How Much Caffeine is in Tea?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Whether you’re downing 2 or 10 cups a day, one question stands out in your mind – how much caffeine is in tea?

The answer, of course, is more complicated than it looks. There a ton of different factors that contribute to the amount of caffeine found in your cup and they range from tea type to steeping time to water temperature and even how much tea is actually in a cup.

We’ve put together this handy guide to help demystify how much caffeine is in the tea you’re drinking.

CAFFEINE LEVELS IN DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEA

We can’t say it enough. The amount of caffeine in a tea leaf can be affected by many factors including altitude, processing (shading, oxidation, etc.), cultivars and, of course, the kind of tea you’re drinking. The amount of caffeine you’re consuming will also depend on the amount of tea and the type of tea in your cup.

You’ve probably already noticed that there are many different types of teas available. At DAVIDsTEA, we offer a collection of nine tea types and each has its own general range of caffeine – from high to medium to low to zero.

CAFFEINE IN BLACK TEA

Our black teas range from 10-100 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup, while coffee contains on average 140 mg per cup. Black tea is naturally high in caffeine, which makes it a great pick-me-up.

CAFFEINE IN PU’ERH

If you’re looking for the perfect Americano or double shot espresso doppelganger, then a caffeinated cup of energizing pu’erh tea is the ideal candidate to replace your go-to dark roast. Like black tea, pu’erh is also naturally high caffeine. In fact, these teas can contain anywhere from 14-125 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup.

CAFFEINE IN OOLONG

Our oolong teas contain between 10-55 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup, which is slightly more than green tea (next on our list), less than black tea and a lot less than coffee (140 mg per cup). A happy medium.

CAFFEINE IN MATCHA

One of the reasons we love matcha green tea so much is because of its caffeine content – our matchas contain 20-40 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup. So how is it different from regular green tea? Matcha powder is made from finely ground green tea leaves – so with every sip, you’re consuming all the benefits of the full leaf (including the caffeine). Matcha is also known to provide a sustainable boost so you don’t get that post-caffeine crash.

CAFFEINE IN GREEN TEA

Want something a little less intense? Our green teas contain between 15-45 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup, which is about half the amount found in black tea. Plus, your body will appreciate the antioxidants.

CAFFEINE IN WHITE TEA

A common misconception is that white tea contains zero caffeine. Not true! White tea can contain anywhere from 20-50 mg of caffeine per cup. It’s also the least processed tea type, which means you’re sipping even more of those skin-loving antioxidants.

CAFFEINE IN MATÉ

Made from the dried leaves of the rainforest holly plant, Maté (and its cousin guayusa) contains low amounts of caffeine. So why do we say it gives you energy? Because maté also contains other naturally energizing compounds, which is why you get a boost of energy without the jitters of a highly caffeinated beverage.

CAFFEINE IN HERBAL TEA

If you’re sensitive to caffeine or you’re looking for something soothing that won’t keep you up at night, herbal teas are a great go-to since they usually contain zero caffeine. Most them are also kid-friendly, super hydrating and contain virtually no calories.

CAFFEINE IN ROOIBOS

Like herbal tea, rooibos is naturally caffeine-free, so you can sip it all day long without the caffeine buzz. Kickstart your day by adding a fresh slice of lemon to a mug of Organic Rooibos for a little zing.

HOW TO READ CAFFEINE RATINGS ON EACH INDIVIDUAL TEA

Now that we’ve covered each type, what about each individual tea? Using our steeping instructions, we tested our 100+ teas to create an easy-to-read rating system.

When scoping out a new tea, look for the caffeine rating on the tea’s packaging or webpage. You’ll know right away whether your tea is caffeine-free, low in caffeine, high in caffeine or somewhere in the middle.

High caffeine: With 40+ mg of caffeine per cup, these teas are a great way to jumpstart your day, but still contain less caffeine than a cup of coffee

Medium caffeine: With 20-39 mg of caffeine per cup, these teas are a great way to boost energy and focus.

Low caffeine: With 1-19 mg of caffeine per cup, these blends won’t fire you up, but you may want to skip the bedtime cup if you’re sensitive       

Caffeine-free: With absolutely no caffeine, these herbal, fruit and rooibos infusions taste great any time of day or night, whether you’re caffeine-sensitive, searching for a kid-friendly blend or just looking to relax.

Why are maté and guayusa considered energizing if they have a low caffeine rating?

Yerba maté and guayusa are considered energizing herbs because they contain some caffeine and other naturally energizing compounds – which explains why you get an energy boost without the jitters. Balanced energy and focus minus high caffeine.

Why does Japanese Sencha have a higher caffeine rating than Matcha Matsu?

Don’t forget, there are many factors that affect how much caffeine is in your cup. For example, the amount of tea you steep and how long you steep it for.

Japanese Sencha requires 1 Perfect Spoon to make one 16 oz cup of tea. To make the same amount of Matcha Matsu, you need two Matcha Spoons. Let’s compare. One Perfect Spoon of Japanese Sencha weighs 5 g while two Matcha Spoons weigh 2 g. Conclusion? There’s more tea in a cup of Japanese Sencha than in a cup of Matcha Matsu, and that means more caffeine.

For more information on the different tea types, set aside some time and dive into these riveting articles.

Tea 101: What is pu’erh tea?

Tea 101: What is yerba mate tea?

Tea 101: What is white tea?

Tea 101: What is black tea?

Tea 101: What is rooibos tea?

Tea 101: What is matcha?

Tea 101: What is herbal tea?

Tea 101: What is green tea?

Tea 101: What is oolong tea?

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