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How Much Caffeine is in Tea?

With a growing trend towards healthy eating and drinking, the caffeine content of beverages is increasingly coming into question. While there’s times where that morning caffeine pick-me-up may well be needed, just how much caffeine is in your cup of tea?

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant, which means it speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and the body. It’s found in the seeds, nuts and leaves of a number of different plants, including the camellia sinensis plant (used for tea), coffea arabica (used for coffee), cola acuminate (used as a nut, tea or in soft drinks), theobroma cacao (used in chocolate) and paulinia cupana (used as guarana in snack bars and energy drinks).

How much caffeine is in tea?

Tea leaves contain a variety of compounds such as minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and caffeine – all of which are naturally occurring. This means black, green, and white teas all have caffeine as they all come from the camellia sinensis plant.

To give you some indication of how much caffeine is in your Nerada tea, here are the results per 200ml cup from our most recent Certificate of Analysis:

  • black tea has around 28.12mg
  • green tea 17.15mg and
  • white tea 31.32mg

Of course, there are variables at play when it comes to caffeine levels in tea generally. On average black and green tea contain approximately the same amount of caffeine weight for weight (20-60mg/200ml). White tea has the highest caffeine content (30-80mg/200ml). Caffeine content varies depending on the weight of tea in the bag (for example, Nerada green and white tea has 1.5g per tea bag and black tea 2g) and the brewing time.

That is, the more tea in the bag and the longer you leave it to brew, the more caffeine there will be in your cup.

Does tea have more caffeine than coffee?

The caffeine content in any beverage can vary significantly depending on the origin and how it’s prepared.

Tea leaves contain 3.5% caffeine, while coffee beans have 1.1–2.2%. However, the coffee brewing process often uses hotter water, which extracts more of the caffeine from the beans. Typically, you also use more coffee beans than you’d use tea leaves for a drink.

A study by Mayoclinic noted that there was more caffeine in a brewed coffee than tea.

Similarly, a 2013 study in The Guardian found that two cups of tea = one cup of coffee.

Caffeine’s Health Benefits

Caffeine sometimes gets a bad wrap, but studies have shown it can have powerful health benefits. For example, it has been found that it may help prevent Parkinson’s and reduce symptoms, may protect against dementia and reputedly protect against certain cancers.

People with high blood pressure are often advised to reduce their coffee intake, but studies have shown tea may actually help lower blood pressure and protect the heart. This is because tea has much less caffeine than coffee. It also contains high levels antioxidants, which may account for this beneficial finding.

Cutting Down on Caffeine

Some people need to limit or cut caffeine out of their diet due to health issues or pregnancy. An easy way to reduce your caffeine is to swap coffee for tea.

If you’re looking for a caffeine-free alternative, perhaps our Organic Herbal Infusion range is more your cup of tea?

How much caffeine should I consume each day?

The daily dose of caffeine very much varies by gender, age, body weight and health conditions. Research indicates that for a healthy adult, a moderate caffeine intake (up to 400mg) poses no health risk if combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Don’t forget there’s also food that contributes to your daily caffeine content so if you’re eating lots of chocolate or coffee flavoured treats like energy bars, you may need to cut back a little.