Various patrons of One Eighty South have asked us about the different caffeine
levels in our loose-leaf tea varieties. In this blog, I shall aim to explain what factors
determine caffeine content in teas and what tea varieties may generally have higher or lower levels of caffeine.
As we mentioned in previous blogs, all varieties of loose-leaf teas come from the
same plant, Camellia Sinensis. What differentiates the varieties are the production
processes involved in making each type of tea. The production processes also
dictate, to an extent, the amount of caffeine in that particular type of tea. As a rule of thumb, loose-leaf black teas generally contain higher levels of caffeine that other varieties such as green, oolong and white teas. I say rule of thumb because it is not an exact science and there are too many variables when trying to identify the exact caffeine content in loose-leaf teas. These variables can be things like the leaf type, altitude where the plant is grown, brewing time for the tea, serving size, water temperature in which the tea is brewed, fertilizers used in the ground etc. The main reason why loose-leaf black teas are regarded as having higher caffeine levels is that black tea goes through a process of oxidation, which allows more caffeine to be extracted from the leaf as compared with other types.
Loose-leaf green and white teas tend to have lower caffeine levels as compared to
loose-leaf black teas as they are not oxidized. However, they also have higher levels of anti-oxidants like EGCG, which can give you stimulation without a caffeine buzz. All of our teas at One Eighty South have actual tea leaves as a base including our fruity, floral and herbal blends. This means each variety of tea in our store does have some level of caffeine in it.
As a general guideline, these are the caffeine levels of different types of teas as
compared with a cup of coffee. However, as mentioned above, it is impossible to
determine consistency for every single cup due to the different variables listed;
hence this should be treated as a guide only:
1 cup of coffee = 90-100mg caffeine
1 cup of black tea = 42-52mg caffeine
1 cup of green tea = 28-38mg caffeine
1 cup of white tea = 22-32mg caffeine
I hope this article helps clarify caffeine contents in loose-leaf teas for you. This will
aid in deciding which teas may be more suitable for you. I know for myself, I start the day with a strong black tea with a higher caffeine content to get me going in the morning and gradually drink teas throughout the day with lower caffeine contents. My last cup of tea most nights is a white tea or a white tea blend such as our Rose Chamomile White tea. Experiment for yourself as to what teas suit your needs better and let us know your thoughts