How much caffeine is in a cup of tea? That's a great question and difficult to answer because it depends. It depends on the type of tea, the water temperature, the ratio of tea to water, and the length of steeping time. We know that isn't a satisfactory answer so we'll share as much as we've learned in our research of the common questions about caffeine and tea.
How does the caffeine in tea compare to the caffeine in coffee? On average coffee contains 2-3 times the amount of caffeine as tea. The caffeine in tea is the same as in coffee; however, each individual can react differently to different beverages. One big difference between coffee and tea is the amino acid in tea known as L-theanine, which is a brain calmer. Monks in China drank green tea because it kept them alert yet calm during meditation.
Which type of tea has the most caffeine and which the least? All true teas come from camelia sinensis plant leaves which have caffeine. In one study, the majority of teas tested contained about 55 mg of caffeine in a medium size cup. This included black, green, white and oolong teas.
- If you're looking for a cup of tea with more caffeine than average, many Assam black teas will be higher on the spectrum because the camelia sinensis assamica variety can have more caffeine than the camelia sinensis sinensis variety. We recommend the Golden Assamica and Irish Breakfast.
- If you're looking for tea with less caffeine than average, we recommend a tea blend, such as Genmaincha (green tea with toasted rice), Moroccan Mint (green tea with mint), and Japanese Hojicha (a mix of roasted leaves and stems).
Which type of tea is caffeine free? If you are looking to cut back on caffeine for health benefits or doctor's orders, some options are decaffeinated teas, fruit-based blends or herbal types such as mint, chamomile, rooibos or honeybush. Note that decaffeinated teas may still have trace amounts of caffeine but the vast majority is extracted. Also the fruit-based blends and herbal beverages are not true teas but are delicious alternatives.
When should I stop drinking caffeine if it keeps me awake? The general rule of thumb seems to be to stop drinking caffeine 8 hours before you go to sleep, if you have trouble falling asleep due to drinking caffeine late in the day.
Iif you want to enjoy tea with caffeine earlier in the day and have caffeine-free options for yourself and others later in the day, check out our monthly Tea Club. Each month we include two teas with caffeine and one tea without caffeine.