What teas have the most and the least caffeine?

All teas from the Camellia Sinensis plant contain caffeine.

One of the reasons why tea is consumed is because of its energizing effect.

This is due to a famous component present in this tea: caffeine, a natural stimulant present in this herb.

We will explain the factors that influence caffeine content, mention teas that have and most and the least caffeine content.

Let’s learn more about this wonderful compound and see what is the tea with more theine.

What teas have the most and the least caffeine?

The amount of caffeine in the tea depends on a large number of factors, including the method and duration of the infusion.

Studies also show that the type of harvest and the leaves that are selected from the plant also affect the teine content of the infusion.

The young leaves, which are found at a higher height in the plant.

Contain much higher concentration of caffeine and antioxidants.

The biggest impact on caffeine content is water temperature and infusion time.

Black, oolong, green and white tea leaves have surprisingly very similar caffeine contents.

But a tea infused for 5 minutes in boiling water will transmit much more caffeine to the cup than one infused for 2 minutes at 70º C.

Let’s be clear: Oxidation does not increase the caffeine content in the tea.

While it is difficult (and usually incorrectly) to make an actual claim of how much caffeine is in green tea v/s black.

The variety used (sinensis v/s assamica), the cultivation methods (shaded, in height or low height).

And the selection of the leaf (new or old crops) makes the following teas stand out within their classes:

Least caffeine:

Genmai cha (Green)
Gunpowder (Green)
Hojicha (Green)
Kukicha (Green)
Keemun (Black)

Most caffeine:

Silver Needles
Gyokuro (Green)
Matcha (Green)
Assam (Black)
Ceylon (Black)
Darjeeling (Black)

Related articles: Which teas are made from the same plant as green tea?

Theine or Caffeine?

Theine is the name given to the caffeine molecule when it is found in tea.

Caffeine is an alkaloid of the methylxanthin family that can be found naturally in numerous plant species.

Including coffee and tea, but also in cocoa, Yerba mate or Guarana.

To refer to the caffeine of each of them different nomenclatures are used: theine, geranium, mate.

If you harvest a crop from a plantation and make all the varieties.

Under the same conditions, the amount of caffeine will be exactly the same.”

Some research suggests that the tea variety doesn’t affect the amount of teine per cup too much.

How much caffeine is present in tea?

The caffeine content of tea varies widely from tea to tea, and depends on the way it is made.

But tends to be within the range of 15-70mg per 8-ounce (227 gram) cup.

Caffeine can also be measured in terms of milligrams of caffeine per gram of dry tea.

A teaspoon of dried tea leaves usually weighs around 2.5 grams.

The amount usually used to make a single cup, although this varies depending on the type of tea.

A study of the content  (after infusion) found that the caffeine content of tea ranged from about 3 mg/g to 30 mg/g.

Which would result in a cup of tea containing between 7.5 mg and 75 mg of caffeine.

Related articles: 7 Good Reasons to Drink Iced Tea.

Factors that affect the caffeine level on tea.

Both within tea and coffee, we can find varieties that respond to different methods of preparation.

Ways of taking the drink or to characteristics of the leaves or berries that have been the origin of the preparation.

All these factors affect the amount of caffeine that the resulting preparation will have.

Quantity: agreed, this is quite a drawer, the amount of coffee or tea leaves you use in your infusion is decisive for the level of caffeine.

In the case of teas, mixing these with other plants for infusions will reduce their caffeine level.

Aromatized teas that do not involve reducing the volume of tea in the mixture will have the same levels of caffeine.

Infusion time: this applies mainly to teas. Allowing the leaves to infuse longer will cause the teine concentration to increase.

Water temperature: The hot liquid will cause more caffeine to be extracted from tea.

Roasting tea leaves: more roasted, less caffeine.

The horticultural variety of plants: tea or coffee plants have been selected over time looking for the most productive and resistant varieties.

This has also influenced the levels of caffeine that its leaves and fruits have.

Remember that all teas are produced from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis.

In this way, two black teas produced with different varieties may have significant differences in their volume of caffeine.

The type of leaves: tea can be produced from various kinds of leaves of camellia sinensis, in fact, it is one of the characteristics that are usually taken into account to establish its quality.

The more tender shoots contain a higher composition of caffeine, as they use it as a defense mechanism against insects, to which they are more exposed.

How much caffeine is safe to consume?

For pregnant women consume up to 200 mg of caffeine a day.

For the general public, it is recommended that 200-300 mg of caffeine a day is safe, but that 500-600 mg a day can cause a number of health problems.

People with liver failure and people taking medications that inhibit the CYP1A2 enzyme may have an even lower safety threshold.

If you drink a stronger tea containing 60mg of caffeine/cup, 8 cups a day would be a safe amount, or for pregnant women.

For a softer tea, with 30mg/cup, twice this amount would still be a safe amount of caffeine.

Different types of people react differently to caffeine, so an amount that is safe or pleasant for one person may not be healthy for everyone.

Related articles: What does caffeine free tea mean?

Final Thoughts.

A fairly common myth is that you can “make your own decaffeinated tea” by briefly infusing the tea and then bouncing the liquor.

The theory says that much of the caffeine is released during the first infusion.

The truth, however, is completely different. Caffeine is extracted over time, and the first 30 seconds of a five-minute infusion can simply extract 20 to 30% of the caffeine (the amount will depend on the leaf and processing style).

It is also important to mention that antioxidants and other health benefits are extracted much more quickly than caffeine.

As a result, that first quick infusion removes both the caffeine and healthy elements found in the tea.

To completely eliminate caffeine intake, one should switch to infusions.

All tea comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, which contains caffeine.

Infusions such as chamomile, rooibos and mint, are obtained from plants that are not related to Camellia sinensis so they are naturally free of caffeine

Although Tea has a number of health benefits, the excessive use of caffeine produces unpleasant and negative effects on health.

Including anxiety and insomnia, and for this reason many tea drinkers seek to moderate their caffeine intake.

The amount tends to be low, but it is high enough to be a matter of concern for people who drink large amounts of tea, as well as in people sensitive to caffeine for medical reasons.

Related articles: What green tea is good for your health?