a compound revered by many and vilified by some. It is a natural substance that
occurs in varying amounts in different plant varieties, stages of growth and
parts of the plant. It's the magical substance that awakens us and keeps us
alert throughout the day. Because of this, people want to quantify and manage
Caffeine is water soluble,
so when the water temperature used is lowered, less caffeine will be released.
For those needing a powerful lift in the morning, some of our black teas,
brewed appropriately, can have as much caffeine as a cup coffee! Because
caffeine from tea does not take effect for 10-15 minutes, it provides more of a
subtle lift - not the rapid jolt in a cup of coffee. As we like to say
"Tea makes you happy; coffee makes you nervous".
The typical cup of coffee
has approximately 125-185 milligrams of caffeine. The tea industry
generally publishes a range of about 45-60 milligrams of caffeine for
black and white teas, 35-45 milligrams for oolong teas, and 15-20
milligrams for green teas. Please remember that these are
very general levels. Depending upon
the type of tea and how it is prepared, caffeine levels can be significantly
greater or lower than outlined here. Some caffeine levels vary depending
how tea was processed and when it
. Factors such as type of tea plant, when it is
how it is picked,
all have a great influence. For example, some Japanese green teas have
more caffeine than Chinese green teas due to factors such as nitrogen
fertilizer levels, specific varietals and plant shading. White teas tend to
have the highest level of caffeine because the tea is derived from buds and
young first leaf tips. Assamica varietals (Indian teas) have higher levels of
caffeine than most
black teas. Spring teas tend to contain 1-5% more caffeine than autumnal/winter
teas. These differences can range from 5-30 milligrams per serving, and it is
difficult to get precise information from tea producers, who are not in the
business of scientifically measuring caffeine levels in their tea. Also,
controlled studies need to be done in order to make accurate comparisons.
Finally, we must consider that with all the array of factors involved, the
variance level of caffeine is still relatively small compared to how much is
typically in a cup of coffee.
processes are used today for
tea. One, which makes use of the solvent ethyl acetate, retains only 30%
of the polyphenols. The other is a preferable, natural process that uses only
water and carbon dioxide and is called “effervescence.” It retains 95%
of the polyphenols. Be sure to check labels to see which process was used. If
it isn’t specified, you’ll have to contact the manufacturer to find out.
Why don’t we carry decaf teas?
that current decaffeinating methods produce a final product that is bland; the
flavor and subtleties are gone. We would prefer those who are affected strongly
by caffeine to have an herbal infusion when they feel that they would be
adversely affected by caffeine.
once influenced by the ever popular adage about removing caffeine from any tea
by a quick infusion in hot water. The idea was that because caffeine is water
soluble, a quick rinse in boiling water would remove up to 80% of the caffeine.
To adequately address the issue we invite you to read a piece by Nigel Melican, founder of Teacraft and one of the most
knowledgeable people on the subject of tea. This was initially published in the
CHA DAO blog and parts of it are reprinted here with permission from the author
and CHA DAO. We encourage you to follow the discussion on the blog via