There are four different varieties of tea and the caffeine content of each of these varieties depends on a range of underlying factors, including region where it is grown and the process of production.
Though it is a great stimulant and energizer, caffeine, when taken in excessive amounts, is known to trigger several health issues, including insomnia and headache. When we come across the word caffeine, the first thing that comes to our mind is coffee. While there is no denying the fact that coffee is notorious for its caffeine content, other beverages, including tea and aerated drinks, also contain caffeine in significant amount. In fact, tea contains more caffeine than coffee―when measured in dry form.
Caffeine in Tea
Basically, there are four different varieties of tea: green tea, Oolong tea, white tea, and black tea. Even though all of them are derived from the same plant (Camellia sinensis), the amount of caffeine in them varies, depending on a range of factors, including the variety of tea leaf, where it is grown, and oxidization process. Usually, the caffeine content in 1 cup of tea can ranges between 15 to 75 mg. (On an average, the caffeine content in tea leaves is around 3 percent of their total weight, depending on soil, altitude, cultivation practices, and position of the leaf on the plant.)
Green Tea: It contains 8 – 36 mg caffeine per 8 oz serving. Various studies have revealed that the amount of caffeine in green tea reduces depending on the length of infusion and number of times the leaves are used. Green tea also contains two caffeine metabolites, theobromine and theophylline.
Oolong Tea: This variety contains 12 – 55 mg caffeine per 8 oz serving. This large variation in its caffeine content by and large depends on the region where it is grown. Oolong tea grown in China has relatively less caffeine than that which is grown in India.
White Tea: White tea contains 6 – 25 mg caffeine per 8 oz serving. Its caffeine content is almost similar to that of green tea. However, it has a slight edge over its green counterpart; courtesy, the method of steeping involved in its production.
Black Tea: On an average, black tea contains anywhere between 25 – 110 mg of caffeine per 8 oz serving. It is also the strongest among the various tea varieties. These qualities of this tea variety are attributed to the prolonged oxidization process that it undergoes.
What About a Cup of Tea?
The caffeine content in a cup of tea can range between 15 to 75 mg, depending on a range of factors. Even though, dry tea leaves have more caffeine than coffee beans, the same decreases by a great extent after preparation, which is why a single cup of coffee contains more caffeine than a single cup of tea.
Owing to the various side effects of caffeine, it is wise to limit the amount of your daily caffeine intake through tea and other such beverages. Tea is no doubt good for health, but the caffeine in it, can trigger some adverse effects on the body. The easiest way out is to use decaffeinated tea. Decaffeination is a process wherein, the caffeine in tea, or any other beverage for that matter, is reduced drastically while processing it.
Other than using decaffeinated tea, you can also follow simple steps, like using loose leaf tea instead of tea bags, drinking tea slowly and less frequently, and discarding the first infusion, to ensure that its caffeine content doesn’t hamper your health.