, oolong, and black teas all come from this plant, and all contain caffeine. Our herbal teas can come from any other plant than Camelia sinensis and most do not contain caffeine. One exception is Yerba Maté, a South American herb that does contain caffeine.

Biologists believe that caffeine in plants works as a natural defense system to deter insects and other herbivores with its bitter taste and stimulating qualities. It’s the growing buds and young leaves of tea plants that create the highest amounts of caffeine.

What determines caffeine levels?

Factors such as the growing region, plant varietal, plant age, leaf age, length of the growing season, field conditions, soil nutrients, and rainfall (and more!) can all influence how much caffeine is in plucked tea leaves.

How the tea is prepared also plays an important role in how much caffeine makes it into your cup. From the amount of tea used to water temperature and brewing time, whether the leaves are steeped loose, in a tea bag, or strainer, are all contributors to caffeine levels.

Given these variables, it can be difficult to answer the question, “How much caffeine is in this tea?”
We have determined general measurements in milligrams (mg) based on some of our products in the chart below.

Beverage  Caffeine Per 8 oz Serving
White Tea  30-55 mg
Green Tea  35-70 mg
Oolong Tea  50-75 mg
Black Tea  60-90 mg
Coffee  100 mg

What about
Decaffeinated Teas?

Our decaffeination process uses carbon dioxide (CO2), not chemicals or solvents, to remove most of the caffeine from the tea leaves and is the only certified organic decaffeination method. In a sealed chamber, moistened tea leaves are exposed to CO2, which has been liquefied under pressure. The liquefied CO2 bonds with the caffeine molecules in the leaves and after a few hours the liquid is poured off and the tea is dried, evaporating both the CO2 and the caffeine. As caffeine is the only compound reduced, this process leaves the treated tea leaves more intact and flavorful than other methods. Keep in mind that decaffeinating tea does not remove the caffeine entirely, 2-4 mg per cup remains.

Shop our Decaffeinated Teas.

Looking to decrease the caffeine in your caffeinated tea? Caffeine is released immediately, while the flavor releases over minutes, so you can use this little trick to slightly reduce the caffeine in your tea. Simply brew the tea in hot water for a few moments and discard the water, re-brewing the tea in freshly boiled water as normal.

For those who need to avoid caffeine altogether, we recommend our herbal teas (except Yerba Maté).

Like this article? Learn more about how tea is made.

More questions about caffeine in tea? E-mail us at info@choiceorganicteas.com.

 

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