Caffeine & Tea


By Mallie Majarais
tea While coffee and tea are both sources of caffeine, the amount of caffeine in any single serving of these beverages varies significantly. An average serving of coffee contains the most caffeine, yet the same serving size of tea provides only 1/2 to 1/3 as much. One of the more confusing aspects of caffeine content is the fact that coffee contains less caffeine than tea when measured in its dry form. The caffeine content of a prepared cup of coffee is significantly higher than the caffeine content of a prepared cup of tea. All real tea comes from the same botanical, Camellia Sinensis, which contains caffeine. Herbal infusions are made from botanicals not related to Camellia Sinensis, and they are naturally caffeine free. Chamomile and Peppermint are examples of herbal infusions. The amount of caffeine in coffee or tea depends on a number of factors, including the method and length of steeping. The longer the tea leaves have fermented in processing, the greater their caffeine content. With tea, studies also show that leaf location on the tea plant affects content of caffeine in that tea. This is why amounts reported are so variable. Caffeine content is also altered by the length of the infusion in water. Black tea (or flavored black) infused for 5 minutes yields about 40 milligrams. A cup of Oolong tea yields 30 milligrams, 20 mg for green and 15 for white. Now, compare this to coffee: the same volume yields at least double the amount at 80 mg. In fact, most colas have more caffeine as well, containing 45 mg on average. There has been much concern in the United States recently about the possible dangers of caffeine. Caffeine tolerance varies greatly among individuals, some more caffeine sensitive than others. During the past decade, extensive research on caffeine in relation to cardiovascular disease, fibrocystic breast disease, reproductive function, behavior in children, birth defects, and cancer has identified no significant health hazard from normal caffeine consumption. As with nearly everything in life… moderation is key! A common misconception is that those who are caffeine intolerant should stock up on Decaf tea. Decaffeinated tea, in fact, is not caffeine free. It-still may containing about 5-10 mg per cup. It is the relief from fatigue that tea provides that is a big reason for its popularity. This is due to the fact that the caffeine in tea is water soluble so your body digests it easily and passes through your system (much faster than coffee). This brings a quick, tangible feeling of relief and relaxation. On the other hand, caffeine in coffee is not water soluble so it stays in your system longer keeping you awake well into the night, not as effective relaxing agent.

Types of Tea Their caffeine & Examples

  • Black tea Contains caffeine in nature, can be decaffeinated (removing most of the caffeine) English Breakfast, Chai Spice, Earl Grey
  • Oolong tea Contains caffeine in nature, generally less than black tea, can be decaffeinated (removing most of the caffeine) China Oolong, Formosa Oolong ,Orange Blossom Oolong
  • Green tea Contains caffeine in nature, generally less than oolong tea, can be decaffeinated (removing most of the caffeine) Japanese Sencha, Chinese Jasmine Green
  • White tea Contains caffeine in nature, generally less than green tea, can be decaffeinated (removing most of the caffeine) Mutan White, Silver Needle, Adam’s Peak
  • Decaffeinated tea Results of removing most of the caffeine from black, oolong, green, or white tea Decaf Earl Grey, Decaf Chai Spice, Decaf Sencha Green
  • Herbal “tea” Naturally caffeine free Chamomile, Peppermint, Rooibos

Please visit us at 300 River St., Suite 122 Greenville, SC 29601 864-283-6702 We are located below the Hampton Inn and Lazy Goat restaurant on the River Walk, West End Greenville. You can connect with Ocha Tea Bar on Twitter @ochateabar

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